Q: How did you choose your latest project?
A: My job is almost entirely about reading now, keeping up on the great writers. So David Ignatius had written the book and it had what I thought was a really great title, Penetration, later to be changed by his publisher to Body of Lies. But penetration is a great description of international intrigue in the Middle East, where they all fuck each other—both religiously and politically. We cover a lot of ground. You know, I like to move very fast now, because Iíve started to feel my oats in terms of being assertive. Itís taken awhile for me to think, Well, actually, you do know best.

Q: Wait, are you saying youíre just coming into your own now?
A: Well, mostly because Iím the most experienced person out of the whole fucking 800 on the lot, Iíve learned to really trust my intuition. Iíll always listen. If somebody wants, Iíll explain it and then Iíll see their eyes cloud over and Iíll realize that theyíre never going to get it anyway and therefore Iíd better stick to my guns. When youíre at a certain point in your time—age, that is, when youíre older—you start to realize that, actually, what you leave behind you does count, and so you start to become fundamentally aware of your own destiny, which sounds very grand. Itís not grand at all, actually. It means never just taking a job, and Iíve never taken a job for money. Iím enjoying myself now as a director more than ever before. Once the passion goes, youíd better take up golf, you know?

Q: Well, your movie A Good Year is about dropping out of the rat race and making wine. Youíre 70 now—ever consider doing that yourself?
A: I live about eight minutes from the house in Provence where we shot that, you know? But I have someone else run the vineyard. I know what I should make and what I should consume, right? Coppola started his winery and label, but he also almost gave up movies, didnít he? I want to be known as the guy who makes good movies, not good wine.