"The one thing we cannot think about is reality, because your mind is completely set up to not accept reality. It can't deal with reality. It can't deal with truth. It can deal with relative truths, but it can't deal with absolute truths."
I have to pause and be honest with Guy Ritchie: You're blowing my mind, man. That's not a bad thing -- it's just 9am on a Tuesday; I'm strained from an overnight flight rattled by lightning storms; the director of Snatch, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and two Sherlock Holmes movies is preaching transcendence like Hollywood's resident Baruch Spinoza; and our reality-versus-perception debate, a bottomless rabbit hole for existentialists and stoned college kids alike, moves the conversation away from his latest blockbuster, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
"It could be the coffee," he points out.
OK, fair, I'm two cups deep in only 15 minutes, but instead of King Arthur star Charlie Hunnam or the villain, played by Jude Law, or Spanish model Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey's mysterious Mage character, we've segued to unboxing videos. This is a lot to take in.
"The old guard is crumbling," says Ritchie, who has made bank at the box office, but is well-aware that the 17-year-old girl with 2,000,000 YouTube subscribers is vying for his audience's attention. "Isn't everything about living vicariously? Isn't the world of celebrity all about vicarious living? And aren't we all being found out? It's always been that way, but what's quite revealing about this is it's hard to deny the condition of it all. Its conspicuity."
Ritchie grew up in Southern England, thrived as a director during the final bow of the '90s indie scene, introduced the world to Jason Statham, married and divorced Madonna, married and settled down with model Jacqui Ainsley, and has made movies with Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr., Idris Elba, and Tom Hardy. But unboxing videos remind him of the biggest lesson he learned in Hollywood: "the fool's errand of trying to live vicariously through others."
Cut to: Guy Ritchie performing the Parable of the Prodigal Son.