How did you get into directing?
One day, many years ago, when I was just an infant, I sat in the backseat while my Father and his brother were arguing in a car. When my Dad objected to his brother’s point of view he forcefully exclaimed “BULLSHIT!” I guess I liked his enthusiasm, as I picked up on that word real quick… The only word I had ever uttered up until that point was the word “no.” The first word I ever uttered as a human being was “no,” the second was “bullshit”— no bullshit (I’m serious, you can ask my Dad). It was at that very moment, I knew I could be a great director.
What is your most recent project?
I grew up with two great loves (three actually, if you include women, but really I only got to mess around with two of them): cars and film, so it was a great pleasure to shoot a nostalgic piece for Chrysler about the loss of glamour and style in the American motor car industry, and the quest to regain some of that allure. The spot aired during the Golden Globes last year.
What is the best part of being a director?
There are so many wonderful aspects to directing: being more free to share my voice, concepts, and ideas when telling a story. Having more creative control. Being able to hand select my team of collaborators and elevate one another. Being able to follow my instincts (on set and in the editing room), and of course, being the one who calls ACTION! I view acting and directing opportunities as gifts no matter how challenging they are. They allow me to communicate ideas and emotions to so many people, and let me share techniques I have learned from spending a lifetime on film sets.
Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons)
and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates most with you?
As an actor who has been fortunate enough to have worked intimately with the likes of Polanski, Coppola, Malick, Barry Levinson, Ken Loach, Spike Lee, Tony Kaye, and Woody Allen, I have had many opportunities to study from masters first hand. I am also the son of acclaimed photographer, Sylvia Plachy, who’s imagery is studied by photography students around the World. Her unique visual perspective is rich in nuance and poetry, and has probably informed my perspective most of all.