I have nothing but praise for J. K. Rowling. Her contribution – apart from the books themselves, obviously – is showing writers how to interact with the 21st Century.
I got to know Australians well working on the 'Mad Max' franchise with director George Miller.
Movie studios could learn a thing or two from British publishers. There is an intelligence, and a respect for writers; things that you hope for and never get in Hollywood.
I've read and traveled a lot in the Middle East, and I built on eyewitness accounts of horrific executions that would shape a boy's character and beliefs if he watched his father die that way. These are the stuff of which nightmares are made.
When I was a kid, I went through the whole process of reading great literature and trying to be very widely read.
When I was 10, my father had to go to the local library to sign a release form stating that I was allowed to borrow books from the adult section.
I've always had a great affection for espionage stories. I like weaving them, and I like thrillers.
The problem with movies is you are over-rewarded for the work you do. It's hard to give up, and I got used to a certain lifestyle.
On a deeper level, I think many stories – especially thrillers – can be a journey to the heart of darkness.
I went to Australia from England when I was right at that age when you learn to read. It's a very confronting thing, traveling halfway around the world and having a mother who was deeply unhappy at ending up in Australia, so you look for some way to find comfort, I guess, and I found it in books.
I think I can speak with a degree of authority… today, the biggest driving force of movies is pace; God help you if you try to put in a scene that is about character and not plot.