Mendes in London at the opening night of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical in 2013.
|Born||Samuel Alexander Mendes
1 August 1965
Reading, Berkshire, England
|Education||Magdalen College School|
|Alma mater||Peterhouse, Cambridge
|Occupation||Film and stage director|
|Spouse(s)||Kate Winslet (m. 2003â€“11)|
I think with Blair Witch and The Sixth Sense, people are much more open to something that is different.
Actors get pigeonholed very quickly, particularly movie actors. In the theater, one is more used to casting people against type and trusting that their talent and skill will get them through.
I deliberately, in a way, went for something that was a huge challenge and was a big period film. I was excited about the canvas on which I could tell the story as much as the story itself.
You're in the lap of the gods. If people go, they go, and if they don't.
You've got to work. You've got to want an audience to sit forward in their chairs sometimes, rather than sit back and be bombarded with images.
Shooting action is very, very meticulous, it's increments, tiny little pieces.
Listen, you make a big movie, you're going into the Coliseum, and people are going to give you the thumbs up or the thumbs down. And that's part of the game. It's part of the fun as well.
This is the first time in 10 years I don't know what I'm doing next, and I'm rather enjoying it. Soon I'll be climbing the walls no doubt, but right now, it's not clear, I'm just enjoying the freedom.
I feel like the American years were my apprenticeship for doing a Bond movie.
Now I'm back home, living in London, running my theater. I just want to enjoy all that.
One of the reasons I loved working with Tom is people feel they know who he is… I think working with an actor who the audience already has a relationship with actually helps you in a film like this.
It's a risk casting anyone against type or what they're known to do. But there's one thing better than having a great actor, which is having a great actor who's never done what you're asking him to do. He's hungry to get out of the trailer every day and hungry to test himself.
You just never know when movies are going to take off or not. The lucky thing about this was that it didn't cost a lot of money, and therefore there wasn't loads of pressure on me.
There's good and bad in everybody. I wasn't looking for the good, or looking for the bad. This is a man who signed his pact with the devil 20 years ago, and he's learned to live with it. He's tried to protect his family from it.
When I drive through a field, I want to see green grass sometimes, and I don't want to see black and white.
I don't think of it as a competition – which might surprise you, given the way movies are reported constantly.
Thank God I don't live in Los Angeles. I think if you're there the whole time it just gets out of proportion and you lose touch completely with reality.
It took me a long time to film the plastic bag, and then I had to get the cut of the scene right. But if you find it as beautiful as the character does, then suddenly it becomes a different movie, and so did he as a character.
Kevin and Annette… I wanted them to do it together. They clearly wanted to work with each other.
All I know is that I operate by going out to each of them and trying to learn the territory in which they operate. My language to each of them has to suit their brain.
You freeze with the number of opportunities given to you and just decide to do nothing at all.
The movies that influenced me were movies that told their stories through pictures more than words.
You've got to believe as a filmmaker that if a movie's good enough, it's going to survive; and if it's not, well, it won't.
I still can't quite believe it. Although there was something about the fact that it was a first-time writer, a first-time producer, and a first-time director all at the same time.
The characters are trapped within the lifestyle. It's about what goes on before the movie starts.
I wanted to keep exploring… I'm not about to choose a series of movies in which I can use the same bag of tricks and style that I used in the first film.
I think movies are a director's medium in the end. Theater is the actor's medium. Theater is fast, and enjoyable, and truly rewarding. I believe in great live performance.
The perceived wisdom is that people do not go in large numbers to black-and-white movies anymore – which is a great shame, but I'd love to make a black-and-white movie one day.
I want to try and work in different genres with different types of actors, on small movies and big movies.
There's one thing better than having a great actor, and that's having a great actor who's never done this kind of role before and is hungry to do it. They're testing themselves every day. They want to get out of their trailer and get to work.
Truly great actors carry their characters in silence with them. They communicate without words the relationships that predate the movie.