I’ve always thought that films should represent life, and that if you live in a world of film, your films become increasingly out of touch. Nobody in Hollywood wants films about Hollywood, but, in a sense, that’s all they get. They hunger for writers who come in from outside: a New York cop, maybe, or an ex-con artist with a story from Florida. But they usually fit it into their vision of the world. I was at a meeting with a manager in LA and I told him about a story about this guy who wins the lottery. Because of the circumstances, he can’t cash the ticket so he has someone he knows cash it for him. The manager asked, why doesn’t this guy steal the ticket? I didn’t have a good answer because it hadn’t occured to me. The character doesn’t steal the ticket because that’s the way the character is. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was his own jilted Hollywood idea about life. Most people I know wouldn’t steal the ticket for the simple reason that it’s a scummy thing to do. In Hollywood, if you don’t steal the ticket, there’s something wrong with you.
- Michael Walker