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  1. You can’t make a movie about making movies — it’s boring.
  2. A thoughtful piece of criticism by somebody who understands the context of what you are doing is a tremendous gift and honor to read, even if they don’t completely embrace your work.
  3. I know that when I watch TV, I want to be transformed and transported, not just by the characters that I grow to love over the hours and seasons of watching but also the world that it plants me into.
  4. I was the worst extra, I was ‘that’ guy. I was the guy on the phone trying to get the Oscar for best extra — for best background performance.
  5. I’ve cut myself out… I’ve cut scenes out that I was in and that’s when you realize that you’ve got to make the best movie you can.
  6. I think the bigger the movie is, the harder it is to maintain the idea of an auteur. You’re servicing something beyond just your own vision. Whenever there’s a lot of money on the line, it is your responsibility to make sure that you’re doing your best to have people not lose their money and to actually win by betting on it.
  7. There is no free lunch, so if you’re playing with the big train set — on big movies — it’s a lot of money they’re entrusting you with, and you have to get that money back for them. I don’t take that responsibility lightly.
  8. I like reading reviews. If they’re clearly hating on you, I try not to read that deeply. But if they really are trying to understand, it’s interesting.
  9. What’s fun about chefs is that they’re big guys, often, and they might not look like the most athletic people, but they’re very powerful people, and they have tremendous stamina… It takes a toll on their body, too.
  10. I’ve been in the service industry. I’ve bar-tended. I’ve waited tables, and I’ve worked at pizza places; I’ve made pizza. I’ve had a lot of jobs, and many of them were in the food service industry.
  11. Everybody loves a hit. There is nothing as fun as making a cultural splash with a movie.
  12. I did a guest thing on ‘My Name Is Earl,’ and there is something about being involved in a TV show that’s in the midst of its popularity that frees up the creative process.
  13. I think that part of the reason that ‘Iron Man’ was so successful was that we really chose to break new ground in a new area tonally, cast wise, the way we depict the hero, what his abilities are. It felt fresh in a genre that is beginning to feel stale if it’s not done with the proper amount of inspiration and a strong voice or tone.
  14. ‘King Kong,’ especially the first two acts of it, is a really good example of the use of miniatures mixed with digital characters and how convincing it was.
  15. I want to make sure everyone’s having a good time because when I ask you to come to my movie, I’m throwing a party for you. I want you to enjoy it.
  16. Especially in the food business, critics take very seriously how much power they have. They can shut a restaurant down.
  17. I remember the first script I wrote after ‘Swingers’ was a Western, and I just couldn’t get it made.
  18. Unfortunately, we are not painters and authors, where we can do something in isolation. We require a lot of money to create what we create. It’s almost like being an architect: You can’t be an architect and build whatever buildings you want to.
  19. Movies like ‘Chef’ are not really box-office monsters in the summertime and don’t really fit into Hollywood’s business model any longer. Even if ‘Chef’ is successful, it will be successful in the context of what it is. There’s a limited upside to a film that’s so small, but there’s also limited exposure for the people who backed me.
  20. There’s a nostalgic aspect to the ‘Iron Man’ franchise for me.

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