Oprah Talks to Julie Taymor
Oprah: You have the incredible ability to direct something as open and airy as The Lion King, and yet you can explore the dark side in a film like Titus. Do you believe we all have a dark side?
Julie: Yes. And we all know it. Americans are attracted to the dark side. But which movies should be allowed to be violent and show that dark side, and which should not? I don't believe in censorship, but I do think there are horrible movies that are bad for you. The idea that all violence in movies is okay simply because it happens is bull. Directors and writers have a responsibility. If you see a film like Titus, you're not going to go out and be violent. It was Shakespeare's most successful and entertaining play because when he wrote it, people were going to public executions. What Shakespeare does is tell a story that lets you understand why people are violent. In Titus you see a character who could be your next-door neighbor, your father, your uncle—someone who goes from being a very good person to being a monster who bakes his enemies' children into pies. It makes you ask yourself, "Could someone I know be pushed to such a degree of violence?" What is justice and what is vengeance?
Oprah: Your experience as an artist is so broad: director, sculptor, designer, creator. How do you define yourself?
Julie: I call myself a playmaker sometimes—but that's just a word. I don't feel like I have to have a title or a job description.
Oprah: Do you think you see the world differently than most people do?
Julie: I think we all see the world from our own little unique bubble.
Oprah: Do we all have the potential to be creative, or are some people just dullards?
Julie: No. Some people become dullards, but as children we are all creative. It's in the programming, the socialization, that we lose our sense of play.
Oprah: Does creativity affect every area of your life? I don't want to get too personal, but are you imaginative in your sex life?
Julie: That's not for me to say! And no, I'm not creative in every single area. For instance, Elliot is a phenomenal cook, so I let him do most of the cooking. He's a genius who can just make things up.
Oprah: So you're not hanging from the chandeliers every night?
Julie: No, no, no! I am creative in my living space—the designer in me helps that out.