Q: Of course, DreamWorks was divided into your animation side and the live-action shop where your partners work. Do you miss being part of that trio?
A: No, because the split of the two companies was more financial and legal than anything else. And to this day both David and Steven remain my closest and most important confidants, so there isnít anything I donít share and discuss with them.
Q: Your relationship with Wall Street has changed, though. Do you ever wish you didnít have to talk to financial analysts about stuff like the stock price?
A: There is nothing about driving to work through those gates every day that isnít, in some fashion, challenging, rewarding, frustrating yet ultimately a treat. Nothing. Wall Street is a part of this enterprise that has its ups and downs. Weíve made our mistakes, and you learn from them. I think weíve gotten better at dealing with Wall Street and, you know, being responsive to our investors. Thatís a part of what we do, and I donít mind it.
Q: You did a cameo on The Apprentice. What do you want to see in a new hire?
A: I look for enthusiasm. I look for somebody who believes in him- or herself, has great ambition, wants to do great work, and wants to be a team player, because making animated movies is the ultimate team sport. It takes 400 people four and a half to five years to make an animated movie, so by definition it requires marathon runners who like to run relays. Because youíve got a lot of partners in making it work here.
Q: Youíre 57 now. Have you always been a risk-taker?
A: Well, I was ambitious and entrepreneurial at a very young ageand extremely precocious. When there were snowstorms in New York, I used to go to shop owners on the Upper East Side and demand 25 cents for clearing their sidewalks.
Q: So whatís your Rosebud moment?
A: I live it every day, walking around here. I get to live my childhood all my life.