My task as a producer is to get things to go my way, and to do that you need tenacity. You need to create an irrefutable argument for it. There are so many forces fighting you every day, trying to stop you. You’re always selling, always trying to convince someone that your project is the right thing for them to do.
What makes me stick with it? It’s engaging, exciting, stressful, and rewarding. Enormously rewarding. Stand in the back of a theater and watch people react to something you created. It’s amazing.
As a kid, I was good at organizing things, putting them together. I was never a good athlete, but created a baseball team, got a sponsor, and got us into a league. I did something with hockey. I was 10 years old. So I had that kind of skill very early on. Still, you’re always doubting your talent. Anybody who’s really successful has doubts. The best people I work with, the most talented ones, are usually insecure. They’re always looking for a better way. And I’m no different. I look at it as trying to do the best you can at what you’re doing.
There are two kinds of success, I think. There’s critical success, which I’ve had in a minor way a few times in my career. And then there’s financial success, which I have achieved. In the end, it’s the financial success that matters. You want people to know your name. Had I made a lot of movies that weren’t financially successful, I wouldn’t be sitting in this office. I’d be in a one-bedroom apartment wallpapered with great reviews.
I have a few indulgences, like cars. When I was 17, I saved every nickel I had to buy a car, for something like $800. It was a ’57 Plymouth convertible. I remember having a Corvette from the ’60’s early on. That’s still one of my favorites. I have a ’49 Chevy truck. I have the ’67 Shelby Mustang from ‘Gone in 60 Seconds,’ some old tractors from the ’40s. Now I usually drive a BMW.
I’ve also got a home in Kentucky that was built in 1820 by Daniel Boone’s grandson. I built a small hockey rink there, inside a barn. On the outside, it looks like a horse barn. On the inside it’s got all this old wood from the 1800s, and then the ice. I bring my buddies down there for long weekends.
Recently I had one of the greatest thrills of my life, and it had nothing to do with a movie. I was playing in a celebrity hockey game, and I scored a goal off a pass from Wayne Gretzky. Now I can rest in peace.
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