Sigourney:For those actors who think, "Oh, we're being replaced," what I felt as an actor was that you wanted everything to be drawn from us, from our souls.

James: That's right. You were the wellspring, you were the head of the river and it was [the effects people's] job to really preserve that or not.… What I told them was: "Don't do less, and don't do more. Make sure you don't miss anything, because there was always the danger.… Don't embellish, don't raise the eyebrows more, don't make her more surprised." Because that would be…

Sigourney: Worse, not better.

James: Exactly.

Sigourney: The first time we saw it with a real audience, I wanted so to fly, and I wanted so to be with the animals and be in that world and I just think that I became a total audience member, and I think that's what films do to be people. Very rarely do you sit in a dark movie theater and the film starts and it's almost as if the director's hands are holding you.


Sigourney: Are you rooting for [Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt Locker and your ex-wife]?

James: For me, it's kind of a no-lose scenario because if she wins I get to celebrate the fact that she's finally been recognized after 25 years as a stunning filmmaker. And if we win, then the team is honored and all the people that worked so hard for four and a half years on this movie and believed in it so much are honored. And maybe the Academy will share the love between the two films, which would be the smart thing.

Sigourney: Apparently you saw Star Wars and you were driving a truck and you said, "That's it, I'm going to make movies. "

James: I quit my job, yeah. I quit my job after Star Wars. I said: "Okay, I've got imagery like that in my head. If that's what people really want to see." When Star Wars became the highest-grossing film in history, I thought, "I'm doing the wrong thing driving a truck; I should be a filmmaker."


Next Story