A look at what the director loves
I got it and I love it. But I didn’t get it early. I’ve got to make friends with Steve Jobs (laughs). No, I didn’t have to stand in line, I just sent my assistant and I got it Friday (June 29) and I’m playing with it now, trying to figure it all out. I hear it’s idiot-proof and I’m a bit of an idiot when it comes to technology, although I just love hi-tech stuff. I’ve always got to have the newest, the latest gadget, because I’m a big consumer. But I don’t have the patience to always figure stuff out. I’ll probably have to go through a training session to figure out exactly how to deal with it. It’s very complicated but simple at the same time. Now I have three phones with me all the time, which is crazy! I’m a BlackBerry fanatic. I have the very latest and I use that mainly for email and texting, and I just switched my main number to the iPhone, so that’ll be my main phone. And I also carry a Motorola Razr as I don’t like the BlackBerry for talking. But the iPhone’s my new favorite.
It’s the coolest thing in the world that I own. It’s a server in your home, and I have my entire movie library on it and on every TV in my house, so I can play any film anytime. You just drop the DVD in, and in 20 minutes it loads up a new film and spits it back out. The only problem is, it makes me never want to leave my house. I watch a movie every day, or at least some scenes, and I always fall asleep that way. If I type in “Being There” by Hal Ashby, who’s my favorite dead director — Roman Polanski’s my favorite living one — it’ll also show me every film he’s directed that I own, or every comedy, or it’ll categorize by year, or even running time, so it’s just amazing. But the coolest thing is that if I’m watching a movie in my bedroom I can pause it there and walk to another room and it’ll start up again on my living room TV or any other one. It cost a fortune but it’s the most state-of-the-art system and really worth it as I ran out of space for my DVDs. I have over 10,000 and now I’m going to auction them all off this month for my two favorite charities — Chrysalis, which I’m on the board of, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
3. Home theater system
The other reason I never like to leave the house is my amazing home theater. It’s in my living room, which is huge, so I can seat as many people as I want to, and I have the best video projector in the world, the Sony Qualia, as well as a real film projector. I just love watching movies. I also TiVo but I rarely watch regular TV. I TiVo and watch my own show, “Prison Break,” which I produce, and I love “Entourage” and “60 Minutes.”
4. Photography and cameras
My big passion along with movies. I’m a professional photographer and I use large-format for shoots. For everyday I use a Contax T3 camera with a Carl Zeiss lens — it’s film, not digital. And my newest coolest camera is the Leica M8 digital. It takes the old Leica lenses and it’s just unbelievable. And I collect photographs by Irving Penn, Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Peter Beard and Phil Stern, who shot a lot of the Rat Pack photos. I have a huge collection of those, and tons of shots from movie sets and of directors shot by Brigitte Lancombe. And then I also have weird trends as I also collect photographs of classical composers, like Igor Stravinsky, and of my favorite painters like Francis Bacon. I collect art as well, like Warhol, but I don’t want to say how many I have.
5. The photo booth
It’s this great vintage ’60s machine, which is basically like a little film lab inside, with the robotic arm that drops the film into the developer. It sits just outside the house and so many friends have sat in it — Michael Jackson, Bob Evans, Nic Cage, Leonardo DiCaprio.
A great ’60s toy — a musicvideo jukebox, like the first version of MTV. It’s like a giant jukebox with this screen and it has 18 wheels of film, and you can pick your favorite clip, like a Paul Anka clip, or Eartha Kitt and Little Richard. I love it!
7. Movie memorabilia
I love movies so much that I collect tons of stuff. The coolest thing I have is a wrap gift that Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro gave the crew of “Raging Bull.” It’s a pair of sterling silver boxing gloves inscribed with “Thanks from Marty and Bob, ‘Raging Bull,’ 1975.” I bought them at an auction. I also own all of the continuity Polaroids for “The Godfather” and “Godfather II,” over 100 of ’em. I got those at another auction. And I have the camera used in “Raising Arizona” by Holly Hunter when she takes the photo of Nic Cage in the jail lineup, and hundreds of movie posters. My favorite is the Japanese one for “Apocalypse Now” and I have “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Chinatown,” both signed by Roman Polanski.
They’re not a passion like movies and photography but I have a lot of fun collecting them. All my cars are black except for my ’69 — the year I was born — classic Mercedes, which is racing green and my favorite to drive. I have a brand new Ferrari 430 triple-black, but I only drive it at weekends. The fastest I’ve ever gone in it? 160mph down Wilshire — I’m joking! You want to get me arrested? And I love my Bentley Arnage T, which is twin-turbo and the car I drive every day. I also collect old movie cars. I have the ’67 Lincoln with suicide doors from “Dead Presidents” and a ’51 Jag convertible from “Money Talks” and the ’80 Corvette Stingray convertible from the “Rush Hour” movies.
— As told to Iain Blair