You also directed a Ford commercial. Why?
I did it for the money. Why do you think I did it?
And you needed the money that badly?
Well, it’s nice to have, because you can buy things with it.
So the whole business of “selling out,” you think it’s bullshit?
No, of course it’s not bullshit. One is faced with that every day. All of us. What’s a moral choice, what’s not a moral choice, and so forth. Somebody even more pedantic than I might say that that’s the whole question of drama: How does one make a moral decision? And further, that a moral decision is not the choice between wrong and right—that’s easy—but between two wrongs.
You’re almost starting to sound cynical again.
The good news is it’s a spectacular country. We’ve been around for 230 years in spite of human nature, because that’s what the Constitution is all about. It’s saying, of course everyone’s gonna try and take control. Of course they’re gonna subvert every law that’s supposed to keep them in line. Of course the president is gonna want to be imperial, of course Congress is gonna want to become obstructionist, of course the judges are gonna be activist. Duh. They figured this out in 1787 and drew up a few sheets of paper that have kept the country in line. It’s a great place to live.
Tuesday, January 15
New York Magazine Q&A with author, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and film director David Mamet: