Do you see any comparisons between The Good Shepherd and Coppolas Godfather?
It was started by Coppola, the project with Eric Roth," said Robert De Niro. "Then it went through with other directors. There were certain parallels, but how could there not be? I mean [Godfather] was about that secret society and this is about another type of secret society, but very Americana. One of the best lines in the movie to me is in the Joe Pesci scene where he says, What do you people have? And Matt Damon says, The United States of America. The rest of you are just visiting.
The cinematography was impressive in The Good Shepherd.
Thats Bob Richardson. Hes a wonderful cinematographer and I couldnt have done it without him.
You chose to shoot a lot in profile, keeping an air of mystery about the characters. How did that come about?
It was discussions with the cinematographer. Thats how we did the whole film. If something felt wrong Id be like, Okay, how about doing this or going over there? It was a collaborative process.
Did you storyboard the film prior to shooting it?
We storyboarded some of it. But Ive always had a problem with I think its great and certain things you need it for. Like if youre doing action scenes and you need the precision, then absolutely. But I feel more comfortable just doing it there. We talk about scenes, but things always change. At the last minute someone will come up with an idea. Like Eric [Roth] said hed come up with an idea. That might mean we have to change something. The actors will come up with something different. Bob Richardson will come up with something. Ill come up with something. It always needs that kind of change in direction sometimes. And you have the flexibility to do that.