The Cycle | January 25, 2013
>>> people like you only come down here for one reason. money. i don't know what you're in to. kidnapping, extortion, robbery. but whatever it is you need somebody who knows the territory. or you're going to get caught.
>> take off your clothes.
>> i'm not sure if i'm better off with you alive or dead. either way , i have to know if you're wearing a wire.
>> you can understand why he wants to get her undressed. i interviewed j.lo once, struggled to remember my questions. but i digress.
>> yes, you do.
>> the director of "parker," the star of 20 novels of richard stark . the movie stars jennifer lopez , nick nolte and michael chickless and the littest work of director taylor hackford , the man behind "ray" and " officer and a gentleman ." with us now academy award winning filmmaker, taylor hackford , how are you, sir?
>> just fine. i was in new york and i know how cold it is and back in los angeles it's raining. maybe 30 degrees difference but i'm back and fort.
>> i'd take the rain.
>> it's sunny in your world. "parker" is an extraordinary character. lots of novels written about him. tell us why you were attracted to this character.
>> i love donald westlake as a novelist. he's one of our best, you know, crime thriller novelists. and in "parker" he created a literary character that's indelible. 24 novels but people all over the world that have read him and i have. i read the character. various filmmakers tried to make "parker" in the past and have. lee marvin . mel gibson . this is my installment and my "parker" is jason stathum.
>> i wanted you to weigh in on a conversation happening sort of society wide. you're the president of the director guilds of america and associates met with the administration to talk about the connection between violence in the media and violence in our society . and i just wanted to sort of see if you see any connection there or what your take is on that topic.
>> i don't think there's any studies that show a connection between entertainment, thing that is are on the screen, and what happens in situations in society . there are lots of things people can theorize about. face it. if we have guns in society , people are going to use them. and to say that, oh, they were driven to it by entertainment, i just don't happen to agree with and i'd like to see the scientific evidence to prove it. listen. my film is about criminals. all right? it's truth in advertising. it's about a career criminal. when you see the film, is there violence in it? yes. is there violence among criminals? yes. but in reality, i think that, you know, the gun lobby would like to point towards hollywood and say, hey, let's bring as many people in to this equation as possible. and i think they're trying to deflect the real issue, the real issue is, you know, in england there are a lot of films, all the film that is you see here, all the television shows . do they have a level of violence with guns we do? of course not.
>> because guns aren't in that society . and i think in this instance, i resent being drawn in to this. i mean, again, my film is what it is. it's a literary character and in this world, from the great train robbery , the first film to now, people are fascinated by, you know, the other side of society . criminal side of society . and i think if you enjoy those kinds of films and i have in the past. i always have. that's why i did this. my first, you know, genre piece but i make no apologies. it is what it is. advertised that way. don't go to see it if you don't like those films.
>> as much as you resent being drawn in to the violent media kind of sub culture topic, i think gun owners resent being treated as if they're suspects and criminals and cry lent aggressors which most often they're not. i want to get back to your movies. i was having lunch with a colleague earlier this week and he told me that before you became a director you were writing film reviews at the " l.a. times ." is that right?
>> no, no.
>> he is lying?
>> i used to be -- no, no. i wrote an article for "the l.a. times " this past weekend about donald westlake . you know, i was an on-air reporter at public television station but it was a political reporter back in the '70s.
>> that was my start. and it was great. i loved it. and it was --
>> i can't wait to tell him that he's completely wrong about this.
>> he's wrong. he's wrong. he's wrong. but a nice -- by the way, it's a nice compliment.
>> i want to talk about what i think is your greatest film "ray." seems like everything came together properly with that. i know it was hard to get it made. just talk about how it was to bring that story to the screen and how everything came together so well for that project.
>> i think everything has to do with source. i was making a bio pic about one of the brilliant, brilliant artists that america's ever produced. i had the fortune of convincing ray charles to give me his life rights and took 13 years to find the money and 15 years to complete the film.
>> gave me the opportunity to spend that amount of time with ray charles and let me tell you there are very few people like ray charles and it was, you know, this huge sense of responsibility. for both me and for jamie foxx . both of us went forward in the partnership and we felt the weight of presenting this incredible personage on film and dedicated and luckily everybody on the film really worked in the same sense of responsibility and i think the film will live for a long, long time.
>> definitely. taylor, good luck with "parker." great to have you on "the cycle."