I landed a job with Roger Corman. The job was to write the English dialogue for a Russian science fiction picture. I didn’t speak any Russian. He didn’t care whether I could understand what they were saying he wanted me to make up dialogue.
It’s ironic that at age 32 at probably the greatest moment of my career with The Godfather having such an enormous success I wasn’t even aware of it because I was somewhere else under the deadline again.
I don’t think there’s any artist of any value who doesn’t doubt what they’re doing.
I had a heartbreaking experience when I was 9. I always wanted to be a guard. The most wonderful girl in the world was a guard. When I got polio and then went back to school they made me a guard. A teacher took away my guard button.
When I was going for my graduate degree I decided I was going to make a feature film as my thesis. That’s what I was famous for-that I had my thesis film be a feature film which was ‘You’re a Big Boy Now.’
We were raised in an Italian-American household although we didn’t speak Italian in the house. We were very proud of being Italian and had Italian music ate Italian food.
It takes no imagination to live within your means.
Most Italians who came to this country are very patriotic. There was this exciting possibility that if you worked real hard and you loved something you could become successful.
As long as I can make lots of money in other businesses I’ll continue to subsidize my own work.
I was never sloppy with other people’s money. Only my own. Because I figure well you can be.
We had access to too much money too much equipment and little by little we went insane.
I think cinema movies and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made film were magicians.
I wanted to write and direct movies and not be forced to adapt them from a bestselling book.
I’ve been offered lots of movies. There’s always some actor who’s doing a project and would like to have me do it. But you look at the project and think ‘Gee there are a lot of good directors who could do that.’ I’d like to do something only I can do.
People feel the worst film I made was ‘Jack.’ But to this day when I get checks from old movies I’ve made ‘Jack’ is one of the biggest ones. No one knows that. If people hate the movie they hate the movie. I just wanted to work with Robin Williams.
Steven Spielberg is unique. I feel that the kinds of movies he loves are the same kinds of movies that the big mass audience loves. He’s very fortunate because he can do the things he naturally likes the best and he’s been very successful.
When newspapers started to publish the box office scores of movies I was horrified. Those results are totally fake because they never include the promotion budget.