That was my other question, you always write and direct? Do you think you would ever do one or the other?
Anything’s possible, but I think it would break my heart a bit to write a script and then give it away, they’re kind of like my kids.
Let’s talk about Michael Shannon, who has been in every movie you’ve ever made. Would you ever do a movie without him?
Oh sure, you know, but that doesn't mean I want to, I just think he’s great.
I think I read him say he doesn't ever want to miss a movie of yours.
I’ll say this too, I said this in the press conferences: I’m not shoehorning him into these parts, I really think they’re right for him, and that’s partly because I write these for him, but even in my next film he’s got this smaller part.
You really can’t take your eyes off of him, especially in Midnight Special.
He’s got something that it’s very hard to sum up or give an anecdote for -- the thing I’ve been saying is that he makes me a better writer, in that I can write less dialogue, if the characters are fully built, knowing he fills in everything that’s not spoken
This is a terribly dorky question, but do you ever consider him to be your muse, similar to Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino?
You know, I imagine all this when I’m writing, I imagine what it looks like what the car sounds like, what the clothes look like, I imagine what my character sound like, it’s very easy for me to close my eyes and imagine Mike Shannon say these lines, because I know him so well.
How did you choose Adam Driver [who plays a slightly awkward NSA officer in the film]?
Adam, to be honest, came out of a suggestion from the studio. I hadn’t watched Girls, and I wasn’t familiar with his work, but I got in the phone with him, he was really sweet and he’d seen my films -- he’d even seen Shotgun Stories, and not a lot of people have seen that movie... sometimes you just have a feeling about people. I didn’t really know what he was gonna do with the character, out of all the characters it could’ve been the most cliche, and I talked with him about that, I said I really needed this person to be a real person. There’s this one the part of Adam, this very conscious fumbling he does... in the scene I worked with him on, he bumped into this chair and he dropped his book bag, and I yelled “cut” and I was like “ahh this is what he’s doing” and it’s extraordinarily energetic, none of it’s crazy, but I was quite impressed. He’s a very smart actor.