AC: James, youve been called the toughest director in Hollywood. Is that reputation justified?
JM: People get the wrong idea about me. They think Im being difficult. But to me making a movie is kinda like fighting a war. Everybody has a job to do and they have to do it to the best that they can. If they dont, you get killed. Its the same on set. If I ask for something to be done then I expect it to be done. War is hell. Making a movie is twice that bad.
AC: So are the stories true that you once had a runner fired because "they had an odd face"?
JM: He didnt just have an odd face he looked like the bastard offspring of Herman Munster and Karl Malden. How the hell was I supposed to concentrate with freak boy running around the place?
AC: So was he fired?
JM: In a manner of speaking. I had him taken outside and shot.
AC: Wasnt that rather extreme?
JM: You have to be cruel to be kind. With a face like that he had nothing left to live for. We did him a favour actually.
AC: You seem to enjoy making films that are extremely complicated technically. Im thinking in particular about The Abuse, which was almost entirely filmed underwater. Why is that?
JM: I like to challenge myself. I want to explore just how far I can push the limits of whats possible. If people keep telling me that something is impossible then Ill just go right out and prove them wrong. Wheres the fun in making something easy? Nobody had ever made a film like that before. People told me I was crazy for even trying it. Especially my analyst. She never shut up about it. But you know what? We did it. Okay, it may have cost 200 million dollars to shoot on the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean but it was worth every cent. George Lucas wouldnt have had the balls to shoot down there. Hed have tried to blue screen everything. He can blue screen my ass. Did Orson Welles ever shoot on the seabed? I dont think so. Those guys arent fit to wipe my lens cap.
AC: But on The Abuse sixteen technicians were hospitalised due to exhaustion. Dont you think sometimes that you push people too far?
JM: No way. If they arent up to the job then thats not my fault. Making a movie is kinda like going twelve rounds with Mike Tyson. Once youve started youd better damn well keep on punching because otherwise hell knock you into next week. My movies are the Green Berets of cinema.
AC: In 1992 you made a film called True Spies which seemed to be a Bond film in all but name. Are you a fan of the James Bond pictures?
JM: Yes and no. I can see the potential but they just never quite pull it off.
AC: In what way?
JM: Well one big problem that they have is that the main character is English. No offence but you guys are the scum of the planet. Youve got absolutely no backbone what so ever. You wouldnt have lasted ten seconds in Nam. The character of James Bond is supposed to be a suave, sophisticated gentleman spy. Now Im sorry but all the English guys Ive met like that wouldnt be out chasing women. Hed be a great big fag. What the character needs is to be tough. Tough and deadly. You have to be aware that he could kill somebody with his bare hands if he needed to.
AC: Presumably thats why you cast Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role?
JM: Totally. You look at Arnold and you think, "Jesus. This guy could rip my head off in a second. With his little finger." Thats the kind of thing that Bond needs.
AC: Of course some people have been rather critical of Arnolds acting abilities havent they?
JM: I hear this all the time. "Arnold cant act. Arnold cant act." Listen, Arnold can act as well as any Austrian bodybuilder that Ive ever met.
AC: And how many is that?
JM: Thats entirely beside the point.
AC: Its been a while since your last film. Are you working on anything right now?
JM: Im working on a thriller set on the international space station. Its called, International Space Station Thriller. Thats just a working title though.
AC: Can you tell us anything about the plot?
JM: Basically, terrorists plant a nuclear weapon on the international space station which, if it explodes, will cause it to plunge into New York. Were actually going to film it in space. Its the first time that a film will have been shot there.
AC: Except that Imax film obviously.
AC: There was a documentary made a few years back that was mainly shot on board the space shuttle by the astronauts. Its quite well known.
JM: Why didnt anybody tell me about this? I want my PA fired. Out of a window.
JM: Anyway theres going to be other stuff in it thats not been done before.
AC: Such as?
JM: Were going to blow up the moon.
JM: Yeah. Thats how the government know that the terrorists are serious because in the opening reel they blow up the moon.
AC: But youre going to use computer graphics or something surely?
JM: No way. No CGI in my movie. Were going to blow that big bastard to kingdom come.
AC: But thats monstrous!
JM: Why? What use is to anybody anyway? All it does is hang there shining in through my window at night. Laughing at me. Mocking me like my ex-wife. Bitch.
AC: But it controls the Earths tides for goodness sake. The climate of the planet would be irrevocably altered.
JM: There are always casualties in film. We have to think big here. This is a movie, right? No half measures, no compromises. We have to think bigger then big. We have to think large.
AC: Youre utterly unhinged arent you?
JM: God, you sound just like my psychiatrist. At least the way he sounded before I rammed my Oscar down his throat. He doesnt talk so good any more. Have I shown you my Oscar by the way? Its very heavy. It could make quite a dent in that prissy English head of yours.
AC: Er, I think well leave it there. James Macaroon, thank you.
James Macaroon will be destroying the planets eco-system in the name of cinema later this year.