James Cameron has been everywhere lately, promoting Avatar: The Way of Water—now his latest billion-dollar blockbuster. But if you aren’t completely tired of hearing him deliver headline-grabbing soundbites, head over to Empire to read a new interview, which uses the fun gimmick of getting other famous people to ask him questions.
There’s some amusing stuff—Cameron telling Edgar Wright not to sweat the Titanic parody he once made (“May we all be blessed with making films that get spoofs”); Harrison Ford and Pierce Brosnan asking why he’s never cast them in anything (Cameron is a fan of both actors, but “my great regret as a filmmaker is that I take so long to make my films that I only ever get to work with a tiny fraction of the artists that I respect”); and Cameron giving his take on the “Papyrus font” Saturday Night Live sketch in response to a question asked by the font’s actual creator. There are many questions about Terminator and The Abyss, and Cameron confirming for Carrie Henn (the former child actor who played Newt in Aliens) that The Wizard of Oz is his favorite movie.
Of particular interest, however, is the question from RRR’s S.S. Rajamouli—who knows a thing or two about directing three-hour action epics. He asked Cameron if he regrets spending so much time in the world of Avatar, in the sense that it has prevented him from telling other stories and exploring other ideas.
“Two thoughts in answer to your question: the first is that the world of Avatar is so sprawling that I can tell most of the stories I want to tell within it and try many of the stylistic techniques that I hope to explore,” Cameron responded. “And secondly, yes… our time as artists is finite. I will always mourn some of the stories that I don’t get to make. But I feel a great satisfaction when other directors want to explore some of my ideas, like Kathryn Bigelow did with Strange Days, and Robert Rodriguez did when I passed him the baton on Alita: Battle Angel. I look forward to more collaborations in the future with directors I admire.”
Read the whole interview piece at Empire, featuring an array of questions from people you’d expect (Robert Rodriguez, Zoe Saldaña) and more random admirers, including the showrunners of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and Stranger Things. Avatar: The Way of Water is in theaters now.
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