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Q: Well, "Horns" and "The F Word" were also low-budget films as well. Did you have any…
You can't even compare the budget "Horns" has to "Kill Your Darlings." "Horns" has so much more substantial budget than "Kill Your Darlings." Yeah, like almost ten times the budget.
Q: Oh wow. OK.
You got to bear in mind like "Kill Your Darlings" had a very, very low budget.
Q: I think it's somewhat o fa secret how low a budget it was.
Yeah. I used to say [what it was], and then somebody said to me, "Dan, could you stop saying how low our film costs?" In fact, it was John came up to me and said, "Dan, could you stop telling people how little I made this film for because then they'll always expect me to make it for that much." And he's right, so I have.
Q: Sure, but "The F Word" is an indie romantic comedy. I'm guessing it did not cost that much.
No, no, no, no.
Q: Are there moments on those films where you've been sort of like, "How are we gonna pulls this off?"
The only difference is like sometimes I think I sound like a spoiled actor. The example I use from "Kill Your Darlings" is that we were scouting locations one day around New York and John said to our producer, "Oh, that's great 'cause that's the day we'll have the crane." And I just turned around to him and I stopped myself because the question I was about to ask was, "Will we not have the crane every day?" On "Potter," we just had two crane cameras just there, lying around. Even if we weren't using 'em we just have 'em. 'Cause that's the money, the difference in studio money. On an independent film you rent a crane camera for one day and you get all your crane shots.
Q: You get the lights for that day.
Yeah, exactly. I mean I think if you were talking to an actor that maybe didn't prepare in the way I do, there might be some differences, because like it's definitely a jump. You're going from shooting maybe an eighth of a page a day on "Potter" to shooting nine pages a day. And I imagine that would be a job for some people. But I've kind of found that I've thrived in it. I think all that money and time buy you is the luxury of indecision.
Q: Well, what's really interesting is, no joke, an hour before this I spoke to one of your contemporaries who also grew up on set, Dakota Fanning.
Oh right, OK.
Q: And one of the things that she talks about is that she just loves acting so much that she doesn't really – I mean she cares about the final product, but not that much. I mean she cares about it and she's glad people like it but the experience for her is actually…
Yeah, doing it.
Q: Is that the same for you?
Yeah, that's why you do it. You do it to be on set. I don't do it so I can watch myself back in a movie. I do it so I have a great time on set. And I think the thing that so many people often ask me, like, "What drives me?" And I think frankly there is some very irrational but very real thought in my mind that one day some guy's gonna appear out of nowhere and say, "You can never work on a film again." And that would fucking break me. I wouldn't know what to do with my life. I've grown up on film sets since I was nine. Dakota Fanning probably about the same age, probably even younger, actually.
Q: Six, I believe.
Six, Jesus Christ. But probably, we literally almost probably started at the same time. In fact we did start at the same time because we both appeared…
Q: Well, she's 19, how old are you again?
I'm 24. But she and I, if I'm right in saying, were both picked in Variety's 10 kids to watch [or something like that] in 2001, which I still have it framed. My mom and dad still have it framed in their bathroom so that's why I remember it. And I remember there's definitely me and Dakota Fanning. I believe possibly Jonathan Lipnicki and Haley Joel Osment and Amanda Bynes.
Q: Oh wow.
I can't remember who else was up there, but so far me and Dakota are doing well. It's good.
"Kill Your Darlings" opens in limited release on Oct. 16.