David Fincher Traces His Assholishness To Its Source

There's no single passage from this epic new David Fincher interview that we feel especially good singling out at others' expense, but at least one answers history's long-standing question: Why is he such a prick?

After all, it takes a special kind of man to chest-punch studio executives and boldly remake Forrest Gump at twice the length and budget without any attribution whatsoever. (And that's not even counting the ButtonGate scandal brewing in Rome.) Where does it come from? A lucky audience in London found out first-hand after a special BFI screening of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button — and naturally, as with so many of Hollywood's most influential assholes, we owe it all to Fox:

I'd always had this naive idea that everybody wants to make movies as good as they can be, which is stupid. [audience laughs] So I learned on [Alien 3] movie that nobody really knows, so therefore no one has to care, so it's always going to be your fault. I'd always thought, "Well, surely you don't want to have the Twentieth Century Fox logo over a shitty movie." And they were like, "Well, as long as it opens."

So I learned then just to be a belligerent asshole, which was really: "You have to get what you need to get out of it." You have to fight for things you believe in, and you have to be smart about how you position it so that you don't just become white noise. On that movie, I was the guy who was constantly the voice of "we need to do this better, we need to do this, this doesn't make sense". And pretty soon, it was like in "Peanuts": WOP WOP WOP WOP WOP! They'd go, "He's doing that again, he's frothing at the mouth, he seems so passionate." They didn't care.

Fine. Still, get over it. There's never any excuse for making Jake Gyllenhaal cry.