Is that really Neo? Or are there five kids who are not like Neo? I remember being in an art room a few years ago at New York University with the art director there. He pointed to me, and said, “They’re all the same person!” We asked, “What is the difference?”
It was fascinating. One guy did a painting and said the same thing. Another guy did a drawing and said he was a boy of five who was an adult.
In the film, everyone is older than they appear in real life.
It was something that I started writing about after I realized that people thought that all the characters were older than they appeared. I thought, What is the oldest person in the movie? I knew that they were all children and that I needed to find an answer to it. And then I realized I could not find it in the books. The movie goes in a much different direction to the books. We all learn about the characters over time, and as you are reading something, it changes. The characters grow up, but they do so on their own. They are not clones.
What drew you to writing about it?
One of the things that attracted me to it was that it was a great story, and I was a little jealous of the movies because they were all about the same people. Everyone is a copy of the other character. That’s never working. That also attracted me to writing about other people. I would rather be a creative person than a reader. I would much rather be asked to write a piece of writing than read a book that I have written. I feel like reading books is not a creative act; it’s an act of passive acceptance. If you write, it does the work already, but if you read, it takes your eyes off the work as it lies before you.
Do you think that the movie will have an influence on reading?
I don’t know. But I see it very much as a reflection of the world that we live in now, which is not a particularly happy one. I don’t think it will change anything.
You have previously written that writing a book, or producing a Broadway show, can be very lonely.
They are not very lonely on Broadway. But I feel that there are too many books and too many productions. I believe that is a problem today in American culture. It is not that there’s too many artists that are doing things. They do it
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