The release of Inherent Vice (one of our top 50 films of 2014) has afforded us a great many opportunities to gain insight on the career of Paul Thomas Anderson, but what’s easily the most personal and extensive talk has arrived today. Fort the latest episode of WTF with Marc Maron, the director sat down for a nearly two-hour interview to discuss Los Angeles, growing up in the entertainment business, his life-changing experience seeing Robert Downey, Sr.‘s Putney Swope, “bluffing his way” through directing Hard Eight, what attracted him to Boogie Nights, and much more.
He also discusses how his dad’s death was the catalyst for Magnolia and he admits he’d cut it down now if he could, saying “it’s way too fucking long” and “it’s unmerciful how long it is.” Moving to Punch-Drunk Love, he talks about Adam Sandler‘s trepidation joining the film and being inspired by Fred Astaire. When it comes to There Will Be Blood, Anderson discusses the Oscar ceremony, saying “I’ll tell you, man. It is hard to keep a fucking phony smile on for three hours when they get that camera on you.” On the comparisons to No Country For Old Men that year, he adds, “It’s fucking nuts” and “it’s a drag when it gets turned into sport.”
Jumping to The Master, they discuss the relationship between Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s characters and the producers’ hesitation to use 70mm cameras. As for his latest project, Inherent Vice, Anderson once again plays coy when it comes to his relationship with Thomas Pynchon and his “secret agreement” to not reveal anything about the author. He also talks about capturing the loss of innocence with the project and putting together his incredible ensemble, including how Josh Brolin is the last of a dying breed.
Stream it below or on Maron’s site, and check out a recent video essay on his career as it relates to his latest film:
Inherent Vice opens nationwide this Friday, January 9th.
What did you think of the conversation?