A welcome annual tradition, the Directors Guild of America has once again gathered their nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film––Todd Field (TÁR), Joseph Kosinski (Top Gun: Maverick), Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), and Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans)––for an extensive, nearly 2.5-hour conversation. Moderated by Jeremy Kagan, the conversation took place on February 18 at the DGA’s Los Angeles Theater ahead of Daniels taking home the top award.

The wide-ranging talk dives deep into the preparation and production of each of the features, with Daniels sharing their eccentric warm-up processes (sometimes involving all-crew fighting) while Spielberg chimed in about his champagne toasts for the first and last shots, no matter the time of day. The Fabelmans director also revealed he called Paul Thomas Anderson to see what it was like working with Paul Dano on There Will Be Blood before he cast him. Todd Field touched on working with Cate Blanchett, saying their conversations are “like talking with another filmmaker who happens to be a fucking fantastic actor.” Joseph Kosinski revealed the bar scene was just as complicated as the fight scenes in his Top Gun sequel due to amount of blocking and keeping all centered on Maverick’s perspective. He also didn’t want to rehearse the Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise scene for added emotion, because the actors hadn’t seen each other in decades in real-life.

Watch the full conversation below.

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