I love Mike Leigh‘s personality, his manner. He just says it and come what may. To me that’s the mark of a real artist. Several years ago he upbraided me at the Spirit Awards for asking the wrong kind of question. He didn’t like my attitude. He’s very blunt and real. In this Hollywood Reporter round-table discussion he’s asked about the prospect of developing a film for 12 years, and Leigh says “I haven’t got 12 years.” Neither Mr. Turner nor Leigh are likely to be nominated for Best Picture or Best Director, but he’s a very good guy. You know who might be nominated for Best Director? Angelina Jolie. Because Unbroken made so much money over the Christmas holiday.
Mike Leigh to Angelina Jolie: Apart from all that, are you a good director? (laughter.)
Jolie: I don’t know.
Somebody: Are you cynical, Mike?
Leigh: Not at all. But I’m fascinated to know.
Jolie: Am I a good director? I would be a good director if everything that I said comes across in the film that I made.
Leigh: Has it worked? You’ve screened it to an audience?
Leigh: You happy?
Leigh: So are you now a director?
Jolie: Yes. But I think it’s about the message for me; it’s not about saying, ‘I made a film.’
Chris Nolan: It’s not a career choice, it’s …
Jolie: [If] my heart’s in it, then I’ll fight for that one.
Bennett Miller: Why are you picking on her, Mike?
Leigh: I’m encouraging her, actually.