Earlier this year, Avengers: Endgame became the highest-grossing movie of all-time, an incredible achievement that won’t be beat until the next time Marvel’s finest come together to stop, I dunno, Ruby Thursday. Equally incredible: the two movies that it passed on its way to the top were made by the same guy: his name is James Cameron, the bravest pioneer. He wrote and directed Titanic ($2.187 billion), which usurped Jurassic Park as the top-grosser in 1998, before repeating the feat with Avatar ($2.789 billion); that record held until Endgame, 10 years later. Oh yeah, and he also made The Terminator, Alias, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and True Lies. Not bad! James Cameron is a walking flex (as a filmmaker; I will not touch on his personal life), which is why comments he made to the Hollywood Reporter went viral this week.
LAST BIG SPLURGE
“Building a sub.”
YOU FIND BOB IGER’S IPHONE. WHICH CONTACT DO YOU CALL?
“I can call anybody I want. I don’t need Bob Iger’s cell phone.”
Most people on the Reporter‘s list of the 100 most powerful people in Hollywood gave boring answers to the first question, like Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos (#2), who splurged on a “Rocket Appartamento espresso machine and grinder,” but not our buddy James Cameron (#56). Never with James Cameron. He talks the talk, like so:
“I can tell you one thing about them,” Cameron laughs when [asked about the Avatar sequels]. “They’re gonna be bitchin’. You will sh*t yourself with your mouth wide open.”
But he also walks the walk. Is that quote obnoxious? Uh huh. Is he full of bloviating mouth-wide-open sh*t? You bet. Counterpoint: he made Avatar and T2 and Aliens and Titanic, which earned him Best Picture and Best Director, so Cameron: 1; world: 0.
A few more Cameron quotes:
“[Aquaman exists] between a Greek mythic landscape and a fairy tale landscape. And people just kind of zoom around underwater because… they propel themselves mentally? I guess. I don’t know. But it’s cool. You buy it on its own terms. But I’ve spent thousands of hours underwater. I’m very literal about my underwater.”
James Cameron is nothing if not literal about his underwater:
“So you’re talking about the Mythbusters episode, right? Where they sort of pop the myth? OK, so let’s really play that out: you’re Jack, you’re in water that’s 28 degrees, your brain is starting to get hypothermia. Mythbusters asks you to now go take off your life vest, take hers off, swim underneath this thing, attach it in some way that it won’t just wash out two minutes later, which means you’re underwater tying this thing on in 28-degree water, and that’s going to take you five to ten minutes, so by the time you come back up you’re already dead… His best choice was to keep his upper body out of the water and hope to get pulled out by a boat or something before he died. They’re fun guys and I loved doing that show with them, but they’re full of sh*t.”
Drag the Mythbusters guys, James!
“Would I nail a cellphone to the wall with a nail gun? Absolutely, if it went off in the middle of a take, but…
There’s more to that quote, but honestly, it’s perfect right there.
Cameron’s not done talking yet, though:
“Tell your friend he’s getting f*cked in the ass, and if he would stop squirming it wouldn’t hurt so much” was the message he once told a Fox producer to deliver to an executive at the studio.
He taught Zoë Saldana how to shoot her bow, as he envisioned it. “It’s a two-fingered inverted draw past the head, like a Samurai,” he said, tracing the shape in the air over his left shoulder. “The archery instructor came and said, ‘Do you want me to teach them archery or do you want me to teach them this? This would never work.’ I said, ‘See that bush?’ It was a hundred and fifty feet away. I nailed it.” (Via)
He signs his missives “Jim out.” (Via)
Those last three excerpts all come from the same New Yorker profile, which is highly entertaining and ridiculous. But that’s James Cameron, isn’t it? He’s an obsessive, an eccentric, a pompous workaholic who demands perfection… but, as Birth.Movie.Death.‘s Scott Wampler tweeted, “I’ve said this before but I suppose it bears repeating: is James Cameron egotistical? Yes. Does that come through in interviews? Most definitely. Is James Cameron’s track record legendary and impossible to argue with? 100%.” I can’t wait for Avatar 2 (and the rest of the ridiculously titled sequels) to come out. Not because I’m all that interested in seeing it, but the press tour is going to be incredible.