The endings to me are the key moment in 'Weekend' and '45 Years.' I know how I want my gut to feel at the ending. Even if I can't articulate in words what that feeling is, I'm trying to find ways to get there.
I've traveled a fair amount around the country and visited many states. It's amazing that Oregon is so different from Idaho; even though Portland isn't that far from Boise, it's a completely different city. Colorado is very different from Oregon. From a European perspective, I've always found that fascinating about America.
For a long time, gay men fought to be seen as different, doing our own thing: This is our lives; this is what we do. Accept it. There's a conservatism that has come into the gay community: 'We're just like you, just like everyone else.'
I like going to a new environment with open eyes.
I'm not very good at thinking, 'This is the thing I should do now to help my career.' I mean, I want to keep my career going, but that's not what draws me to a story.
With supporting roles, you just want really good actors that can make it bigger than what's there.
I wanted to make films since I was young. My background had nothing to do with anything creative, so it seemed an impossible task.
One of the reasons I wanted to make 'Lean on Pete' was that it wasn't about identity. For me, it's about something more essential underneath: the need to have somewhere to live, to be safe, and have someone to look after you.
I'm gay, and I know a lot of very liberal straight people, and, of course, they're absolutely fine, but they still won't necessarily come and see a film like 'Weekend.'
I think there's always a conflict within me about being comfortable and secure and then being an individual and fighting for what I want to be on an individual basis.
A lot of gay-themed films are terrible. And mainstream audiences and the press aren't interested, understandably.
People don't think the struggles gay people have are worth talking about because everyone's decided that we're all equals now. Those struggles are much more subtle now. But the weight of being different does carry on.
My straight friends accept I'm gay but they forget that some people don't. Even now, if I go into a party, people don't usually assume I'm gay, so you have to keep coming out. And if you say you've got a film with a gay subject matter, you can sometimes see people's eyes going, 'Oh! OK!'
I've always felt like an outsider, whether in school or when I'm working or within the industry or just in society at large.
I am fascinated by that person who is trying to live authentically, but they are on the outside of society, so how do they manage in the world around them?
I think people do like extremes in cinema. There are very few films told about everyday middle-class couples, which is odd to me, as there are a lot of everyday middle-class couples.
My films are very everyday, and people don't always want to go to the cinema to see ordinary lives. They want to see something a bit more extraordinary. I get that desire, but it's not the kind of film I want to make.
Lots of shows get cancelled, and then they never get to end their stories. It's just over.
You can achieve one thing, but because of that, you have to adapt or lose something else. If you end up in a relationship, you sometimes have to lose the closeness of your friendships, for example, or you have to move away somewhere... For me, that creates the sense of melancholy which I think exists in most people's lives.
When I started making films, it was never that I had this great ambition to only do gay-themed material.
I think it is a burden... that we constantly realise that there isn't that much rhyme or reason to why something happens. If we think about that too much, it can make all of our decisions very stressful.
I was not a happy teenager in the slightest.
I don't want a performance to give me everything. You can look at Charlotte Rampling in '45 Years,' and you don't really know what she's thinking, but you know something interesting is happening.
In stories, those are the moments that hit me the most: when people really don't expect it, don't have it much in their lives, and suddenly, an act of kindness. It's like, 'Oh, God! Heartbreaking!'
The longer you get in a relationship, the harder it becomes to confront problems.