Paul Thomas Anderson

  • Aired:  10/11/12
  •  | Views: 16,083

"The Master" director Paul Thomas Anderson discusses getting the best out of his actors and balancing his roles as writer and director. (7:10)

JNCH WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT A DIRECTOR AND SCREEN WRITER PHONE FOR BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA AND THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

HIS LATEST IS "THE MASTER.

".

>> THESE PROBLEMS YOU HAVE.

>> I DON'T HAVE ANY PROBLEMS.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU TOLD YOU BUT IF YOU HAVE WORK FOR ME TO DO, CAN I DO IT.

>> YOU SEEM SO FAMILIAR TO ME.

>> YEAH.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

>> I DO MANY, MANY THINGS.

I AM A WRITER, A DOCTOR, A NUCLEAR PHYSICIST, A THEORETICAL PHILOSOPHER BUT ABOVE ALL I AM A MAN HOPELESSLY INQUISITIVE MAN

JUST LIKE YOU.

>> Jon: I WILL FOLLOW YOU.

PLEASE WELCOME PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO START.

I'M AN ENORMOUS FAN OF YOURS.

I'M GOING TO START ON THE PERFORMANCE END OF IT FOR THE ACTORS.

FORGET ABOUT THE BEAUTIFUL WRITING, THE SHOOTING, ALL THE THINGS YOU DO.

THE PERFORMANCES YOU GET FROM THE ACTORS THAT YOU HAVE.

OBVIOUSLY THEY ARE GREAT ACTORS, HOW DO YOU -- AS A DIRECTOR HOW DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE ABLE TO EMPOWER THE ACTORS TO GET THE

KIND OF PERFORMANCES YOU GET?

>> UM, --

>> Jon: I'LL LEAVE.

>>

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> I HIRE GOOD ONES.

>> Jon: THAT HELPS.

>> THAT HELPS AND I TRY TO DO AS MUCH AS I CAN IN THE WRITING AND THEN TRY TO LISTEN TO THEM AND

SEE HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT THINGS GIVE THEM ROOM TO DO IT.

>>

>> Jon: IN A SCENE AFTER A TAKE WILL YOU -- CUT, WALK OUT AND BE LIKE -- YOU KNOW THAT KIND OF THING?

IS THERE ON SET DO YOU GET MANIACAL.

WHAT IS YOUR TEMPERAMENT?

>> PRETTY -- I DON'T KNOW --

>> Jon: YOU SEEM ANGRY, YOU SEEM LIKE AN ANGRY GUY.

>> I TRY TO PLAY IT PRETTY COOL.

WHEN YOU ARE A WRITER YOU CAN GET MAD AT YOURSELF IN A ROOM AND BANG YOUR HEAD AGAINST THE WALL.

WHEN YOU ARE A DIRECTOR YOU YOU HAVE TO PRETEND YOU DIDN'T DO THAT STUFF AND BE COOL AND BE EVERYBODY'S BOSS.

SO --

>> Joe: DO YOU COMPLETE THE WRITING PROCESS IN YOUR MIND AND THEN BECOME THE DIRECTOR OR AS YOU ARE WRITING ARE YOU -- YOU

KNOW, I FIND IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO -- THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WRITING FOR THE PAGE AND WRITING FOR THE PERFORMANCE IS A

DIFFERENT ART FORM.

DO YOU DO THAT AS YOU ARE WRITING OR TRANSITION THAT?

>> WHEN I WRITE, WHEN IT'S AT ITS BEST WHRVEG IT'S GOING REALLY WELL YOU BLINK YOUR EYES AND TEN PRETTY GOOD PAGES HAVE HAPPENED.

AT ITS WORST YOU ARE DESPERATE TO TRY TO GET IT GOING WELL.

WHEN YOU GET TO THE SET, I JUST SORT OF THROW THE SCRIPT OUT THE WINDOW AND HOPEFULLY THEY REMEMBER IT AND THEY KNOW IT AND

THEY'VE DONE IT WELL.

>> Jon: YOU THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW?

DO YOU EVER TELL YOURSELF THE WRITER, HEY, MAN, DON'T SWEAT THIS I'M GOING TO (bleep) DITCH IT?

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> YEAH.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> Jon: I IMAGINE MYSELF WITH WRITING THERE ARE TIMES WHERE I -- IT'S DIFFICULT NOT TO BE PRECIOUS WITH THE WORD --

PRESCIENT WITH THE WORDS.

TO REMEMBER TO CONVINCE YOURSELF JUST PUT IT ON PAPER.

SO MUCH WRITING IS REWRITING AND YOU CAN HOLD YOURSELF BACK FROM PUTTING IT OUT THERE.

>> I THINK THAT'S TRUE.

I'VE WRITTEN 50 DRAFTS OF THINGS.

AND THANK GOD FOR SAVING EVERYTHING YOU WRITE.

YOU SORT OF LOOK BACK AT THE FIRST THING AND REALIZE YOU HAD IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME BECAUSE IT VOMITED OUT OF YOU OR

SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

THE OTHER THING I HAVE FOUND IS, YOU KNOW, UNFORTUNATELY SOMETIMES YOU CAN WRITE SOMETHING 50 TIMES AND YOU CAN

MAKE IT BETTER.

IT CREATES THIS ENDLESS SORT OF REACH FOR SOMETHING THAT KEEPS YOU HUNGRY AND ALWAYS GUESSING LIKE HOW DOES THIS STUFF WORK?

HOW DOES WRITING SPHWHORK IT'S SO CONFUSING.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

WHAT MAKES YOU STOP.

WHAT MAKES ME STOP HERE IS IT'S 6:00.

WE'LL RIGHT TO THE POINT WHERE WE'RE LIKE, MAY, MAN, THERE'S AN AUDIENCE OUT THERE AND THEY LOOK MAD.

THEY'VE BEEN SITTING THERE FOR FIVE HOURS BETTER DO A SHOW.

BUT AS A WRITER OF FILM, HOW DO YOU STOP, HOW DO YOU NOT OVERWRITE?

, DETROIT THE ON THE BACK END?

>> IT'S KIND OF SAME THING.

THE CLOCK IS NOT TICKING THAT BADLY BUT BASICALLY IT'S LIKE WE'RE GOING TO GET TOGETHER IN MARCH SO -- AND LET'S SAY THAT

IS SIX MONTHS AWAY.

YOU KIND OF, AS A WRITER YOU HAVE TO GO SIX MONTHS AND THE CLOCK IS TICKING AND YOU HAVE TO GET IT TOGETHER.

YOU HAVE TO PLAN THAT FAR AHEAD IN ADVANCE.

>> Jon: RIGHT.

>> BUT IT'S LIKE A SLOW TICKING BOMB.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> Jon: LET'S TALK CATERING -- WE HAVE A DIFFERENT SYSTEM HERE.

ONCE IT'S DONE, THEN YOU HAVE ALL THE POST PRODUCTION AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS THAT YOU HAVE TO DO.

DOES THE SPELLING OF IT FEEL LIKE YOU ARE MAKING SOMETHING YOU DID A LONG TIME AGO?

DOES IT FEEL VITAL IN YOUR MIND?

HOW IS IT IF THAT PROCESS.

>> OH, GOD D -- GOD.

I WAS WATCHING THAT CLIP AND I DIDN'T REMEMBER WHAT THEY WERE GOING TO SAY.

>> Jon: I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THAT.

>> THAT'S A NICE PLACE TO GET TO, ACTUALLY WHERE YOU HAVE ENOUGH DISTANCE FROM IT.

YEAH, THERE'S A LOT THAT I DON'T BREB THIS FILM ALREADY.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> Jon: I WOULD LOVE FOR M.

NIGHT TOLL BE ONE OF HIS OWN MOVIES AND SAY THAT GUY WAS DEAD THE WHOLE TIME?

I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT.

[ LAUGHTER ]

WHAT I BLIEK WHAT YOU DO -- EVERYTHING IS SO -- YOU FEEL THE ART OF IT.

IT'S SO VIVID.

IT'S EVERY CHOICE YOU MAKE.

IS THAT PRECONCEIVED?

DO YOU YOU HAVE AN IDEA OF EACH MOMENT AND HOW YOU WANT TO CREATE IT?

>> NO.

INHE HAVE HAVE ITIBLY YOU ARE DISAPPOINTED BECAUSE USUALLY THE THINGS YOU SEE IN YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU STAND IN A PLACE WITH THREE

DIMENSIONS THEY ARE DIFFERENT.

THE LIGHT COMING THROUGH THE WINDOW IN A DIFFERENT WAY OR SOMEWHERE IS WEARING SOMETHING DIFFERENT SO -- YOU TRY TO BE AS

OPEN AS POSSIBLE TO SITUATIONS.

BUT AT THE SAME TIME I CAN'T JUST BE THE ENDLESS SEARCH.

THERE'S A LOT OF PLANNING YOU HAVE TO DO.

HOPEFULLY YOU KIND OF -- YOU CAN CREATE SITUATION WHERE ACCIDENTS CAN'T HAPPEN AND THINGS CAN GO WRONG.

>> Jon: THE ENVIRONMENT.

ASPIRATION BUT REALISTIC.

>> THERE YOU GO.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> Jon: THE MASTER.

IT IS A BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF FILM MAKING.

IT'S IN THEATERS NOW.

THE GREAT PAUL THOMAS

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