Lock the gate. All right, let's do this, how are you? What the fuckers, what the fuck buddies, what the fuck next? What the fuck? STRs, what's happening? How are you? What's going on? How did you make it? Did you get what you wanted? Did you break it? Did you return it? Were you disappointed with the person that loves you? Were you excited by them? I want to congratulate everybody who got Marc Maron merchandise.
Wear it well, enjoy it. Enjoy that T-shirt, that hat, that mug, that poster. Dig it. Today, I'm talking to Patty Jenkins. She's the director of Wonder Woman 1984.
She was the first woman to ever direct a superhero franchise movie when she directed The First Wonder Woman.
She also wrote and directed the film Monster, as well as a lot of television you've probably seen.
I watched the movie. I watched both of them. I hadn't seen either of them. I did not see Wonder Woman when it came out. You know why? Because I don't watch comic book movies. I enjoyed The Wonder Woman movies, but I don't know what to compare them to. I don't know what a good movie is when it comes to superhero movies or what a bad one is. I was just not a comic book person. And as time goes on, I talk to comic book people.
It seems that, you know, I'll admit this. I might have missed out.
I might have missed out by not being taught to enjoy sports, comic books, fantasy of any kind food. That was fun. Yeah, I just I think I was poorly parented, which we've established, but I was given the gift of a sense of humor most days and the love of music by my folks.
But nothing, nothing anyone could do to get me to be excited about a ball moving across a field of any kind from racket to racket, person to person, foot to foot, no go. Don't care. Hand to hand through hoops off bats in the stands, over nets. Across the field, no go, not for me. Same with flying people of all sorts, half animal people, people flying that can do weird things with their bodies, with their eyes, with their hands, with their feet, with their strength, with their brain, with lasers, with the wings to fly the cape, whatever.
Not for me. Though the elastic guy was interesting. Stretch it out. Stretch it out, and I kind of like Dr. Strange, but at some, you know, later in life in my 30s when I was living in an attic that was painted blue.
Eighty eight ish, probably eighty eight ish, 63, 73, 83, still in my 20s, so I didn't get into comics. I was twenty five. Twenty six. And the comics that got into through Alan Moore's Swamp Thing were Hellblazer. And then onward into Sandman and all the underground comics, I did enjoy underground comics, and I've discussed this before, didn't like superheroes, but I like the comics where the characters fuck. First time I saw fucking was in a comic book.
Sorry, kids, I was like, oh, that's what happens. That's always our crumb and Spain. Spain, the comic, Spain, Rodriguez, and yeah, so those are enjoyed and I continued enjoying ball hate all the Charles Byrne stuff.
Yeah. Bag Krumm, life changing comics did change my life. Our crime changed my life totally, but no one from the Marvel Universe had any impact on me whatsoever, but our crumb and his fucking world rewired my brain totally.
And Hellblazer, that's how out of my mind I was Hellblazer when I was reading.
I got I've got the first Hellblazer. When I first started getting those comics, I identified with the character. That's how psychotic I was. That was the remnants of cocaine induced psychosis. I was already well into a year of sobriety. But that the power of the mind or how I saw it working was still pretty expansive.
So I was reading those John Constantine comics gone. Yeah, dude, I've been there. I know what it's like to traverse these worlds and be the middleman for great mystical things. I get it, man, I, I had to do that in Los Angeles. I was on a lot of coke, but I was definitely managing. I was the portal between the two worlds. And sometimes it does get a little tough to handle the forces of evil and it's harder, even harder to identify.
If I had not pulled it together at that time, if I didn't let it go and eventually stay sober and let that psychosis dissipate, I might be a kuhnen person right now.
I so thoroughly understand how the conspiracy brain works because I've had it.
I've had it, I had to shut it down. Thomas McGuane, the mind is not a boomerang if you throw it too far, it will not come back. I don't know when or where McGuane said that, but for some reason, he's the guy that I believe said it. I've been quoting it for my entire life. My entire life. So, look, folks, it's it is almost the new year, so it's time to turn the page.
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Get help. Get help. I met I've been meditating pretty regularly in the morning for about ten minutes, trying to do it, trying to work that muscle, work the muscle that gets the thoughts away from you, just being with your breath. There is a muscle to it. And I'm kind of digging it because once you start wading away or pushing aside the noise, the thoughts and just getting into that zone where you're on the cycle of your breath and utilizing.
That skill really kind of introduces you in a quiet way to who you are. Given that we're being introduced to who we are in a emotional and psychological way because of this isolation and claustrophobia of plague, terror. The meditation kind of like gets out from under that and it just lets you sit with yourself and I think during the day working that muscle or trying to work that muscle helps you out, grounds you, makes you know who you are and almost a primitive way that you don't even need to understand.
You just know that maybe for 30 seconds to five minutes, you you sat. Comfortably in your vessel with a clear head. Helps, definitely helps. So I talked to Patty Jenkins a few weeks ago, Wonder Woman, 1984, her movie is now streaming on HBO Max and is playing in theaters. We recorded this before it was announced that she'll be directing the next Star Wars movie. So don't expect any chat about that. But this is me talking, and it's a great talk to Patty Jenkins, the film director.
I hey, I'm very intrigued by your workspace. I'm intrigued by yours. You're very backlit and as a director, it's not you are a shadow of yourself. I'll tell you why.
It's because my son is now working in my office. Right. Which I can't be there. So we just moved and I'm working in my husband's office and it's like a mess so I can move. But then I'm always like, Jesus, what?
I have no idea what's going on here.
It's like just half built. I think it's OK. I think I can see you. Well, I was just going to say and I don't want to start off on a on a downer note, but I just loved, loved, loved Len and Len Shelton's work. So I just wanted to to to say I'm so sorry. I was so heartbroken for you and for all of us. Yeah.
She was a special person, did great movies and, you know. Did you ever know Mervis?
We wrote to each other all the time. Oh, really? So I was in touch with her. Yeah. Her manager, Rosalie was my manager at one point, too. And so she and I started communicating a long, long time ago. And like we're always big fans of each other. And she was just just so I was still bummed I didn't get to meet her more.
Yeah, well, she liked to write, so she always wrote good emails.
She did great emails. Great emails. Well, I mean, I imagine that like I don't like I imagine that your.
Initial success with Monster must have been very inspiring to her, I would imagine, is that where it started, the communication?
Yeah, it did. It did. I think I think she really liked it. And then I really loved some of her films. And so I think we started talking about it in that way. And I think we would ask each other advice about different people and things like that. But yeah, she was super supportive from early on.
It's a while now where you've come from that. Yeah, from that that that sympathetic.
Somehow you were able to muster enough empathy to make a full character out of that broken, horrific person. And and kind of now you're you're dealing with the the most empowered, mythic feminine creation that we know.
I know it's so weird, but to me it doesn't feel like it's very odd because it does not feel as different as it does to other people. In both cases, it's like trying to humanize an unbelievable journey.
Yes. And make you feel like you're in the shoes, like with Eileen. What was so interesting to me was when I watched her, I could tell that this was not a person who loved killing or an or a psychopath. Right. This was somebody who life experience had gotten her to a place where the best idea was to murder seven men, you know? And so it was like, how how do you get there? And clearly, people get there all the time.
Clearly, men go to war and go and do it in droves, become killers, you know, for that.
But that there's there's sort of a system in place for that, right? There is. But but in this case, there a system to which is she'd been like the thing that I thought was so amazing was people were so perplexed by, like, I don't get it. She's a man hating lesbian. But if you looked at her life, she'd been in in the hospital like 16 times for having been beaten and raped almost to death. And then she carried a gun for 20 years before she ever shot somebody.
So you're like, eventually somebody's going to rape you and you're going to defend yourself, probably, you know, and so that in that same way, it's her story was so heartbreaking because it was almost like the power, the strength of character that could have made her an amazing person with a different life experience, turned her into a survivor that defended herself.
And then it goes too far, you know, and also you were able to dig a love story out of there and. Yeah. Which really humanized that. That person did what we did. I don't know, I, I didn't read all the press on that. But did you were you able to meet her?
I was once I started to write the film, I wrote to her in prison. And so we wrote to each other for about six or seven months. We were never friends. She never she never trusted me or anyone. And she was always kind of very, very wary. But then Charly's and I were about to go down and meet her and they scheduled for execution and like a month. And so we didn't get to. But then the night before, she was executed to my shock, because she had been, like, demanding millions of dollars and all of these things and very, very untrusting of us.
She left all of the letters that she and her girlfriend wrote over an 11 year period for us to read the night before she was executed. Yeah.
And it was sort of her it was sort of like her. Optimism, like at the last moment, she was just hoping I could do something good with it and just gave it to us for nothing until I got to read thousands of personal letters between her and and the real woman who was your girlfriend, which was just I mean, and even the information you read in there is so informative to Chavez's performance as well. Yeah. And heartbreaking, just like heartbreak can imagine it.
And it's all infused with the sort of horror of her being executed and the people she killed. Like when you have artifacts of people that have transgressed to that point, their kind of electric on into themselves. Right. Totally.
And that carried through for the rest of the film. It was a really electric air to filming it where you could sort of feel the truth. And we were shooting in the same exact places where it all went down. So like murder has happened here and people were caught here. And this is and so there was this kind of electricity of dancing with truth. Yeah.
That is something I'll never forget because you had it on the page and you had it on the in the geography of the thing. Yeah. I mean, well, it definitely comes through.
I mean, the way you shot it was great. But also, you know, Charly's is like I don't even know where that came from. I mean, she's a great actress, but there is a possession going on there.
There was a possession. And it's funny because that's exactly actually what it felt like. I felt like I felt like I was possessed by it when I wrote it. And I remember my ex-boyfriend like I was sitting. I wrote the whole thing in like seven weeks and just wrote twenty four hours a day, twenty four hours a day. And I remember my ex-boyfriend coming into the room and I would look up at him and he would go, whoa, really?
Eileen's in the house and walk back out because I was just like completely in it, you know, and then I definitely saw it on her.
But what was he like? We can go back. I mean, where do where'd you grow up?
I grew up all over the world before I was six. Because your dad was in the military. Yeah.
Yeah. And so I grew up all over the place. And then we ended up in Kansas at the University of Kansas, where my mother started putting herself through school. And so then then I sort of lived in Kansas till the middle of high school, but we left all the time. So we would like spend I spend every summer in Mississippi. And why those places? My grandparents lived in Mississippi, my and then I lived for eight months or something in Long Island.
So it was like it was I kind of lived in Kansas for a long time and I kind of liked it.
Yeah, I was in Long Island, my cousins, my uncle and cousin Jus.
No, I wish. No, I don't I don't wish they're wonderful people. No, I've always felt so I've always felt so confused that I'm not Jewish, really.
It's just because just because all my friends are Jewish and I'm just like, I don't understand. I thought when I did my DNA, it would definitely come out that I was Jewish and I was like, no, I'm not Jewish. That's so crazy.
Nothing. No Jew in there. No nothing. Exactly. So your dad was from Mississippi?
No, my my grandparents were also in the military. So they had gone into shipbuilding by that time and ended up in Mississippi. They're not from there from New York. So I was visiting them and my father had passed away.
Yeah, but he was but he didn't die in in a war.
He died in a plane crash. Yeah. Doing simulated battle. Oh, my God. Yeah. How old were you. Seven. Seven. Yeah.
In a plane crash. That must. I can't even imagine. Yeah.
What that is definitely the definitive. Experience of my life, no. It's the worst thing because you have these all you do is like have these images of possibility of fire, really horribleness.
And can I tell you at seven, the confusion of just as you're like your first of all, you write your entire identity based on your experiences. You're like, I am a person who always so to get that where it's like, oh, you didn't even know that could happen. And now it's like, oh, no, the person you want to see the most, you'll never see them again, you know, and like and then the world is trying to give you these messages of like you can dream anything, you can have anything.
And I'm like, well, I want my dad back.
No, never. Not that, you know, except that. Yeah, but your mom must have been great, mother. Yeah.
Thank you. She does. She's a great mother.
She's a great mother because I mean, you know, you can I think that you could have ended up with borderline personality disorder or something crazy if you didn't have the great mother.
I mean, thank you. Yeah. No, I really did have a great mother. And the interesting thing that also was true about it was I'm a pretty spiritual person. I don't believe in any specific religion or anything, but I'm always been very open minded about all the things in the world. So I think in my in my head, I turned him into the perfect father who was with me all the time. And so in the weirdest way, I had the father who thought I was amazing.
He never yelled at me, never told me what to do.
And so I sort of I turned him down. So he's looking over you. Exactly. So I think in this weird way, I ended up being even more nurtured by my own imagination.
But like but that's sort of interesting to me in that because there is an element of that. At some point we have to self parent. And if you have shitty parents, you when you're too young to know it, you kind of put in place yourself parent. That's bad. But because of your situation, you're like yourself parent was your actual parent based on what you knew of him. And he was great.
He was a fighter pilot and he was cool and he like awesome jets. So, you know, it's like all these. Do you remember him?
Yeah. Yeah, very well. I loved I was so, you know, it maybe it's the opposite sex parent thing, but I also think I'm a lot like him.
I was very, very, very fixated on him as a kid. So it was you know, I remember all kinds of things, but not now, even though you have two movies with a fighter pilot.
Exactly. That's what I'm saying. That's the funny thing is I'm like, you want to go to buy? Well, drop in top rated.
Do you have siblings?
Yeah, I have a sister, but she had a different father. OK, and your mom's a teacher?
No, my mom is an environmental scientist. Oh, my God.
She must be panicking. She's been panicking my entire life and it is so depressing. I was just talking to her about it because she was at the EPA and her boyfriend was the person who reported about climate change to the White House and different places to the monster.
And she would know back in back in the 70s and the 80s and oh, she was just lamenting how she's like, this is what we were trying to say. We were trying to say and apparently, like Ford and and and Jimmy Carter, like there were a few people who really heard it. But, you know, everything that has happened since, it's like she was like I know she's been telling me about all these things my whole life. And it was drove me up the wall and I hated it where she's like, don't the plastic and the PCBs and organic and don't eat the genetically modified things and that.
And now you're like, well, here we are, here we sky's on fire.
Yeah. All the chickens came home to roost. Yeah, it's a mess.
Now, do you heed her advice? Do you eat better? Do you.
I do. I do. I eat pretty well and I'm that now. I'm that irritating.
Mom, by the way, my mom is like my son is like Jesus Christ mom.
I'm just trying to have a life now. Now no one can leave their house. Exactly. Totally.
So when did you start getting involved with wanting to express yourself as an artist person?
I think immediately, as soon as that was an option, it was both like the people that I was identifying with were kind of I was in the punk scene and the hardcore scene. And so we're all Kansas in Kansas. Yeah. And AC DC too.
That was the most amazing scene in the world. Happened in Kansas. I wish I could tell the story one day, but I was in Lawrence, Kansas, and there was this little place where you could have shows called the outhouse. So starting in like eighty to eighty three, eighty four, they started having these tiny shows, but every band was driving across the country, had nowhere to go but the outhouse.
Right. By the way, punk worked. I know. I had I saw everyone. We just did. It was not a show. You admit she would go to every single show. My sister was a punk rocker. First you go to every show. So when I look back at the shows that I saw and then like Henry Rollins would be at the restaurant the next day and sleeping in your friend's house.
Right, right. That's how the network worked. It was so amazing, so I feel like so lucky. And then I actually also, interestingly, witnessed that when I first started going to shows, it was kind of just weird misfits. And it wasn't really about the look. It was like a skateboarder and the person, that person who's from India, it's like every outsider, just not mainstream.
Not not high school culture.
No. And then I watched my in my in front of my eyes, it morphed into a bigger and bigger scene. And now there's the long hairs and the straight edge and the skinheads and the fights and the violence and the guns and the drugs. And like right when I left, like I was friends with all these guys who were like stealing credit card numbers and buying guns with them. And then, boom, I left and like, they went to jail and shot each other.
And it just like, oh, it's just so sad.
It got out from under the wire, got out under the wire before the drugs and the guns ruined everything. But what you saw, like the Minutemen and like many times.
All over many times.
And my favorite show and I, I can't remember what year it was, if it was eighty five ratings for eighty six. But the best show I ever saw was the bad brains in the in the rain.
And I think the lineup was I can't find the exact thing, but I think the lineup was that it was the Red Hot Chili Peppers opening for Fishbone, opening for bad brains.
You think about the flip, Dan was the bad brains and it was like twenty people because it was raining and so like it was when I think back and by the way, the Bad Brains was the band that, like, blew my mind.
Yeah, they are definitely mine blower's. Yeah. That because the music was not that great leading up to the bad brains and the bad brain suddenly was just like I didn't even know this was possible like. Right. It's such amazing music.
So you saw all those guys and you're right up close like your timing was correct. It was one. Did you know.
Didn't wasn't was William Burroughs in Kansas because he was was he did he show up at the club sometimes?
No, he never showed up there.
But my first job in film was my mom was kind of hip to all this stuff, of course, because she was there. And it's great that you know that. So he did this thing called the RiverCity reunion, where he brought all the beat poets to all the old men. He brought all the old guys, all of them Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg and Corso. Yeah. Yeah.
So my mom was friends with the documentary filmmaker Mark Kaplan, who is going to make a documentary about it.
And she made me be his P.A. and I was like, I had no idea these people weren't really famous.
I really was like, oh, whatever. My mom's generation. What's with these old guys?
It's my first job was when I was about 14, 13, and I was his P.A. and he ended up assigning me to Allen Ginsberg. So I had to follow around Allen Ginsberg. He was disappointed.
You are in a boy.
Oh, yes, he was.
And it's funny because somebody somebody asked William Burroughs is a partner of many, many years about me.
At some point, guys took care of him. What was the name? However, it's a German name, man, I remember.
And he said something about like, I never even met her. I never saw her. And I'm like, no, I know you guys didn't see me, but I was standing right there.
I was all.
But there's there's actually a postcard at City Lights bookstore of Keith Haring drawing this this like obscene drawing on the ground and Allen Ginsberg standing and talking to him.
And I have a Mohawk and I'm standing right behind them in this postcard. Yeah, it's yeah. It's like my one of my favorite little mementos. That's great. Yeah. It was great. It was great.
It was fun. And it's amazing to think I was living in Kansas and I had just met Madelyn who was filming a thing for Kansas, and he was super pissed off at me about something. So I'm standing with those guys and trying to duck Matt Dillon because he thinks I've still got one hundred dollars for that from him. I'd like to think that's all going down in Kansas. So Calandra, was Matt Dillon doing there?
Was he part of it? He was filming a movie called Kansas. So the theater where the beatnik experience is happening, is there any corner to the hotel that Matt Dillon staying in? And Matt, who's gone on to be a very good friend of mine now for many years? But, Matt, I because I was a punk rocker, he would always come up to me to try to figure out where the shows were and things were going on. So I knew him.
And then he dropped one hundred dollars and I took it and I didn't give it back to him. And then he found out that he was very angry with me. And this is a joke we still have to this day. The hundred dollar joke you owe me one hundred dollars.
So in essence, the beatniks are responsible for your first job in movies.
Yes, totally true because of your mom.
And you got to see old William Burroughs upclose and Allen and all those guys.
It's weird because like all the punk rockers. Oh, William, certainly a debt of gratitude for blowing something open. Yeah, I know.
GRAUERHOLZ James Carville.
That's it. Yeah, that's right. Thank God. Did you look it up? You just remembered. No. I just remembered his name so well, yeah, nice guy he sort of took care of. Yeah, really did. Well then, so that's it.
That's a hell of a baptism into the world of art.
Yes. I didn't totally answer your question, but what it was, was that's what we all we're doing. We're making flyers, we're taking photographs were in bands. And I thought I did all those things. I was in a band. I was did this all of those things.
What did you do in a band? I sing. I did so badly, so badly that it didn't last long.
But that's what it was.
What was interesting was I was so drawn to the arts like a moth to the flame, but I was also capable of having self-awareness to be like, I'm not so good at that. That's not so good. Literally from the moment I was in junior high and started doing that stuff all the way up until I went to painting school at Cooper Union and had like had figured out that I wanted to be in the fine arts and figured out that Cooper Union was the my favorite school in the world and where I was dying to go and got in there.
And it was only once I got in there that I took a film course and like, my head just exploded.
But it's interesting that the sort of punk idea, the punk aesthetic really engaged all possibilities. Right, because, you know, you were printing, you were doing paintings. You can do silk screens. You could do music like like if there's any kind of like guerilla education, do all the arts.
It's that photography, like doing crazy hair things. You're making your own clothing. You're it's it's such a hotbed for creativity.
How'd you end up painting? I think when you're in, it's weird because I actually had a really extensive education and in obscure film because my mom's a film buff and the university had this theater where they played great European and obscure films all the time.
What was the what was the one movie that, like kind of blew your mind during the punk period where you realized, like, oh, there's weird movies out.
Oh my God, I got really this is it's funny. I got really into Ken Russell at one point. Oh, he's like a layer of the white worm and. Yeah.
And Solemnise last dance.
And so the weirder the better for did do altered states eventually didn't did candy like I know the where the way he might have gothic.
I remember and loved all those weird weird films. Yeah. But yet somehow when you're living in the Midwest nobody ever tells you you could be a filmmaker. It just, it was. And sometimes people will ask me now like when did you decide you wanted to be a director? I'm like, I still don't want to be a director. I couldn't care less about being a director. I just want to make films. Yeah, you're right.
I never I never saw the role of a director and wanted to be it. I just want to make cool what I just wanted to make the films I see in my head, you know. Right. And so that was it. I'm very emotion based. I also think like us talking about my father, that burning damage and pain I had no outlet for. Like, I couldn't figure out how to express it in a two dimensional image.
You mean the grief of him being the grief and the and the romance of tragedy? I was just absolutely engaged in like a dance with the romance of tragedy and longing.
Well, because you sort of that was your way.
You had to be to process it. Yeah, totally. And there was no outlet for that in so many of these arts. And so I remember that almost the moment that I decided I wanted to do this was when Peter Gabriel did the soundtrack to Birdie. And I was living in DC at the time. And I would go to New York every weekend because my my friends all were in New York.
What were you doing when your mom worked for the governor? My mom moved to D.C. and then and then but I, I was just my head was in New York, so I took a trip every weekend to. Yeah. And I remember him doing that score and listening to the soundtrack of Birdie. And it was so tragic and beautiful and all of these things. And I was like, that's what I want to do.
You know, I wasn't putting my finger on the fact that it was so close to the music, but I was like, Do you want to make you feel these things?
I want to express these things.
So that's when you realized it all worked together in film? Yeah.
And so I think I was even starting to write stories that went with the music, but just not until I took a film course and then all of a sudden taking a film course, they'd have to kick me out of the Steenbeck at midnight because I would just be putting music to picture and music to picture music picture. And I was like, it was the first time I had a completely authentic relationship to art where I couldn't get enough. And I just want to shoot.
And I wanted to look and I wanted to shoot and I wanted to look. And so it just took off from there.
That's the basics. Sight and sound. Yeah, right. Totally. Yeah.
And so, so from there. But like, what about how much painting did you actually do.
I painted while I was there because there actually was no real film degree, like there was only an experimental film to compose. Yeah. That was mainly, it was mainly for making like MoMA insole. In pieces, it wasn't for making narrative film so strange shorts with colors and dance, so my teachers would say we don't know how to teach you what it is you're trying to do. And I was making the worst narrative short films, no idea about crossing the line or how to do it.
I still don't quite understand that. Yeah, yeah.
I could explain it to you, but it would be boring for your podcast.
But that's something that you it becomes second nature once you start directing. Yeah, totally. Totally.
All right. So so you're Cooper. You finish it. Cooper Yeah. And you've got a degree in painting. No, I stay up for years.
I get a degree in fine arts. I'm like an independent study film student and I just make my own films the whole time. But I still keep taking silk screening and take a biography and painting and I take the other courses I'm supposed to take.
But you're obsessed with film, obsessed with film and how I'm going to get there. So then I. I become fixated on getting an internship at a production at a commercial production company. The artist in me was like, well then let me get my hands on the materials. It was never about like, let's write a film and get it financed. Like I didn't even know how to do that sort of thing. I was like, let me let me get my hand on the cameras, on the big cameras.
And so I. I ended up getting an internship at a commercial production company called Park Films. And then very quickly, I ended up getting onto the set of a commercial that was being shot where I knew the camera loader and he said, come work with us if you work for free. It was like this top notch group of of camera people. If you could work for free, they'll train you. But you have to train for like six months for film cartridges.
This was yeah. Yeah. This was like and this was like top line commercial. So they were doing Nike and American Express, whatever. So I worked with them and then boom, I was a camera person and then I was a camera person for nine years. Nine years. Yeah, for a long time because I got successful at it and the jobs were constant and addictive.
So were you in the union?
Yeah, totally in the union. And you're doing all that. And it was the height of rap videos. So I did more rap videos than I can ever describe. It's so funny. So many of them are like now, legendary things. At the time they weren't. So yeah.
But it's like so many of the Mary J and Biggie and Wu Tang and and all the I did most of the Puffy videos and it was just on the crew, on a camera, just on the crew constantly on this thing.
So that was your life. So you're living it. But like at that time, were you aware that you were just getting an education where you were also making your own shit live?
The fantasy was that I was about to make my own shit the whole time, but it was like it was I was the victim of that lifestyle, which is if you hook up with certain DP's and you hook up with certain crew and certain first day when I was a second like you, you got to do. So I ended up working all the time. And that's why it was like so I was I was aware of the education for the first few years.
Right. But then being a camera person is so all consuming. I wasn't learning anything about directing. So then I was actually just berating myself and so hard on myself for the last five years of it, like, what are you doing? I was making a ton of money, but I was like, you're not getting anywhere.
Do you still do that? Finally? No, finally, no. I've actually reached a point now where I'm like, wow, if I don't make another film like, that's not bad. That was great.
But is a part of your process to beat the shit out yourself?
Yeah, when I'm making a film, I'm extremely hard on myself. Yeah. And that it's and that you're missing something and I can't sleep. I wake up at 3:00 in the morning, you're dropping the ball. It's got to be the moment should be different. You're not quite there.
But by the way, it's, I believe in it because if you believe in self flagellation to the myth of that, if you can stop doing it, know that every time I've ever stopped doing it, you miss something, you know, and all the people I know who learn how to be at peace with themselves are like I've I by the way, I love directing now when I have a great time on set, every time you start to assume it's going to work out, you are going to miss something like it's you've got to be vigilant on yourself and on quality.
And you're saying that people who are at peace with themselves, that's when they start to wane and you watch it as people get older, you'll hear all of their descriptives, all the some of them being great filmmakers. And they said, you know, I used to torture myself and stay up all night, but now I just and I'm like, I can tell. Yeah.
Your movie. Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
And now I think I'm like, if you're not living it and desperately engaged with it, it shows it starts to show up.
So now a couple of questions.
After five years of beating yourself up for having a gig as a camera person, what what got you into learning how to direct? And then also, like, did you make relationships on those crews that you keep today? Do you still do you use anybody that you knew back then?
I have not been able to use anybody that. I knew back then I haven't, coz they're all on their own journey, that's a different direction.
But but meanwhile I do stay in touch with a number of people, particularly the camera crew guys that I that I worked with. I love them and I miss them so much. And there's so many crew people I desperately miss. There were some people like that I knew who came to Hollywood and I see them here and there. But no, I haven't ended up working with any of those guys. But then what? So what then what happened was when I hit the eight year mark, I remember you were in New York and you saw those people who kind of defined what they were and started to succeed.
And I was watching a bunch of my friends who were that would say I'm an actor, and particularly if they had parents to support them.
Now they're an actor who just all kinds of I mean, so many different. Anybody I know.
Yeah, I remember knowing David Blaine when he's like a teenager and like like all the all of the guys from Stella and.
Yes. Like all those Jeff Ross like.
So you were there when I was there. Yeah. No, we were at the what was the the what was it.
Yeah. Exactly that. All those things. So I just I feel like almost everybody you like. It's just like there were so many people around that I was seeing and we were all just like weirdo people trying to do their thing. And now they're everywhere right there, like every. Gavin O'Connor was a good friend. Now he's a big director doing stuff. It's crazy.
It's so funny. Some of them have asked and are now plateaued. I mean, some of them actually some of those people have had their time. Totally. Yeah, absolutely.
Yeah. So it's a total trapnell. Yeah, but but so I just hit that point where I was like, I can't get off the train because I keep meaning to pay my rent so I have to keep working and this isn't going to work.
So I was like, so you either need to at every point in my career I've been totally fine to let myself give up the dream. You know, I was like, just don't you don't have to be a director. Just moved to Long Island and get married and have kids and be a camera person or an operator or something. And I was like, no, I want. And and then I was almost outside of myself like, wow, man, you're really serious about this?
I guess so. I took out a bunch of loans applied to apply because I heard you could get an only as a director, which I was like, I'm not going to learn how to do sound after eight years of being a crew person. I don't need the rudimentary education of film. I just want to go as a director. And I got in and I just pedal to the metal, like if I don't make it in seven years.
That was here in L.A. It's brought me to L.A. is is getting into AFI, getting into AFI. I was like, OK, that's it. I remember being in my apartment on the on on seventy six street between Columbus and Central Park West. And all I want to do was be a director and move to the corner with a view of Central Park. And I was like, I can't get there from here.
So I got to go, got to go to L.A. and make it as a take a detour. Yeah. Yeah. So then that's what crossed me over to directing and that education.
Is that like what's the setting for that. I don't even know how AFI works.
AFI is a very small school and you get in is what you get in. And so it's there and very international, pretty artsy compared to some of the schools. Like it's much more kind of a lot of European film, two year program, two year program. And so you get in as a director. And back then it was you had to be invited back for the second year or so. You get in as a director, you make a bunch of things, and then you come back the second year and you make your bigger short film, which I made a female superhero short film.
And then you you've always been hung up on superheroes. Yeah, yeah.
I've always loved the metaphor. So it was literally two or three months after my father died, my mom dropped my sister and I am Superman. Yeah. And you think about how emotional Superman he gets. He loses his father and the beginning and then you get sent to Earth and then his father dies again. I sobbed like I was like just profoundly rocked by that movie. And then the release when he goes on to become a superhero and save the world and do these things, it just had this deep, impactful effect on, yeah, if you're in the middle of your own grieving and unable to wrap your brain around it and then you see it processed for you in this mythic story.
And that must have been very in your at eight years old.
Seven, seven. Yeah. That's must like reconfigured your whole brain totally.
So even though I always assumed I would be an artsy filmmaker and when I made Monster, I assumed I was going to be that kind of person. The truth was, I have always had an appreciation not for all temples, but for the certain archetypal massive movie that can affect an audience in that way, like has always been loomed large in my subconscious, but like.
Right. But not just an audience, a child's. Brain, yeah, right, yeah, totally, yeah, hugely, but you would never have foreseen I mean, I imagine you must have excavated. That memory in in relation to. When did you start really kind of integrating that into your story, was it around when you did Wonder Woman or before? Did you always know that?
I mean, in retrospect, I realize I always knew it, but it's one of those things you only realize in retrospect. I remember this moment outstanding outside of Cooper Union and at Cooper, I was making these like Woody Allen meets Girls Esq films starring myself and my friends, you know, because there's there's no one else you can film. So you're just running around with a camera. And then we're very indie. And I remember somebody saying to me, you, this is so great.
You could be like a girl doing like the Woody Allen type of film. And I remember I was standing at the cube outside of the Cooper building and I remember saying no.
I want to get my hands on the big game, and I was I was feeling Superman, I remember I was seen like sparkly lights in my head and I was like, I just want to I want to have a shot at the big emotions. It wasn't the big game. It wasn't the big success. I wanted to play in the well of the big emotions, you know.
And so what was funny, like, now that I look back, I'm like, oh, Wonder Woman, you know who I loved? Wonder Woman. But that was what I made. Then I made the female superhero short film. And then after I made Monster, when I went around to all the studios, the first thing I told Warner Brothers is, I want to make Wonder Woman like nobody's made Wonder Woman. So that was like twenty four.
I told them I wanted.
Let me ask you though.
Let me ask you so like so it seems to me that if I can put this together in my own head by, by listening to you, that that monster was your art film, that in a sense that this is how I'm going to explore the sort of non mythological this story is a story of a of a broken, damaged person in a lot of trouble that requires a certain type of attention. I have the chops to do this. This is what I learned to do.
And I need to get this out of my system.
Yeah. And it's the big emotions, too, even those huge emotions. So that that's the thing.
It fit the bill for me of not wanting to do something. You know, I'm sure you remember there was something bugging me deeply about the art world when I was at Cooper. It had become so meta ironic, conceptual. And I remember having grown up with the tragedy of my father, I was like, man, it's been a long time since we had a war. Guys, what are you doing? Right, Barbie shoes in the room. We're all going to laugh about it for twenty minutes.
Like nobody's even trying to do great. You're just all escaping under the guise of you don't get it. I'm know, but yeah, it was. And so it really bugged me and I remember really thinking I'm doing it. I don't you could give me me made fun of for trying to do emotional things because if you didn't hit the nail on the head, you were vulnerable. I remember having this moment where I was like, I'm going to keep doing this and I'm going to keep doing this until I figure out how to do it.
I don't care. You can tell me I'm cheesy. You can tell me I'm not cool and cool. I've I grew up around the punk scene and everybody I knew was cooler than the risk.
The vulnerability. Yeah, I'm going to do it. I want I want to try to figure out how to do this.
So Monster hit fit the bill completely. And also it spoke to tragedy. It was, I guess, what sometimes not everything works out. Not not everything happens for a reason. Some people's lives are terrible in that.
And that's the thing you did with her, is that when I really think, like, her vulnerability was like devastating because, like, the way she played it and however you guys conceived of that dynamic is that she was so ripped open in all her anger and all her violence, like the vulnerability was almost unbearable.
Yeah, totally. Totally.
Not only did you achieve it, you overshot in the sense of like not only did you create a vulnerability, a human vulnerability with big emotions, but you did it in in such a way that kind of defied anything that had been done before in terms of a female protagonist.
Thank you. Yeah. And I as dark as it was, I appreciate that it was it was also uniting. With who? With Charly's who had that to give as well, had that same assumption she'd had her own childhood tragedy. And so it was like kind of a moment for the two of us to come together to like express the nuance of how fucked up things can be, like how how how subtle that darkness can be and living with the darkness.
Yeah. Your whole life. But so how does like I guess my question is like from independent because like I know I've met a couple other people. Well there's only a few of you I've talked to Favro about, you know, the leap from indie to the big movies. I guess I talked to him about it. But I mean, what really happens after Monster? I mean, that's an Oscar winning movie, right?
Yeah, it's it's it's it's a it's the one I never know how to answer because it was so perplexing to me who's worked every day of my life. And all of a sudden I. I hit this weird thing and I was just telling the story the other day, and it's so funny, I lost so much money making Monster that when I came out of it. So I've got I've accrued all this debt now from being in film school that I'm to start paying off.
I get paid sixty thousand dollars. So you can pay it off now. Yeah.
Finally now it took a long time. Yeah. But I mean I made no money for four monster and so I ended up eighty thousand dollars in debt after monster and all of a sudden it was this thing where everybody was like, what's your next film. And I was like, I don't want to do a film like that. Like there wasn't anything ready to go that, that I want to go.
Because like your show, after all is said and done, you make this masterpiece, it gets all this critical acclaim, but you're broke and you're in the hole broke.
So why the story? Because I'm flying around different places for DM on your hotel room and I don't have any other money. So people are like, you wanna go out to dinner? And I'm like, bellman's. Like, can we carry your bags? I'm like, I got it. I got nothing to tip that way.
Can we go out to dinner? You have you come to the hotel if you come to the hotel.
Exactly. It was just absurd. So suddenly I had no way to support myself and I was like, wait, so now now I'm a known director. I can't ask anymore. This is this is terrible. I have no way to make money.
I actually wanted to go back to doing film. Right. Yeah. Just I need to make money while I think about what my next film is going to be, because, of course, maybe my answer was devastating emotionally. You know, it was so dark and so heavy. And then I finished the movie and it hit theaters like three weeks later. And so I was like reeling. When that success hit, I was just like, whoa, give me a second, guys, you know?
So but but what then ended up happening was like I didn't I didn't want to work in the studio system. I wanted to write on spec. So I need a way because I don't believe in getting notes from people. And at that stage, you know, I'm like, let me figure out what I'm doing. And then you give me notes. But I don't want to start talking about notes before I even start writing. So then I start doing TV pilots and then I have a movie that I was going to do that I super loved.
And then it kept being a struggle. And I was going to make a movie about Chuck Yeager for two years.
But Monsur got you the gig. Like, you know, you were a you had you had chops as a director and you could TVE want to hire you. You could get get Chuck Yeager. How'd that happen?
Because of my father being a fighter pilot. And I put the word out. I wanted to do the Chuck Yeager story some day. I didn't want to do it right after Buster. I was like, I didn't feel ready yet. But then Chuck responded and it had fallen out somewhere else. And so then I was with Chuck and doing research and traveling around and meeting him and watching him fly and things. But he there was just the rights. His life rights got super complicated and it just got to a place where it was just it was there was no way.
And I just got fatigued on it.
Did you like you like hanging around with Chuck? Yeah, man.
I mean, I have coming from a family of fighter pilots, it was like. Unbelievable and like hearing his stories and watching him fly, I got to go out to Edwards Air Force Base with him and watch him. I mean, it was incredible. Oh, wow.
So he was getting up in the planes. He must have been in his 60s or something when you knew he was in his 70s or 80s.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it was wonderful. But anyway, you know, some of it was naiveté of like working on something for too long when you don't have the life rights. Some of it was, but there was some gender stuff for sure. Like I felt like there definitely was. I feel super lucky that that everybody in the industry wanted to hire me, but I felt like they wanted to hire me like a beard. They wanted me to walk around on set being a woman director.
But it was their story and their their vision so they could go, look, we got one.
There she is. Look at her. Exactly.
And my ideas, they were like, oh, I don't know. I don't even want to read. They wouldn't even read the script. Right. It was such mistrust of a different way of doing things in a different point of view. So that was definitely happening in there. And so even all the way up to Wonder Woman, when I first joined Wonder Woman, it was kind of like, yeah, OK, but let's do it this other way.
And I was like, that's not how women don't want to see that. And that's not her being harsh and tough and cutting people's heads off. Like that's that's not what. Wonder what I'm a Wonder Woman fan.
I don't that's not what what you already made one monster movie about a woman. Yeah.
So so still I could feel that little shaky nervousness of my point of view, but sort of like like that script had been in that property had been around forever. Right. Yeah. And how did you like how did you come to it.
So I told Warner Brothers I wanted to do it in 2004. I met with them about it every two years between then and then.
And when I finally did want to do it because they didn't see it viable, they were nervous that it's not viable.
They're all freaked out by the female superhero films that had failed, the smaller things that had failed. And also Chris Nolan was making The Dark Knight thing. So I think they were just trying to figure out what they were doing with DC at that time. Then they did come to me in twenty eight and said, here we're we're interested. If you would want to write and direct The Wonder Woman. I was pregnant, I was like, you know, not now, now or 2007.
I can't hold my God, you know. And so then I missed that and it just took, it was just the stars aligning. And then finally the moment came and there was a moment they wanted to do a story that I wasn't the right person for. And so I said, no, it can't be me. And they hired somebody else for a little bit. And then they came.
I told them what film I wanted to make in terms in terms of Wonder Woman.
I said, this is not the story I think you should tell with Wonder Woman. Yeah. And I didn't want to be the one to to get in a fight for years about it. And so they said, no, we want to do it our way. So they tried to go do it their way. And then they came back to me a year later and said, actually, do you want to do it your way and boom? I just went and made the movie.
So they were they had somebody else write a script. So it didn't get about thirty, thirty scripts that were like during that period of time. There were so many scripts because, you know, you see the writing on I could see the writing on the wall. There was an internal war on every level about what Wonder Woman should be and how were you like how did you just land in the superhero world?
I mean I mean, because weren't you offered some other superhero movie as well?
Yeah, I was attached to Thor for Thor too, in the interim there. So I was just something I wanted in. I wanted to do a big superhero film and I started saying that right away after Monster people were confused by. I didn't want to do I got every woman film a woman, this is a story about women who blah, blah, blah, I'm like, I want to make movies about women, but I don't want to make movies about being a woman.
It's so boring, you know, like I want to make movies about women doing all kinds of things.
Right. So so people were kind of confused, but word got out that I wanted to do a superhero film and took Marvel's credit, like on a movie that did not require a woman at all. They hired me.
And so I've always been super grateful to them, even though it didn't work out and it didn't work out because why they wanted to do a story that I thought was not going to succeed.
And I knew that it couldn't be me, it couldn't be me that had that happen. I was like, if they if they hired any guy to do it, it was going to be no big deal. But I knew in my heart I could not make a good movie out of the story they wanted to do.
It wasn't the one that. What's that Whitey directed, was it? No, that was a good movie. Oh, my God. Tica is I'm actually so grateful that that that Thor found Taika because Tica is like the most genius fit for a saw of all time.
I even watched it live and loved it. When was that amazing?
I got to watch. Ragnarok is like one of the best Marvel movies of all time. It's so good. That movie is pure joy and so well executed. Oh, great.
I got to watch it because I know Lynn, I'm not a superhero movie guy. Neither was she. But she is not going to matter.
Yeah, you'll you'll love Thor Ragnarok. It's it's irrelevant. That's what I'm saying to is a great filmmaker and he just made a great film.
I just watched the first You're Wonder Woman. The first one the other night. I just finally got around to it. Yeah.
I have a feeling that might be true. And I thought about you. I was like, I will get you anything. Mark has never seen one woman and he's going to have to watch it. And there are so many people like you out there.
I watched both of them. Did you? That's so crazy. Yeah, I watched the new one.
But but like, I know that, like, it was great. And I was on I was like, absorbing the reaction to Wonder Woman, but it's not hard enough.
And it wasn't about Wonder Woman. It's like it takes a lot to get me to watch, you know, one of those movies.
Yeah, but I was I was home alone a few nights ago, and I just actually I watched it with my friend Kit, who had never seen it.
And and I liked it.
I look, I'll squirt out a few tears. I'm up for the ride.
But the thing is.
No, I like you know, I thought I was very satisfied with the ending of that one, you know, because I mean, that's really like, you know, if you're going to get these pyrotechnics, I mean, you want to you want to feel the release at the end and the effects works for me. I was happy about it. The light show was good.
Good. I'm glad that was the only thing that the studio forced my hand on was that it was not supposed to be it was supposed to be like that. He never turns into areas. The whole point of the movie was that you get there to the big monster and he's just standing there looking just a guy. I didn't do anything right. Yeah. And then the studio kept saying, OK, we'll let you do that and then we'll see. And then I could feel it creeping up.
And then at the last minute they were like, you know what, we want areas to show up. And I was like, I didn't have time to do that now. No, you've got to do it. And so it pisses me off now because sometimes I'll read the reviews and I'm like, the only thing that we unanimously some shit about was that was that in pyrotechnics and like this, he always does this. And the truth was it was them.
The studio did make me do that and it wasn't right. But that's OK. You get shit for that. So sometimes people just say like they really loved the movie except for the effects in the end.
And I'm like, I know, like when he makes that, when he when he makes the armor out of all the scraps and he becomes the guy I ended up loving, I ended up being really at peace with what we did, but it was done too quickly.
It's so funny. That's the part where I'm like, oh, that was cool. See, maybe I'm exactly I don't know.
But by the way, I, I once you get the note you embrace it. Yeah. It's happening anyway. And I ended up super proud of it, you know, it just didn't have enough time to to look as good as the effects needed to look. Oh I see. I loved all the ideas of everything I did. It was just a little rushed. Yeah.
So your ending would have been that he stays David Thewlis or whatever his name is.
Yeah, yeah. They would have a big fight because he's a God. He can do anything doesn't she.
She can't she can't hurt him. He doesn't need her.
He didn't need the armor. Right. Right. But they if they wanted the. Well they were throwing something in for the boys I guess.
Yeah. Yeah exactly. I mean and it's the boys who had the hardest time with it still. Yeah. And not that much. I'm just saying like I got picky about what I said, we got really good reviews but well tiny little comments I would say. Right.
That you obsessed over for exactly that. But but like the thing I, I don't really know that I. Fully understand, because I'm just a guy and I'm not a guy who was a comic book guy anyways, but I don't think I really could wrap my brain around in an empathetic way with just the fact that little girls had nothing.
They had nothing. And it's like totally.
And it's one of those things. I talked to Geena Davis about this as well. We're like not being having ever been a little girl, even thinking about it, that this was this tremendous cultural missing piece to a to the idea of institutionalized sexism that they got. They have zero role models that are strong.
And weirdly, the woman stuff, the funny battle that I found myself at the forefront of was would what the sexism of the world would allow a female powerful person to be like, which is essentially very masculine. They have to be very masculine. And so I got caught up in this interesting forefront of trying to make a very feminine person powerful, and it just made everybody so uncomfortable.
But, of course, that's what the women were waiting for. We're waiting for a woman that we relate with. Right.
Because she's feminine, right? She's feminine. She's beautiful. She's funny. She's got vulnerabilities. And she's a badass. Right. And so that was the most interesting. Like that was the most interesting thing about that, that period of time. So that was like but that was it.
Like this was something you had to work out like that. You had to assess that these women that that do get mythological status act like men. So you had to figure out how to load up Wonder Woman with enough depth to be all these other things.
It was easy. It was easy. I've been it comes second nature to me. I didn't have to figure anything out. I just been watching other things saying I have no relationship with that. So I was watching this female badass movies over and over again. I was like, you just put a woman's body on top of a plotline of a man right now. And it's like always about rape and revenge, because that's what I like men. That's the only thing they can get to.
Sometimes to fuel action for women is that they would be. Right. Right.
And she's going to kill some dudes. Yeah. Why else would a woman kill people? She was raped, you know, like, it's just these these these things. So for me, it was very easy. I've known so many super badass women who were super feminine. And so and I love Wonder Woman, by the way. And Wonder Woman was inherently that like Lynda Carter, Wonder Woman for sure.
Beautiful she was was like intrinsic to it. For her to become harder is not one, but.
Yeah, but also like on that show, like as a template. I mean, she was not menacing. No. You know, she was don't worry about it.
Right. She's going to save the day superhero. Right. Yeah that was it. Yeah. So I was, I was that was an interesting thing and I was very lucky. Zack Snyder was a great producer and had my back and supported me and I was able to steer the ship over to where it needed to be.
Well, yeah, it was the whole experience of like this idea of the one thing, because I don't watch a lot of superhero movies and I haven't read a lot of comic books is you have to sort of accept like, you know, hey, how come that's like that? I don't worry about it. It just is OK. You know, like there are things that you just have to do. This is not real. It's not real life.
So that's the way that is.
OK, yeah, fine. No, that's a it's a funny line to walk all the time because you are like Wonder Woman would never. I remember my husband commenting when there was this big war about whether Batman would kill people or not and like it was just raging back and forth.
And finally my husband leaned to me and he's like, Does everybody know Batman is not real, is a fictional character, but he does every different thing and different comic books, right? Yeah, it's a funny thing.
Well, I mean, how well? Well, that's sort of a couple of questions, I guess, with the first one. What was the expectation? Are there like in doing that movie and working with the studio, are there either your own or studio or a mixture of of box?
You have boxes you got to check as someone making. Oh yeah.
Yeah, for sure. But but nobody knows that more than I do and nobody cares about more than I would. In fact you it's it's got to have a hero that you can fall in love with and identify with. It's got to have great action. It really should have certain ones. It should have a sense of humor. Yeah. You know, and it needs to be super entertaining. OK, like those are those are the things you have to you have to satisfy.
And it should be true to the hero that you're doing because you have a huge fan base, you know, so those sorts of things. That was honestly what I was the most obsessed with coming in is I was like, OK. I felt like I was a perfectly good choice to make Wonder Woman because I loved Wonder Woman.
I was like, I know I love Wonder Woman and I know I love these films. So I might as well be somebody who feels that way. But then the responsibility of like I. You have to satisfy every Wonder Woman fan throughout history and Lynda Carter and the studio and myself, like Lynda Carter, like, yes, she is.
I called her right away and I was like, Linda, I just want to tell you, I'm not, like, reinventing, rebooting Wonder Woman. I just literally want to take a torch of something so beautiful that you start it and just pass it forward. Watch what she say.
She she was super relieved and happy and we became fast friends and we talk all the time and has stayed a dear friend.
Now when after you make you I know I don't want to run out of time and have to rush an ending, but before I it's good that we're here and we don't and we haven't talked much about the new one because I don't want to spoil anything because I know that that Warner Brothers will have me killed if I even share any.
But like after the Wonder Woman comes out and the reaction, what did you find the most moving about it? Was it the little girls?
I mean, like, you know what it was? It was it was the people who sort of all kinds who who started going and seeing it over and over again and dressing up as a character. But it was all kinds of people because it was also like the way women were reacting to it blew my mind because even I was making the movie. I'm not thinking about being a woman and I'm not thinking about her being a woman that much.
I know I know it. And I sort of remember thinking, like, of course, I'm going to make I'm going to be the first woman to whatever. But I wasn't thinking about the audience being so hungry for that every day was I'm making it. I'm just not thinking about it. So that part was like, whoa, the thirst for it. And then the people like men in wheelchairs and and, you know, trans cosplay. People like finding themselves in Wonder Woman, it being a different kind of hero that made them feel that they could relate when they hadn't been able to feel that before.
And the no man's land, the guy in the wheelchair told me the story about no man's land, reminding him of like every time he has to go to the hospital and they have to take all his clothing off and pull them up and stand him on his feet was so when he's like, that's my no man's land.
I'm naked and alone and everybody's, you know, and it's like we'll just, you know, it goes back to Superman. It's like that I get to do that for other people.
What Superman did for me and the mythology works like that. It's like the mythic story has personal applications that I mean, that's sort of fascinating.
That's what I've always believed in. And even I am proud of the movie that I made. But I also felt like it's not just me, that kind of story. People were so thirsty for the story of that kind of true north, very simple hero story. We don't tell it very often, right?
I guess that's true. Yeah. They're always a little dark. There's always a little dirt. They're so complicated. Yeah.
And the same thing that I was facing at art school, it just infected the film industry, too. It's always a joke on a joke and a hat on a hat.
And it's like it's not just like I mean, I think in that Homeric, the Homeric hero, has a Achilles heel, but not necessarily some dark wound. But yeah, but like with the new one, I mean, how is what's how is it affecting you that that a great many people will not be able to see it on a big screen?
I have the weirdest mix of feelings because I never would have thought I could be OK with this. Never. I'm a pure theatrical experience person.
I mean, we're in difficult times here as the year went on and suddenly when this idea came up of doing it this way at Christmas, it felt so right. I was like, now is the moment. I myself am craving seeing the film. Like I'm craving what that's what the film has is. And I've seen it so many times I can't stand there is watching again.
It's a little gnarly, but I'm thirsty for for positivity and, and, and bigness and escape and all of those things. So to my shock, I'm like devastated that they're going to people who can't see it at all because they can't figure out how to stream it and they can't get to a theater. But I feel incredible about getting to share something that we love and worked on with people in on the heels of and in the midst of such a super dark time.
Yeah, and also there is a certain amount of relevance. I mean, this one more than the other one, which is a period piece. This is a period piece, but it does speak to some of what we're going through or what possibly could hugely. Yeah. Yeah.
And that was what was meant to do. That was what it was. That was why I picked the eighties. I was like, I don't want to talk about now in literal terms, but that was the height of what got us to where we are now.
You did the 80s look great. The 80s. I just did a show in the 80s. It was it's kind of like it's nice to see it. You paid a lot of attention. You just even to this day, I don't know where the hell you found all those outfits. You must have to make some of them.
Oh, my God. Very few did. We have to make it was. Me tell you, it was not easy that Waldo was so incredible to stand in the mall.
Was going back in time, it was in Virginia, so it just one of those intact malls from the period that you had, but it was empty and shut down.
And so we just rebuilt every store in that. No kidding. Period. And it was very expensive and laborious. But boy, was it a trip once it happened. And you're standing there.
You look great. Thank you. And I'd never seen that guy, Pedro Passell. I don't know that guy. So he's, like, totally new to me. What it what a great character he put together there. Thank you.
Yeah. I'm so happy to hear you say that because I love his performance.
It's like and it's funny. I mean, he's super serious and everything else you've ever seen. And like, I think this is so dull. That's a pocket. Not a lot of people, but also.
Yeah. But also so, so broken. But so like, you know, like it all is coming from this insane trauma and injury or whatever, and you can feel it right away.
But it's like a you know, he takes it to the to the hilt, you know.
Yeah. Well I like I did. I don't I guess I can't really tip anything, but I was wondering about the plane and I'm glad we got closure on that. Yeah. Yeah. Good.
No, it's very, it's very it was funny. I realized the plot line to the second film while I was making the first one and.
And it's going to be interesting to finally see people satisfied by the fact that, no, there's a rhyme or reason behind things to just write. Just bear with me. You wrote right? And you wrote this one. So this is all you. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
With two partners. Yeah. With Geoff Johns and Dave Callahan. And did you did you have to honor the comic books? Did you honor the comic books.
I don't know the comic books you do when you don't you this is you, you are writing your own comic book when you do these movies and so you're doing your own thing. But then of course, you're you're honoring the history of Barbara Minerva and the history of Max Lord and all getting very into the details of this thing. Right.
So you know the character. Yeah, well, it was it was great talking to you. So great to talk to you, too. Nice meeting you finally. Yeah, you too. And you too. So far. And this is a great conversation.
It was. And I hope the movie kills. Thank you.
Take it easy. I appreciate that you do. Thanks, Mark.
That was a very cheap I enjoy talking to her. She's focused the movie is Wonder Woman nineteen eighty four streaming now on HBO Max and playing in theaters. Her movie, A Masterpiece and as the lovely to talk to her. And don't forget, if you're feeling depressed, overwhelmed or anxious, Better Help offers licensed online counselors who are trained to listen and help talk with your counselor in a private online environment at your convenience. Just fill out a questionnaire to assess your specific needs, then get matched with a counselor in under 48 hours.
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