If it’s going to take you more than two years to learn something, you’re not going to be very creative. That’s what happened with the film industry. The movie “The Princess Bride” was made two years on and the reason why they made the film four years, because they wanted to get it right before they made it. When people try to be too creative, they fail. So people who do great at acting and filmmaking don’t learn things fast. I’m in a situation where my dad had never met Steven Spielberg before, and he just became such an expert. Even when I’m doing a job and I start doing a joke, he’ll ask you, “How do you feel about that line?” And you have to make sure he knows what you’re talking about so he doesn’t say, “I don’t know because it is a little funny. Can I explain it in a bit more detail?” Then he’d explain the line so you know what it is before he does.
When you read screenplays, is there a certain amount of effort you put into what you’re doing? Are there any things that come to you that you can get a lot of inspiration from?
I read about eight or nine screenplays a year, and I really enjoy them — I’ve loved everything. I was an English major, so I don’t have to do the writing. I have to learn how to read.
In some cases, one that I really like is the short film [“The Last Kiss”] by Richard Ophüls. He does a long, beautiful dance around the topic — because he could really write it and he wasn’t trying to come out with a lot of ideas. It’s an example of someone who has a story arc that’s going on, so he doesn’t try to figure it out as much as other writers do, but you know what he’s talking about. I’m not the greatest reader, I’m not as experienced in that sort of thing, but he does this wonderful thing on that film. It’s such a brilliant, beautiful thing and he’s still working, so he still has time for us. One that I love is a movie by John Hughes, “Little Shop Of Horrors,” or “The Fly,” and that’s an old, old story but it still is a wonderful movie. It was one of the first movie scripts I read that was about, “My mom is dying.” That was something I could