Michael Cimino: The Full, Uncensored Hollywood Reporter Interview
Experience a two-hour conversation with a directing legend.
The Hollywood Reporter's Feb. 27 Oscars issue featured the first major interview with reclusive director Michael Cimino (1978's The Deer Hunter, 1980's Heaven's Gate) in more than13 years. It was edited and condensed from a two-hours-plus phone exchange with the 76-year-old filmmaker. The following is an unabridged transcript of that conversation.
Have you seen American Sniper?
Yes, I have.
What were your feelings on it?
I think they should cancel the awards and give all the gold to Clint [Eastwood]. It's his best work as a director. By far.
Can you expand on that? Why do you feel that way?
For all of the reasons that people like it. It's beautifully acted. It's shot well. There're no weak links in the movie. I think the guy emerges as a star. I think that it's very smooth in all of its transitions. It's very fluid. And you're not ever, you never feel an abrupt shift, a time shift or a place, a shift in place or time. It's so well done, you don't notice, you just go with the flow of the whole piece. I don't think very many people, I don't know of anybody else who could have done this movie. I think that also, I think the actors, and it's Bradley Cooper, right?
Yep. I think that with Clint directing, he inspired them by virtue of what he is and who he is as a man, as a principled guy. I mean, he's remained my friend for over 40 years. He's responsible for my career. I wouldn't even be talking to you were it not for Clint.