Michael, congratulations on the new film. Are you happy with it?
Im very happy with it, thank you. But then again Im happy with most things I do. I was particularly happy with the way that I parked my car this morning. It was at exact right angles to the kerb. Damn fine park job even if I do say so myself. Lifes too short to be self-critical.
But you surely cant be happy with every aspect of your life. In 1982 you were found wandering down Sunset Boulevard in your underwear, brandishing a machete and threatening to cut off Francis Ford Coppolas penis.
Whats your point?
My point being that you cannot possibly be proud of that, can you?
All I can say is that it was a difficult stage of my life. I had a few issues. Ive since resolved them. Id rather not say any more about it.
OK well move on. How...
Its dealt with pretty thoroughly in Chapter 12 of my autobiography, Bayne of My Life.
Chapter 14 deals a lot with it too.
The books called Bayne of My Life. Did I mention that already?
How do you react to the critical reaction that How America Won The War has received? The press have been quite negative havent they?
I dont think thats true.
Well Time magazine said, "Can I please have the last three hours of my life back? Because Id rather not have wasted them on that film." Movieline said, "At last, a film that makes Waterworld look like the product of a sane and rational mind" The Guardian "A film so stultifyingly bad youll want to divorce your eyeballs for subjecting you to such extreme cruelty" The New York Times review simply read, "Expletive deleted" Id say that was a fairly negative reaction wouldnt you?
Oh well, if youre going to fight dirty and throw actual quotes at me
But you do concede that the press reaction has been bad?
No. Read them again. The words are bad but the vibe is good. Theres a lot of positive energy in those reviews.
Thats right. See? Youre catching on quick.
One thing that all the reviews have pointed out is that the film does seem to glorify war somewhat. How do you defend that?
I dont think you could show me a single bit of evidence to back that up.
What about the scene where Ben Affleck picks up an American flag and screams, "I love war" at the top of his voice?
I think youll find that he actually screams, "I love Waugh" referring to his love of English literature.
That isnt true is it? You just made that up.
Yes. Yes I did. Sorry.
So do you think the film glorifies war?
I think it was John F Kennedy who said, "War. Ha! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again." I agree fully with that sentiment. Also, John Rambo said, "War is hell". Id go along with that.
I understand that there is to be a different version of the film for the Japanese and German markets. What changes are you making to the film that theyll see?
Well we just thought that a few scenes needed toning down slightly. It was possible that certain people in those countries may have been offended by some of the content.
Like the scene where one character shouts, "Die you filthy, scum-sucking Japanese son-of-a-bitch bastard!" for example?
That line no longer appears in the Japanese version of the film, no.
But what about Japanese people who live outside of Japan? Theyll see the original version wont they?
Er, yes. They will. Damn. Can somebody get Jerry Bruckheimer on the phone?
Some people have complained that the film is very similar to Titanic.
Well they both feature water in some capacity but apart from that I cant really see any similarity.
But they both use a real life tragedy as a backdrop to a poorly conceived and unrealistic fictional romance, dont they?
In what way is the romance "poorly conceived and unrealistic" might I ask?
Well the way that the main characters appear to fall in love for no apparent reason whatsoever. Plus they have no sexual chemistry between them.
Yes, but apart from that?
It has been suggested that you were more concerned with the battle sequence then with developing the main characters. How do you respond to that?
What main characters?
The nurse and the two pilots?
Oh them. The way I look at it the attack sequence is the foundation of the film. Its the rock the centre. But its held together by the relationship between the people in the story. Theyre the bond the glue. A love glue, if you like. The two cant exist without each other. Take away the foundation and you have nothing. Take away the glue and the foundation just falls over into a heap of rubble.
There has also been a fairly hostile reaction to the US premiere of the film hasnt there?
I hadnt heard that. What was the complaint?
Mainly how excessive it was.
I dont recall it being that excessive.
Well you transformed an aircraft carrier into a cinema. There was a flypast by US military fighters. Half a million dollars worth of fireworks were used after the screening and they set off an atom bomb to illuminate the sequins on Goldie Hawns dress as she stepped out of her limousine. You still dont call that excessive?
Youre just upset because you didnt get invited arent you?
Would you like a tissue?
There you go. Youll have to talk to Disney about the premiere. They made all the arrangements. They make very good sandwiches too. Id recommend them.
So whats next for you then?
Next Im doing something completely different. Its a feminist version of Falling Down. Basically its set in contemporary Los Angeles and its about a woman with raging PMT who finally snaps and goes on a revenge-fuelled killing spree.
I suppose you could call it a modern-day "period" drama then?
Sorry youve lost me again.
Never mind. Michael Bayne, thank you.