I'm pretty busy in my life and I'm very aware of what it takes to direct a movie. It takes a lot out of you; it takes a lot out of the rest of your life, from other people in your life. I don't lie around hungering for that consumption very often.
I studied French forever, and when do I ever speak French? I clearly should have studied Spanish. I wish I had stuck with music, because that would still be great. I really wish I had learned to surf earlier in my life.
In a very philosophic sense I think doing the work is itself a good thing. But at the end of the day, since we're taking other people's shekels to do it, and their work is being able to make a return out of it, it forces you to consider the fact that you're doing it for other people. The whole construct is built around the assumption that it's going to get shared, and that someone else is going to find value in it - entertainment, catharsis, enlightenment, or whatever.
See, I don't get the sense that you need to direct at all. Sometimes I get the opposite sensation from you, that you're like, "I really should go do something else." But then you are drawn back in by a particular story, like a hangnail in the brain.
There are so many people who are conscientious and caring about others. I've spent time working in countries where I really noticed the absence of civic concern, care for other people. I've been in other countries where I feel a palpable, almost tooth-and-claw attitude between people - Machiavellian, me and mine. And you can take for granted being here, with all the bloviating and the media, on a day-to-day level, people in this country are really pretty concerned for each other.
I thought Rounders was a comic movie in its way. First time I directed a movie, I wanted to do a comedy. I don't like things that are superficially one thing or another, mainly. My favorite comedies are really smart, too, and have a lot of levels to them as well.