A: I did not get a college degree and I don’t think I would be a filmmaker. My father had a degree in engineering, so that was a big part in my career in television and film. My mom was a writer who also did television. And so having the combination of my father’s education and mother’s writing, that gave me both a writing education and a directing education. I think it really became apparent to me, as I got older, that I really needed to learn to be a filmmaker. I want to be a filmmaker, but I don’t want to be a filmmaker with all the limitations of a script and the limitations of the actors playing those roles.
Q: What’s your advice to the filmmakers who don’t have an education?
A: What I would suggest is to get out there and learn about the arts. I don’t necessarily mean that you’re going to learn and teach yourself how to do it, but I would strongly suggest that you take the time to learn, to get your hands dirty and get out there and just do it. Just do it for yourself and learn from people who’ve done it before you.
Q: Who was your teacher on filmmaking?
A: My friend Ben [Farrell] at HBO. Ben is a very hard worker. He was my manager in a day at HBO in the early ’90s. And he’s a big Hollywood name. Ben is a great guy who’s really supportive. He always supported me doing a lot of what I wanted to do.
Q: You met with Harvey Weinstein during your run on the show House of Cards. What were your interactions like, and what was it like to be on television in Hollywood?
A: When I got on set, one of the first things that occurred to me was that the world was such an extraordinary place, and the things that happen on television are happening all around the world and in the real world 24 hours a day. So I was extremely humbled. I found them to be very, very professional and very, very generous. I would have loved to become a part of it but that didn’t happen. I hope I brought some humor to what happened.
A full interview with Laura Dern and Kevin Spacey will air this Sunday on ABC’s 20/20.
– When to be a little shy:
1. If she wants to see you
2. Can be fun; can
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