James Cameron is a journalist's dream. The director actually says what's on his mind—and says it with foul-mouthed panache—rather than delivering the juiceless soundbites we're used to hearing from most folks in the entertainment biz. But the "Avatar" director can afford to be open, I suppose. He's free to speak his mind, seeing as how he's behind the biggest selling movie of all time ("Titanic") and a handful of other barrier-busting popcorn flicks ("The Abyss," "Terminator 2," etc.).
This week's New Yorker features an absurdly long, glowing and straight-up amazing profile of the director. The angle is of the "mad genius" variety, and after perusing its pages, I can't say I disagree with the author's assessment. Dana Goodyear's piece brims with so many remarkable quotes from Cameron and those that have worked with him that we had to gather them all together for you.
Not all of them, mind you. Sadly, some are too raunchy to be reprinted on our blog. But there's more than enough left over to give you a great picture of Cameron as a creative talent and to ramp up your excitement for his upcoming 3D magnum opus, "Avatar."
“Do you want Paul Verhoeven to finish this motherf---er?”
-Cameron to Arnold Schwarzenegger, after the actor left the set of "True Lies"
"Watching him light is like watching two monkeys f--- a football.”
-Cameron on the work of a lighting designer
“With ‘Avatar,’ I thought, Forget all these chick flicks and do a classic guys’ adventure movie.... Of course, the whole movie ends up being about women, how guys relate to their lovers, mothers—there’s a large female presence. I try to do my testosterone movie and it’s a chick flick.”
-Cameron on writing his new film
"You know, it’s not a great time to ask a woman if she wants to have other kids when she’s crowning."
-Cameron in response to a fan question at Comic-Con about when he'll make his next film
“The words ‘No’ and ‘That’s impossible’ and phrases like ‘That can’t be done’—that’s the stuff that gives him an erection"
-Bill Pullman on Cameron
“My joke after that movie was, that man is definitely on the side of the machines.”
-Linda Hamilton on starring in "Terminator"
“I have a piece of shrapnel right here from ‘Terminator 2’ that never came out.”
-Cameron on making the sequel
"He said, ‘I want you to know one thing—once we embark on this adventure and I start to make this movie, the only way you’ll be able to stop me is to kill me.' You looked into those eyes and you knew he meant it.”
-Leonard Goldberg, president of Fox during the making of "The Abyss," on a conversation with Cameron
“Even though he knew I was on his side, nobody’s ever on his side. It’s like you’re in the trenches and your infantry-mate is shooting at you, even if you’re the only one there who can save his life.”
-Bill Mechanic, who ran Fox Studios during the making of “Titanic,” on Cameron
“We were branded as the biggest idiots in movie history. They were just sharpening their knives so they could really take the film apart. Then they couldn’t. So, f--- them. F--- ’em all.”
-Cameron on "Titanic"
"Hiring you is like firing two good men."
-Cameron on an employment decision
“Like a waitress, I have to wear sensible shoes.”
-Cameron on his footwear on set
“What’s with the tan? No one’s supposed to have a tan here. We’re in here fourteen hours a day. We see the sun as we drive to work, and not again till the next morning.”
-Cameron to "Avatar" producer Jon Landau
"I suppose you could say I believe in peace through superior firepower. I don’t believe that the human race is going to suddenly evolve to the point that we can all join hands and sing ‘Kumbaya.’ ”
-Cameron on foreign relations
“We’ve become cowards, basically. As a society, we’re just fat and happy and comfortable and we’ve lost the edge.”
-Cameron on how America has changed
“Creating a universe is daunting. I’m glad Jim is doing it—there are only a few people in the world who are nuts enough to. I did it with ‘Star Wars,’ and now he’s trying to challenge that. It’s a lot of work. I do believe Jim will take this further out than anyone’s ever conceived of.”
-George Lucas on "Avatar"
“What he’d probably say is ‘You punk-a-- bitch." But that probably won’t fit. That’s what I’d be yelling. ‘Get back here! I’m not done with you!’ Right up till the moment it killed me.”
-Cameron on what he'd like to have an "Avatar" character say