What's your reaction to Elizabeth winning only one Oscar despite seven nominations?
I was surprised to get the nominations in the first place. Beyond that, there are too many forces at play.
Was it a fair reflection of the film's quality?
It's not a question of being fair. Cate Blanchett was superior in Elizabeth than Gwynneth Paltrow in Shakespeare....
Were there other factors at play then?
Gwynneth played her cards better and was better promoted. Fairness has nothing to do with it. Too much money was at stake.
Will this adversely affect your career in Hollywood?
All the films I was offered came to me before the Oscar nominations.
But wouldn't a few more Oscars have helped?
If the Academy awards are a benchmark of one's talent, then being nominated as one of the best five films of the year is good enough.
What's your next project and when do you intend to start shooting?
I'm not sure yet. I've attached myself to four films—agreed to direct them if I'm satisfied with the scripts and approve of the cast and budget. They are Steinbeck's Point of View for Warner Brothers, Phantom of the Opera, also for WB, Lady of the Clouds for (Steven Spielberg's) Dreamworks and Mandela with producer Anant Singh.
Why has the Mandela project been delayed?
Its script didn't turn out quite right. Now we have another writer working on it.
Haven't you set a date for it?
I can't say when it'll start. At the moment I'm reading a lot of scripts, and if I really like one, I'll shoot that before Mandela, unless of course, the Mandela script is ready.
Has Elizabeth been nominated elsewhere?
It has been nominated in 12 categories in the British 'Oscars' called the bafta (British Academy of Film & Television Arts) Awards. That includes Best Director.
It's been a hectic year for you. What's next?
After that, it'll all be thankfully over, so I can leave Elizabeth behind and get on with my next film!