Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. Clearly you couldn't resist playing the drums in one
of the final scenes, because this was harking back to your youth,
A. Yes, I started as a drummer, not a very good one,
but I played my way until somebody would hire me to write, or
direct, or something.
So in the very last scene I was playing the bass drum with a bad
helmet on my head, with the cinematographer, Chuck Minsky. That
was the highlight of my drumming career!
Q. Is it your intention to go for a world record in relation
to the number of members of your family that you incorporate into
your movies? This one has your nine-month-old grandson, among
others, doesn't it?
A. Yes, well nepotism is what I taught these two well,
and what I taught myself. This was quite a group thing. Most importantly,
my grandson, Sam, who was the ring-bearer in the wedding scene...
the baby. He was only ten-months-old, and he refused to smile.
Carrying him was my son, who played Shades in the movie, that's
two, if we're counting...
So I asked him how would he [Sam] smile, and he said the only
way Sam would smile is if you sing 'the wheels on the bus go round
and round', so my best shot was the camera crew rolling down the
aisle, with the entire crew singing 'the wheels on the bus...'.
And you can see the child smile, so that's how you direct children!
Dame Julie: And what about Charlotte Kutaway?
A. You want me to name them all?
Q. Yes, your daughter, Charlotte, plays Julie Andrew's
A. That's right and whenever anything goes wrong in the
film, you cut away to someone, so we cut away to Charlotte, and
we cut away to her so many times in the first one and the second
one, so if you look at the credits, her name is Charlotte Kutaway.
Q. What's your take on the return of the musical and
why you haven't given us one so far?
A. I think musicals went down because Marnie Nixon retired.
It used to be that they would take any star and put them in a
musical and Marnie Nixon would sing. Now they actually have to
get people who can sing for musicals and two of the best are here.
I haven't done one mostly because of the expense. It's a really
big expense. I am working on the Happy Days musical right now,
which is a Broadway stage musical, and some day maybe we can do
that as a movie.
Dame Julie: Actually, you're very busy with a
much more serious musical, you're going to be directing an opera,
A. I am directing an opera, it's a whole other
thing. It's called The Grand Duchess of Gerald Stein. It's an
Offenbach opera. He wrote funny operas you know before he said
'I'm serious, I'll do Tales Of Hoffman' and then he died, he never
saw it open. Missed the boat!
But before that he wrote comedy operas and The Grand Duchess Of
Gerald Stein is a satirical opera about the Army. Something to
make fun of, I must say, the way we are going here!
He wrote about politics in the Army and all of that and that’s
what this opera is about. It stars Frederica Von Staad, who is
a very good opera singer, and we're going to tour it at the LA
Q. How important is it that
Hollywood makes these escapist fantasies, given our troubles in
A. How important is it? Well for me it's important, it's
my living, but very seriously they don't like to make them very
often because so many of them don't do very well at the box office
and anything like that never gets an award, so they don't know
why to make them, and they figure they can make them on television.
It's such an international business now, we're seeing more and
more things happening in the various types of movies.
Before, and I'm not blowing my horn, but before Pretty Woman everybody
said you can't make a romantic comedy that will play overseas,
it just doesn't work, you have to shoot somebody, you have to
have guns, you have to have car chases.
They don't want romantic comedies. Pretty Woman broke that - now
you can do that.
Family movies... Finding Nemo was a big one all over the world
and I think it's important that family movies are made, but I
don't think they'll make that many.
I like that type of movie, of course, but I don't know how important
it is that we should. I think it's very important that the family
goes to a movie together, that's my opinion, but I don't know
what the rest of the industry thinks.
Q. Are there any dream roles you would love to play -
even if it's movies passed?
A. I'd like to play Shakespeare; I'd like to see how
it would come out, as I have a slight accent, you might have noticed.
I could be Shakespeare, Anne Hathaway was his wife - you see the
circles of life?
Q. There's a very nice speech in the film about learning
by mistakes. What are the mistakes that you've learned something
A. My mistakes are that my first decision is always a
mistake. I learned that about myself, so I've learned to use my
second or third decision. If I want to make a mistake, I go with
my first thought.