The former vice president got straight to the point in R.J. Cutler's latest documentary "The World According to Dick Cheney," telling the filmmaker he doesn't care what his critics think.
"I don't lay awake at night thinking 'gee, what are they going to say about me now?'" Cheney remarks in the upcoming film.
In an interview forABC's "This Week," Cutler responded "He does say a lot that he's not interested in what people think about him, but it's hard to imagine that he's not invested in what his legacy is. He is a significant figure of American history."
The documentary, which premieres March 15 on Showtime, features an extensive interview with the retired politician and offers a rare glimpse into Cheney's life since leaving Washington.
Cutler said he was strategic in approaching Cheney about appearing on the big screen.
"I was advised early on that the best path to getting him to participate would be patience," Cutler said. "And indeed it took seven months between the time that I first reached out to him and the time that he invited me to have lunch with him to discuss what my plans were for the film."
The director, whose previous documentaries include "The War Room" and "A Perfect Candidate," said he was driven by a desire to find out more about the polarizing political figure.
"Making a film like 'The World According to Dick Cheney,' you need to enter most of all with curiosity," Cutler said. "Not with expectations, not with preconceived notions, but with questions."
After many lengthy interviews with Cheney, and even accompanying him on a fishing excursion, Cutler gained unique insight into the former vice president's political strategy.
"He does not feel there is room for compromise," Cutler said. "I think it raises the question, when total conviction serves a democracy and when it can be problematic for democracy. And that's a question that, to me, is worth considering not only in the specific analysis of the George W. Bush presidency and his relationship with Vice President Cheney and Vice President Cheney's career, but in thinking about democracy from a larger view. And so, this was a major reason why we wanted to make this film and something that I was really excited about exploring.."