I don’t storyboard. I guess it dates back to my days in live television, where there was no possibility of storyboarding and everything was shot right on the spot – on the air, as we say – at the moment we were transmitting. I prefer to be open to what the actors do, how they interact to the given situation.
‘400 Blows’ was so much like my own childhood, it really stunned me.
A lot of directors in television have come up through the technical ranks. They have all the technical skills in the world. They’re not all that familiar with actors.
One has a sort of spiritual obligation to go back to the source material of the literature, to make contact with one of the seminal plays of the modern theater.
I believe that a large part of the training in the regional theaters is in imitation of the British style of acting. The British orientation is textual; they start from the language and work toward the character.
I think there’s a quality of passion to the American actor. I’m certainly attracted to it, and I like to hope that underscoring it is a characteristic of my work. That quality is certainly also present in some British actors, but I tend to feel the mechanical and intellectual process is dominant in the British.
I believe, and this is perhaps too nationalistic a view, that the American style of acting puts actors quickly in touch with each other, so that their continuous presence in a company, as in England, is not absolutely necessary.