I often have pointed out that interviewing people gives me the opportunity to shut the fuck up. I don’t have to talk. There’s certainly this idea that interviewing doesn’t involve performance, that you’re not eliciting a performance, that you are just a passive recipient of information.
I don’t think that’s true, at least it’s not in my case. I believe that directing an interview is part of the deal. The energy that you bring — and this is true about directing in general — the energy that you bring to anything, to a scene, to an interview gets reflected back by the interview subject or by the actors that are performing. And your job is actually, whether it’s an actor or it’s an interview subject, to elicit a performance. That’s it. Pure and simple.