PLAYBOY sent Contributing Editor Stephen Rebello, who last interviewed Samuel L. Jackson, to catch up with Fincher in his cavernous Hollywood production offices housed in a swank 1920s art deco former bank that later served as a location in L.A. Confidential. Reports Rebello: “You meet David Fincher and know instantly you’ve been scanned, processed and judged either ‘quick’ or ‘dead.’ He doesn’t suffer fools. But instead of the cool, brusque, detached man some have described, he struck me as gracious, smart as hell, drolly funny and armed with a lethal dry wit. Tell him you like his films, for instance, and he shoots back, ‘Well, it’s always nice to meet new perverts.’ Back at you, Fincher.” Photography by Marius Bugge.
Playboy Interview: David Fincher. Yay!
"A lot of people flourish at Hollywood studios because they’re fear-based. I have a hard time relating to that, because I feel our biggest responsibility is to give the audience something they haven’t seen." - David Fincher
Paul Newman in Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)
Meeting the great Kehinde Wiley the other night at the opening of his amazing exhibit: Haiti.
Schindler’s List (1993)
When Steven Spielberg chose Liam Neeson to play Oskar Schindler in his all‑important new film, Schindler’s List, he told him, “I’m going to give you the best introduction in a movie that any actor ever had.” And he has.
In the establishing shots, you watch, from the back, a tall man dressing for dinner with meticulous care. You see a hand reaching for a pair of gold cufflinks. An enamel swastika is pinned to a satin lapel. Cut to a club where the maitre d’ approaches eagerly and leads him to a table. As the camera swings around for the first time, revealing the handsome face of Oskar Schindler, he is smiling knowingly at the available woman at the next table. (x)
That whole first scene flashes through my mind every time I’m at a party where I don’t know anyone.
Not like that memory stops from me from just sitting there like a gump but at least I know now charming a whole room from scratch can be done.
We often gain our desire to tell stories from consuming the stories told by others. This often becomes our default mode: we read! We watch! We play! The problem is when it remains our default mode and we never switch tracks from consumer to creator. That’s not to say we shouldn’t still hungrily stuff our mind-mouths with the narrative meals cooked by others — but there comes a time to give our own work that priority. Both in terms of time and in terms of regurgitating staid, tired tale-telling. Your story comes first. All other tales trail after.