Watch: Directors Roundtable with Alfonso Cuaron, Paul Greengrass, Ben Stiller, Steve McQueen, David O. Russell, and Lee Daniels

by     Posted 291 days ago


One of the genuinely good things to come out of the awards season campaigning each year is THR’s roundtable interview series.  The trade brings together a group from each major branch of the Academy to discuss a wide range of topics, and what ensues is usually a candid and enlightening conversation with some of the best filmmakers, actors, and writers working today.  The latest video is a directors roundtable with Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), David O. Russell (American Hustle), and Lee Daniels (Lee Daniels’ The Butler).  It’s yet another fascinating discussion and well worth a watch.

Hit the jump to watch the full hourlong conversation, which covers everything from changes during filming, bad studio notes, disappointing experiences (Cuaron talks frankly about Great Expectations), and more.  Russell even reveals that he’s written “an emotional horror film” that Eli Roth intends to direct.  To catch up on all of Collider’s awards coverage, peruse our recent Oscar Beat articles right here.

Read an abbreviated text version of the discussion over at THR.


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  • scheebles

    Such a classic game of “One of these things is not like the other” to be played at this round table.

    • Batman

      Last years one had Gus Van Sant. His movie wasn’t nominated for any of the major awards.

      • scheebles

        Gus Van Sant has a much better track record of directing than Stiller. I think Stiller can be a decent director, but he doesn’t belong in the company of people in this round table. If they want to go for directors with hype and a movie in competition this year. Spike Jonze? Alexander Payne? Jason Reitman? Ryan Coogler?

      • Trish

        You obviously never seen Tropic Thunder

      • Gerard Kennelly

        awww the token gay director
        that’s not very nice but it is true

    • Fiz

      True, but one of the nice things about these round tables is when they present people with different perspectives. Though Stiller’s not as “good” as the rest, I think it’s a nice contrast offering the perspective of someone who comes from an acting (and comedy) background. I believe in the past they’ve had some relatively young and inexperienced actors participate in the acting round tables alongside much more established and accomplished stars. Nothing wrong with mixing it up.

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  • Idris Elba

    Idris Elba needs to be on this roundtable.

  • anthonyg1500

    Please collider. get rid of those automatically playing ads. They make it really hard to watch a video on your site

  • harper ramelia

    hi gys what up

  • LL

    sausage fest

  • James

    When I see this list, I think “5 extremely talented directors…and Ben Stiller.”

  • alexander

    the actors one was uploaded a couple weeks ago the directors one is also on youtube for those who hate the ads

  • GrimReaper07

    This is cool and all, but Daniels and Stiller shouldn’t really be there.

    • Bob

      Replace them with Spike Jonze and JC Chandor.

      • GrimReaper07

        Spike Lee? For the Oldboy remake which we still don’t know if its any good? Its much too soon. Agreed on Chandor.

        EDIT: My bad, I read Spike Lee instead of Jonze. I love Jonze.

      • goop

        I believe he said Spike Jonze (Her).

      • GrimReaper07

        You’re right my bad. I edited the original message.

      • Gerard Kennelly

        @ GrimReaper07
        do you think dane dehaan will get nom this year ?

      • GrimReaper07

        I haven’t seen Kill Your Darlings yet (I really want to), but I’d say its a very long shot. I’m sure he’s great in the film cause he’s a great actor, but he hasn’t gathered much oscar buzz I don’t think.

      • Gerard Kennelly

        he was the best performance in ‘Place Beyond The Pines’

      • Gerard Kennelly

        brolin –milk ,no county old men
        olsen –martha marcy, silent house
        copley –district ,europa report
        3 actors i trust

    • Clay

      Stiller has directed 5 feature films now, that’s more than McQueen and Daniels. Out of the 4 released films, 3 have a positive TomatoMeter and the 4th, The Cable Guy, is well liked by many. He belongs there.

      • GrimReaper07

        That they’re decent and plenty has nothing to do with it. McQueen with Hunger is already ten times more deserving than Stiller of being there. He’s made a couple of fun dumb comedies, but that doesn’t earn one a place at that table.

      • Guest

        No respect for comedies? You must be an Academy voter.

      • GrimReaper07

        I can’t possibly say with an honest face that Zoolander and Tropic Thunder are amazing films. They’re fun to be sure, but not much else. I like comedies, but its undeniable that its a genre that doesn’t put out that many amazing films, though there are obvious exceptions (IMO, Edgar Wright’s films, Dr. Strangelove, Knocked Up, Toy Story franchise, Borat, Eternal Sunshine, etc.). It might just be me, but for a comedy to be exceptional it has to have brains or heart as much as laughs.

      • Clay

        Well said, I would agree with that. I like Stiller on the panel because he’s coming from a different place than the rest, and he’s the only director here who also acts. I wouldn’t say he’s directed a great film, by any stretch, but for me it’s a welcome perspective. But Daniels? We can agree there. It may be just me, but he’s coming off as an insecure, pompous jackass.

      • GrimReaper07

        Stiller’s a great guy and all but I don’t like him too much as an actor nor as a director. Loved Zoolander for what it was but was less impressed by Tropic Thunder (though the first 30 mins are gold). He does bring a different perspective that’s interesting, that’s true though. I’d love it if Wright was in his place, but then again The World’s End doesn’t have too many Oscar pretensions.

      • Clay

        No respect for comedies? You must be an Academy voter. And yes, obviously McQueen is a much better director. I like having variety in discussions like these. Nothing wrong with counterbalancing the “serious” filmmakers with an actor / director from a comedy background.

      • Bernie

        I like both McQueen and Stiller, you don’t have much knowledge nor good taste in movies. Tropic Thunder was one of the most clever comedies in recent times. Stiller did an amazing job with that one esp because it also was such an outlandish and daring concept. I love McQueen’s Shame a lot too – great movie! Broaden your horizon!

      • GrimReaper07

        lol I don’t have good taste in movies cause I didn’t like Tropic Thunder too much? Tropic Thunder isn’t even close to being clever, and yes Shame is a great film, never said it wasn’t.

  • Gerard Kennelly

    this year the drectors who blew me away are all previous snubs
    GRAVITY– the panic scene was breath taking
    PLACE BEYOND PINES– gosling making the phone call from the strangers house was maybe the most moving scene of 2013
    MUD –should have been nominated for take shelter
    ONLY GOD FORGIVES should have been nominated for drive
    RUSH –should have won for frost nixon
    ALL IS LOST –should have been nominated for margin call
    12 YEARS A SLAVE– should have been been nominated for ‘shame’
    don’t forget scorsese for THE WOLF WALL STREET
    he won for departed when i predicted pans labyrinth would win for best director

  • Trish

    When Cuaron talked about the 2 year hype of certain movies compared to 20 year slow burn movies, I think he talked about Gravity compared to Y Tu Mama Tambien.
    And yes Great Expectations was pretty awful.

  • Clay

    Did Daniels really say he’s not interested in story in mainstream cinema?

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