And I actually don't see your scenario as a problem to really worry about. There's another problem to worry about, and that is becoming too much of a Hollywood professional. I don't think the problem is, "Oh, we can do whatever we want. Oh, my God." I think the problem is passion about what you're doing, not just working to work, not just doing something for political reasons or for a gigantic paycheck to pay for your pool or to pay for your alimony or to work with this actor or just to keep busy. I think everything's got to be all or nothing, as long as I'm the writer and director and I'm doing my thing and this is my next piece of work, and it stands in the canon with the other pieces of work.
And, yes, there'll be days -- and with "Jackie Browne" you can ever see that was the case -- where a film might not be so accepted when it comes out, but, hey, it's not about the day it opens. It's about the eternity of cinema, and it ain't going nowhere, and time can pass and five years, 10 years later, it can be accepted, and, actually, most of the directors I like, my favorite movies of theirs were the ones that weren't accepted in their day, but over the course of time have risen in the ranks.
: Like what?
: Oh, well, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" is one of the greatest movies ever made -- for me, the greatest movie ever made. And it totally got thrashed by Pauline Kael and The New York Times and the LA Times when it came out. And, then, "Once Upon a Time in the West" was really torn apart by everybody, and those are considered classics now. "Night of the Living Dead" didn't get good reviews when it came out, and that is one of the classics of independent cinema of all time. "2001" got bad reviews.
: I don't relate completely to what you say, because I do live in Texas, and I'm not really surrounded by people like that. Everyone that surrounds me down there isn't in the movie business at all. So they don't even know what I do really. "When's that movie you got coming out?" When I did "Sin City," I thought for sure this is easily something that will not be caught onto immediately at all. Maybe discovered later in DVD, but it's very weird. It's black and white. It's an anthology. It's got voice over. The three No's, what you're not supposed to do in a movie.
I really felt like it was something that was exciting, I hadn't seen before and that I would get an A for effort. "At least he tried to do something different." And so it was a big surprise that it was so successful right off the bat and that people caught on to it.
The same with this movie. As I had this idea, I thought people might not get it at first when it comes out in the theaters. But as soon as people saw the trailers, they were going crazy for it. So you're not always sure if your ideas are going to work or if they are coming out at the right time, but you just always got to follow your heart. You take consensus of what people think, you're going to get a different answer from everybody. So, really, the only answer that matters is the one that you find inside.
: There is one other aspect that's also a kind of a danger, especially if you're a writer-director. There are a whole lot of writer-directors that come out here. They do one movie, two movies, three movies, and it's like, "What a voice! What a voice." They wrote the scripts and they direct the movies and they're all of a piece and they're terrific.