Last Tuesday night MovieWeb got a chance to sit in on the live session of "In The Directors Chair" with M. Night Shyamalan, broadcast via satellite into theaters across the country. Within the hour and a half long session with M. Night Shyamalan the director provided some heavy insight into his filmmaking style, his inspirations andaspirations, as well as keen details on his current and past films.
What follows is a transcript of the event.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: (LAUGHS) Hi, how are you? Thank you.
JOEL SIEGEL: Good evening.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Hi-.
JOEL SIEGEL: How ya doing?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: I feel like I can retire now. (LAUGHTER)
JOEL SIEGEL: I won't let you retire, I gotta see the, I gotta see good movies, we're not going to let you retire, don't worry about that. Question, I referred to Bronco Billy Anderson, and how did you end up in the film business, does your, both your parents are doctors, is that true?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, that's right. I mean, um, a straight thing you know, all the family members are doctors, 14 doctors.
JOEL SIEGEL: Fourteen doctors?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, at one point we had everybody from a coroner to my mom who was an obstetrician, so, (LAUGHTER) birth and death we had everybody.
JOEL SIEGEL: And what happened when you told them?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: What went wrong?
JOEL SIEGEL: Yeah. When you told them you wanted to (LAUGHS) make movies.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Well I was making little movies uh, well it's basically because you know, when I was 7 to 12 is when Star Wars and Close Encounters and Raiders and E.T. came out I mean it's just, really, if there was anything in me to make movies, it was gonna come out, you know, those, those are the best movies ever. And um, and then, and then, I didn't-, I just started doing it as a hobby but then I went, there was this really kind of this one moment which you can see as just nothing, but I thought it was a big deal, was I was waiting at Kennedy airport with my family, my, my grandparents were going back to India and it was delayed, of course, Air India. And uh, went into the book store and I got this book, Spike Lee's book, Spike Lee's you know, She's Gotta Have It, book, and I read it you, you could go to school for this? (LAUGHTER) And I was like, I'm going to school for this. And my friends were like, yeah great!
JOEL SIEGEL: Have they come to terms with the fact that you are indeed going to be a filmmaker when you grow up and not going to be a doctor?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: (LAUGHS) Yeah, now I gotta calm them down, they're all internet checking box office receipts (LAUGHTER). It's uh, it's calm down. (LAUGHTER)
JOEL SIEGEL: We're gonna take a, a look at some, actually a scene from Sixth Sense you picked scenes from your 4 films.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Right, yeah, but they asked me to pick a scene from each of the films so it was kind of, I found that there was kind of uh, a similar scene in, in 3 of the 4 films a very similar scene like a, a very kind of like the moment where I said, ok, I'm gonna, I'm gonna be emotional here, I'm gonna sit down and write and emotional scene and then in one of the films it's, it's a very different type of version of that scene.
JOEL SIEGEL: Which one is this?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: This is, you're showing The Sixth Sense?
JOEL SIEGEL: Sixth Sense, yes.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: This is kind of the uh, the, the big car scene in, in The Sixth Sense. And um, it, it's, I think it's why the ending works so well because it feels like enough of an ending that a normal movie would've ended there and you would be like, that's cool, I'm with you (LAUGHTER), and, and so I had completed the structure of a normal movie, catharsis and closure and it was this big emotional moment um, and, and one of the great things about this scene was um, there's no music in it, and so it's uh, you know, the climax of an emotional movie uh, with no music so it kind of, Toni and Haley just kind of just carried the day. And then when he-.
JOEL SIEGEL: That's Toni Collette and Haley Joel Osment, and as a critic one of the things that just really shocked and delighted me about this film, there were hundreds of cars in the film and they're all standing still, there's no chase. (LAUGHTER) It's all in your imagination. Let's take a look at the clip.
JOEL SIEGEL: Amazing piece of filmmaking. Where were you physically when that was, how many takes and where, and where were you?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: You know, it was uh, um, everyone-, we all knew that was kind of home run scene you know, and we, so we didn't rehearse it. We, we-, they did it once and we all got way too emotional, as I just did, I almost got, I cried. (LAUGHTER) Um, but um, so I just said, we're never gonna get to that scene until we get to set, let's work on all the other stuff. So then we get to that day and everyone was jacked up, Haley and, and Toni they just were too hot, they were too hot. And I was like calm down guys, calm down we're just way too hot. They were like falling from the like second I said action. And I said you know, there's gotta be an arch and so that, that actually is pieced together from many takes. And um, which is really unusual for a, a great scene to be done that way you know, and so uh, we did-. We had to move, we had to go fast, you know, it was a very small movie and I said, uh, I said, you know, I, I did Haley's side and Toni's side and they could tell I was kind of like, I was doing like I got these three lines, I got these four lines, I got-, like that. Then I said, all right check the gate and you say check the gate you know, when you're done the scene, and I start walking away and the AD comes running after me and he's like, 'you gotta go back and talk to them.' I got back to the car, they're not getting out of the car and they're balling their eyes out, (LAUGHTER). They think they failed me, and they're just like, 'we're so sorry.' And I was like, 'I'm telling you, we have the-, one of the great scenes recorded on film.' And they said, 'You sure?' And I'm like, 'Yes, we did.' You know, just 'cause we didn't in one long stretch, and obviously it didn't matter.
JOEL SIEGEL: Where did you find Haley Joel Osment? And this was your, this was not, was not your first feature but it was you first-.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Feature anybody saw.
JOEL SIEGEL: Yeah, anybody saw (LAUGHTER). And isn't the risking a lot? Because the movie is based, how old was Haley Joel Osment?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: He was 10.
JOEL SIEGEL: Ten. I mean this is your life and your career on the shoulders of this little 10 year old kid.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, it was the usual thing, we saw um, 'I don't want LA kids, no LA kids, and especially no blonde LA kids, you can forget it, I'm not even gonna see them, I want real kids.' So we did the whole real search around the whole United States, everybody, every school, grabbing every quirky kid out of every classroom and recording them, and they were like, 'I see dead people.' (LAUGHS) And they, they, and there's thousands of tapes to the point you're like, 'this is the worst script ever written.' (LAUGHS) This is really the worst script ever written, you just hear the words and just, 'I can't believe this.' And then we went to LA and they're like just see 5 kids, just see 5 kids, and I was like, 'OK, but no blonde kids.' And they said, 'Well there's a couple kids in there.' And, 'All right.' So in walks this LA blonde kid and it was just me and him alone, and he was, you know, the kids all came all like punked out with the you know, the surfer things and the skate boarder pants and all that stuff, and this kid came with a crisp white shirt, dress pants. 'Hello, Mr. Shyamalan.' I was like-. So he sat down and we just me and him in the room and he did the scenes and your just, I was like looking around, 'This is the kid!' (LAUGHTER) It's a blonde LA kid! (LAUGHTER) I totally sold out! Let's go. So I called the casting register, I don't even want to make it, I don't even make if this kid doesn't want to do it, if we can't get this kid in it.
JOEL SIEGEL: Now, how did you make this film? How many, was it $15 million dollars, or something was the budget before.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: About $15 yeah, not counting Bruce.
JOEL SIEGEL: Not counting Bruce (LAUGHTER) who's uh, in business for himself.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Well the luckiest thing that happened to me is I had two awful failures to begin the career. That's the greatest thing that could've possibly happened 'cause it kind of expedited, expedited education and everything you know, maybe like 10 or 15 years of learning happened in 3 years because of the complete atrocities (LAUGHTER) of, I mean I had no ego left, it was like crushed. Um, and it took 2 failures for me, and obviously I'm think you know-. (LAUGHS)
JOEL SIEGEL: That's right. And one been enough for most people. (LAUGHS)
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: And um, so I uh, you know, I, when you, when you, when you're in complete failure, it's a very similar position to being ultra successful, because there's an emptiness that comes when you get um, everything that you ever dreamed of, like all the fame, all the success and everything that you, you feel very, very empty because the engines, the false engines that were motivating you are gone. The same thing when you have failure, you know, all the false engines you know, are gone and you have only you and that was the greatest thing that could've happened was only me left in the room, there's no more like, 'Oh I want to be a filmmaker,' and the phone wasn't ringing. You were done, you had your shot, it's over. You know? And um, alone in the basement office, you know, that window where you see people's feet walk by.
JOEL SIEGEL: Right.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: And uh, and I went there and I just you know, said, you know, I'm gonna stop pretending, literally those 2 movies that did poorly which were Praying With Anger, and Wide Awake was my feeble attempts art house. And they were just so not art house 'cause I'm not, that's not my instincts, you know? (LAUGHS) And so I, I think what happened was I just said, you know, on my walls were the Exorcist and E.T. and those kind of movies and I said, 'You don't need an invitation to, to make those. I'm, I'm gonna just write one of those.' You know.
JOEL SIEGEL: What came first? Was it the line in, I see dead people?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: No, no, no.
JOEL SIEGEL: The idea came first?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: That was just a line. Yeah.
JOEL SIEGEL: It's a heck of a line (LAUGHTER).
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Um, yeah, no, it was the idea of like a kid at a funeral um, who was kind of talking to someone and the mom was like, 'who are you talking to?' That scene isn't in the movie, but that feeling of that kid, the movie about that kids. And um, originally it was a whole serial killer movie and the father was uh, a crime reporter, photographer, and he saw in his child's drawing the same drawing that was on one of the victim's and he realized that his son could see the victims you know, and so it was, that's how it went. And I couldn't make that work, they'd all, it felt a re-hashing of Silence of the Lambs, like everything was like Silenc-, coming out Silence of the lambs kind of thing. And I just kind of, every time, and it's something that I do now uh, without even thinking about it, is that if it smells like anything else, I stop writing you know, I can't do that.
JOEL SIEGEL: How did you get Bruce Willis?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: That was just-.
JOEL SIEGEL: He's not easy?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: No, it was the screenplay. It was the screenplay that, that got him, you know. He was the one I was thinking of for, but I didn't think he would do it. And they just offered to him and he said, yes.
JOEL SIEGEL: Now, I saw this movie, having no idea what to expect, because that's the way I like to go the movies, like wow, you know, OK. Show me. I couldn't believe what I saw, and I had to go see it again, the next day. And I would've seen it again that same day except I saw a screening and there was no other screenings that day. And I'm certainly not alone. Were you surprised? You had to have been surprised at the affect that this thing had?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Well, I was totally, at that point, and I wish I could be like that again, I had, I was totally numb to what was going on, anything that could happen to me. 'Cause I had 2 just awful things that happened to me and then I opened the morning paper on Friday, the morning that it opened, which is my birthday, August 6th, and I read the New York Time review which was awful, for The Sixth Sense. And I said, 'Well here we go again.' And I just threw, threw it down and I was like, 'Well it's all right.' And I just started writing Unbreakable. (LAUGHTER) And I said, I was like, 'It's all right, well it's gonna happen again, it's gonna happen again, what are y-, what can do?' And then little by little it started to change you know what I mean and they said, oh we, we, you know, some people are liking and what the hell. Blair Witch was wide that, that day. Blair opened wide that day, so I was like well we're definitely not getting first place, and we're definitely not probably getting 3rd because 2nd because Run Away Bride was opening wide that day as (LAUGHTER) well, so. (LAUGHS)
JOEL SIEGEL: So, $700 million dollars around the world later, and uh. We're gonna take a look at some clips from Unbreakable. Bruce, Bruce came back.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah. You know, and I think each movie kind of represents kind of like where you are mentally and you know, I was very kind of rebellious kind of, um maybe in (austere?) mode.
JOEL SIEGEL: Yeah, would you say you were in a fragile state? Because there's a lot of very fragile moments in this film.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: You know what I, it's funny you should say that, I would say probably just the opposite, I was really kind of stealing myself from things and so I think there's actually less, less emotionally scenes in this, in this movie than others, I kind of waited, waited, waited. 'Cause one of the lessons I thought I was learning was bridal my emotional instincts until the right time and then let it go, you know. 'Cause people aren't, aren't ready to cry like me (LAUGHTER), all the time, so realized that, you know, that the jock sitting next to me and I'm like. (LAUGHTER) And he's like. (LAUGHS)
JOEL SIEGEL: Let's take a look at the clip that you selected from Unbreakable.
JOEL SIEGEL: One more time you did a lot of things that aren't supposed to be done in movies. No music. Most of that was one take, camera panning back and forth, which you're not supposed to do in, in real movies. Great performances.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: That was you know, not really difficult scene to shoot because we had to uh, you know, the camera man walked off once because he was just so exhausted and I was like, 'You're at the wrong place at the wrong time.' And he's like, 'Cut.' And I was like, 'I'm sorry! Come back!' (LAUGHS) I rea-, I had yelled at him and I was like, I really, literally ran after this British cameraman, 'I'm so sorry, come back.' And um, you know, 'cause I was like, 'On this like you go here, you pan over wh-,' and you ju-, if you see in that one, that was the best one we had, but he did a little, a little thing off his spencer and like that, every time I see it I'm like. (LAUGHTER) But, what was really fun you know, there's few things that went through my mind watching that. One, the, the first thing and I don't even know if I should say, well you're here, what the hell, keep it between us. (LAUGHTER) Was, I remember we screened this for the, screw it, we screened it for the Golden Globes people and these guys got up and a guy said, 'Didn't know there was a problem when people were laughing in the gun scene.' And I said, 'It was intentional.' And he goes, gave me this like fatherly look like, (LAUGHTER) 'Let's be honest with each other now.' And I was like, 'Oh boy.' (LAUGHTER) This is not gonna get understood, this movie. I was like you know, that's tension humor. That's all, you know, all that stuff, 'I'll just shoot him once,' that's not bad dialogue, that supposed to be, you know, and-.
JOEL SIEGEL: You don't shoot friends. That's right.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, all the stuff and, and I was just kind of, when he said that and he sat down that was like, that was, I was, that was very indicative of a lot things that happened on Unbreakable which is kind of like uh, um, I-, I don't know what they thought they were gonna see following Sixth Sense but I kind of like a split between the audiences of I love it! And what happened to him? You know, and now it's growing into this kind of cult movie and I, everyday, somebody comes up to me and says, 'Unbreakable is your favorite movie-, my favorite movie of yours.'
JOEL SIEGEL: You didn't show us Samuel L. Jackson who's just terrific in this movie and does something, Samuel L. Jackson plays the character who is breakable. Uh, very, very physically vulnerable from the time he was born. And Sam Jackson is another great actor because he's not afraid, his, his character is angry, bitter, and actors will do that. But stars, as you know, often won't.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Right. No-.
JOEL SIEGEL: And I guess he's a little of both. As is Bruce Willis proves himself in the thing. And you really work with, you really get terrific actors. You really, I mean, you know.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Oh yeah, very lucky been there.
JOEL SIEGEL: Robin Wright Penn, what a, wow!
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: I know. (LAUGHTER) She's such an underrated actress man, she can, she smokes. She did this one scene in, in the, where she got upset, she did it and then she flubbed the line and in Unbreakable there's, there's like 8 cuts in the movie, there's so little cuts. (LAUGHTER) There's literally 400, which is for a movie, it's, it's very little, 400 cuts is very, very little. Like uh, a sequence in a movie like uh,-.
JOEL SIEGEL: Action film.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: An action film might have 1,000 or 15 hundred in one sequence, you know? Um, but she, you know, when she, she messed up once in one like and she got so angry she was like-, can I curse? I can't curse, can I?
JOEL SIEGEL: Yeah, sure you can curse.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: She goes 'Fuck!' and she slams the stat-..
JOEL SIEGEL: Wup, no that you can't say. (LAUGHTER)
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: The whole, the whole stage shuddered, and like all, everybody was like, 'She was so upset,' but the energy she brought to the scene was fantastic, it was just fantastic, you know, she's just a, a really amazing actress. But you know, the reason that I picked it, I was trying to find, as I was saying to you, in all of my movies, there is this scene, like the big emotional dialogue scene where basically the, the theme of the move is, is set, you know, in the car scene there. I didn't, I didn't have one for Unbreakable, which is really interesting, actually, it was just interesting for me that I didn't have that kind of big dialogue scene as you'll see in the next big clips that I'm gonna show you the other ones, I have those kind of big, you know, 4 minute moments where people just go at it.
JOEL SIEGEL: Well, one's coming up right now from the film Signs.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, from Signs, this is, should I talk about it before?
JOEL SIEGEL: Briefly. Because they-, man's holding up a sign there that says, Signs, so we getting ready.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Um, this uh, the, the sofa scene in Signs. This thing I wrote, I wrote this thing in about hour, it's like 2 hours, it just came pouring out. Um, and, and it was interesting 'cause you know, the great thing at having great actors together is that they push themselves you know, so we did Joaq, Joaq side first on this, on this-.
JOEL SIEGEL: That's Joaquin Phoenix.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Joaquin Phoenix-, sorry, Joaquin Phoenix-
JOEL SIEGEL: Walk, he's on walk.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: his side-.
JOEL SIEGEL: Work in a Chinese restaurant (..?). (LAUGHS)
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, exactly and he just, he sits down and he kills it, kills it. Like the, the sound guy looking up, everybody looking over and going, 'oh my god.' And um, Mel had to leave to go to the White House to show his movie and I said he could go.
JOEL SIEGEL: To show which movie?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Uh, When We Were Soldiers.
JOEL SIEGEL: Mel Gibson?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, he had to go the White House and, and it was big, he had his jet ready to take him, and I said, 'You can go at 6pm dude, you can go.' And Joaq just kills this side so we turn around and Mel sits down and um, it's not coming out right. And tick, tick, tick and six o'clock comes and I'm like, 'Oh boy.' And I said, 'You know, Mel, let's stop, we'll do this side tomorrow,' which I never do, but I gave him a promise and I saw him kind of like, you know, he is very intense guy, and then he went outside, whispered somebody and sat back down and then said, 'White House can wait.' And they delayed the (LAUGHTER) the screening to do this side of this scene, which he then just killed. And we he killed it, Joaq, Joaq looked back over his shoulder at me, going, he was getting scared on the cell phone 'cause (LAUGHTER) Mel was just so frick'n intense he was like burning a hole right through Joaquin, but you know, he talks about some really personal things, this is why I hired Mel, for this scene, for this moment, for the end of this moment, right here.
JOEL SIEGEL: Let's take a look at the scene that kept the president waiting.
JOEL SIEGEL: You can see what Mel Gibson was going to do next from that scene don't you think?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah that he, he you know, he has convictions, you know, he's not fooling around.
JOEL SIEGEL: And belief. (LAUGHTER)
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, it was wonderful.
JOEL SIEGEL: Where did that story come from about the throwing up and the miracle, come on.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: The throwing up, I can't tell you that. (LAUGHTER) It was uh, it was uh, there was an incident at a high school party, that's all I'll say. (LAUGHTER)
JOEL SIEGEL: I interviewed Mel Gibson just before it, uh, Signs came out about the film, he said great things about you. He did, he said he was amazed at your focus, he said he was amazed that you were, at that point you were like 30 years old and how much real life experience that you've had. And I was curios where the name Night came from, so I checked IMDB.com, which we all use, and I remembered when I interviewed Mel Gibson for this film, I had checked IMDB.com and there was a trivial fact that Mel Gibson that met his wife as through a dating a service.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Really?
JOEL SIEGEL: Well, I asked him that, and he said, not that's not true, and then he gave me this look and he says, 'Come on you think I needed a dating service?' (LAUGHTER) So IMDB says that you made up the name, Night, is that true?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, I didn't have a middle name and when I became a citizen um, which was when I was 17 you know, I was like, 'Mom, Dad, I'm gonna take a middle name and of course my mom's like, use my name.' (LAUGHTER) And I said, 'Nah, you know, I'm not gonna go there.' And then, and then the normal thing is to pick John or Rob or Sam or something so you can fit in a little bit better in America you know, 'cause there's so many uncles that are all named Sam and stuff. (LAUGHTER) And I said that didn't really work for me either. And so it was kind of this conflict between that, the fact that you know, in a way you're kind of becoming your own person at that age, you know, becoming you know, who you're gonna become and neither felt quite right. And at the time I was you know, studying and really into American, American Indian culture and, and kind of, kind of their naturalism and, and their spirituality which I, I really dig and um, there's one of those gut things and it was the name Night and, and I said, I would to use that, and as it, you know, as it turns out, you know, at the time you know, as it turns out it, it seems to be pretty accurate (LAUGHTER) .
JOEL SIEGEL: Yeah, because what I mean, you could've picked Sunny, you know, and it would've been very different kinds of, you would be making little romantic comedies.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Musicals is all. (LAUGHTER)
JOEL SIEGEL: Something that strikes me about your films, virtually no special effects in your movies.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, I'm not um, comfortable with special effects for a couple of reasons. One because I'm very regimented in making a movie kind of like, I enjoy the writing process, I don't want to do about anything else but write, and then I enjoy the story writing process, I want to concentrate on that in pre-production with the actors and the sets and all that stuff, and then the shooting and so on and so forth.
JOEL SIEGEL: So you don't-.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: With CGI you have to do it throughout the whole thing you know, you have to while you're writing you've got to meet with them and it's just pervasive and I haven't developed enough of a sense of the movie yet, to, to be accurate in that, in that regard, and so I'm not good at, that's why I don't do it, I'm not good at it all and um, I also don't like you know, my whole-.
JOEL SIEGEL: I was not expecting that kind of answer. No really. I, uh-.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: I mean it goes with the, this philosophy that I do not like to make movies in the editing room. And that's the way movies are made. I don't, that, I do not like to do that, you know, we're gonna, we're gonna envision them, try to shoot and then use the editing process to enhance that, um, but not in the editing room, you know, now-. You know, movie making now is kind of you know, run a lot of cameras, get as much footage as you can, I think we have it, let's figure it out you know, in the editing room. And they sometimes find amazing things, but I don't feel I can go to bed at night (LAUGHS) like that, so.
JOEL SIEGEL: Is this because you're, first of all you're screen writer, is that why do you think?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Possibly. I just feel really comfortable you know, I'm much more at home with it, with this scene, you know, the dialogue at the dinner table scene then I would be with the, if I did Troy, Troy would be, it would immediately end up with 2 guys behind a wall fighting each other and hearing the rest of the thousands of fighters and these two guys kind of pausing and looking each other 'cause they're exhausted and they're the only ones, you get a sense they're humanity and then you know, all kinds of things that would happen there.
JOEL SIEGEL: Well, but that scene in Troy was that scene.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: I didn't see it. (LAUGHTER) But you know, the clips of it, there's 5 million extras, you know.
JOEL SIEGEL: It's Peter O'toole and Brad Pitt-
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Oh, really?
JOEL SIEGEL: In a tent in the middle of the night-.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: That's immediately where my money would go to for that, if that, that movie, so.
JOEL SIEGEL: Now you have a new movie coming out, I understand? (LAUGHTER)
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah. Yes, I do. Yeah.
JOEL SIEGEL: I have to be absolutely honest, I have not seen this film.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: I know.
JOEL SIEGEL: I want to see it. And I do, I love your movies and I, and I love good movies and I can't wait to see this film. We have a clip from it, do you want to tell me what I'm going to see in this clip?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, no I really thought about whether to, when they first, when they first brought this idea up here, they said you know, 'And we won't do a clip of The Village, we might just show a little bit of the, we show the trailer.' And I said, 'God you know, if we're gonna do this, and everyone's gonna come out all around the country, let's just show him something.' And then the worry was what to what to actually show them, because you know, it'll get out. And so um, I did something I normally wouldn't do which is show you one of the marquee, the marquee scenes of the movie. And, and you know, if we were doing this like 2 years from now, 3 years from now, this would be the scene that I would pull out from this movie to show you guys. Um, it's-.
JOEL SIEGEL: What do we need to know?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: You just need to know The Village, ultimately is a, is a love story. And-
JOEL SIEGEL: That's a first for M. Night Shyamalan.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, I, yeah. It's a love story and um, a twisted, sick one,(LAUGHTER) but-, it's still love. It's still love. Um, and, and this is, this is one of the, the romantic scenes in the movie uh, it, it's uh, another, another-, it's funny 'cause Joaq's, Joaq's one of the 2 characters in this scene as well.
JOEL SIEGEL: You use, actors must like you, they come back for more.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Yeah, I, I love them. You know, it's such a tight bond you make it with the actors um, and um, so this is a very, very uh, very romantic scene.
JOEL SIEGEL: And who is he playing opposite?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: He's playing opposite Bryce Dallas Howard, who is the uh, the, the lead of the movie-.
JOEL SIEGEL: In her first film.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: In her first movie and um, I kind of you know, as you probably guys, probably already know, I was talking to Kirsten Dunst to, to play the role and we couldn't work out the schedule to make it you know, satisfactory for either of us, so that went away. And uh, I decided instead of looking at any other actress I went to, I saw uh, uh, a young lady acting on, in an off-Broadway over here, um, doing Shakespeare, and I say, click, click, click, click. And I was like that's it, and I said, 'She's the one.' And then I said, 'We're not gonna au-, we're not gonna audition her, we're not gonna do nothing, we're gonna offer the role and we're gonna blow people's minds.' And they called the studio and they were like, 'yes.' They probably would say yes anyway, but they said yes! And um, and uh, and then I talked to Scott Rudin, the producer and just everybody was kind of like, 'you don't want to audition her?' I said, 'No, that'll spoil it this is magic, dude, this is about magic. You gotta believe in magic, you know, take this unknown, I totally got, it's one of those things.'
JOEL SIEGEL: You know, Philadelphia's not far from Atlantic city, I realize, you're really a gambler, aren't you?
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Well, I can't use my powers for, for that. (LAUGHTER) In Atlantic city I lose everything. (LAUGHTER)
JOEL SIEGEL: Let's take a look at this clip from The Village...