Looking for something to read during your lunch hour? Check out Esquire‘s recent profile about our favorite enfant terrible, director Paul Thomas Anderson. The article, which appeared in the print edition of the magazine last month, finally popped online within the last week, and since we don’t know anyone who actually buys Esquire, we’re guessing you haven’t seen it, either.
There isn’t really a whole lot of new ground traversed in the piece, as the only people interviewed are former high school friends and acquaintances of Mr. Anderson, who haven’t heard from the director in years. Needless to say, their judgment about the man might be a little slanted. The one thing everyone seems to agree on is that Mr. Anderson was a childhood prodigy when it came to filmmaking. For example, he directed The Dirk Diggler Story, which in essence became Boggie Nights, during his senior year of high school. Mr. Anderson was also very fond of filming his father, Ernie Anderson (a television personality who sounds a little like Phillip Baker Hall’s character in Magnolia) and his father’s pals, actors Robert Ridgley and Tim Conway, hanging out and drinking, which we can only imagine has to be hilarious footage (PTA, please make that a DVD extra someday!).
Still, our favorite part comes during a description of the director’s famed two-day stint at NYU film school. To quote the article, Mr. Anderson quit "because one professor dissed Terminator 2 and another gave him a ‘C’ for a prose sample that was actually written by David Mamet." We don’t know what’s funnier: that Paul Thomas Anderson handed in something written by David Mamet or that the NYU teacher didn’t know it was written by David Mamet. Whoops!