Lucas grew up in a faith-based community in Alabama, but I said [to him], "If this movie's about tennis you wouldn't be taking it." It's about golf but
it's not just about golf, really. A philosopher once said, "Don't be a farmer, be a man on a farm." If you make sure you're a good man first and then a
farmer second, I think that's what this film explores. ... [Also] It's the only golf movie I ever knew of where we had a legitimate scratch golfer
playing the lead, who could hit the ball.
Black's that good?
He plays in Pro-Ams. He says the best he ever did was 100 people played a Pro-Am [and he] got third place. He's very good. And an excellent actor.
Excellent actor. Excellent actor.
Have you played at all?
Way back. I learned how to golf. I believe in hobbies, but it takes too much time. ... Dennis Hopper played. People played golf that you would never think
would play golf. It's a middle-class game, but yet when I worked in Scotland, in Glasgow, the cab drivers tell you their handicaps, so it is a
workingman's sport too. It started out as that.
You've always been popular in Texas and loved shooting there. What was it like to shoot in Utopia [population 373, according to the movie]?
We went first to Fredericksburg [Texas], which is probably the cleanest city in America. It's a German settlement that was actually pro-Union during
the Civil War. Then for the last two weeks we went to Utopia, which if it's not the best location I've ever worked in, [it's] one of my favorites. ...
I read that book at the time, Empire of the Summer Moon, on the Comanches. Now there's a script coming from that that my friend hopefully will
direct, Scott Cooper, who did Crazy Heart. She needs a little work but that should be pretty interesting. I've got to watch it in its entirety,
but what I saw of The Searchers, I don't agree with it. I think it was a bit melodramatic. I disagree with [Martin] Scorsese and all those
people. I have to watch it again. This will be that subject, maybe treated in a more serious way.
What doesn't work for you about The Searchers?
I gotta watch it [again], because what I saw was ... a bit melodramatic. And you have Italians and Armenians playing Indians. You've got to get Indians
to play Indians. There are some good Indian actors. I just feel maybe it was a good Hollywood movie. And somebody once said to me, "If you criticize
John Ford, it's like attacking motherhood in Hollywood."
What do you think has made The Searchers the highly regarded classic it is?
Horton Foote once said, "A lot of people in New York, not all, don't know what goes on beyond the South Jersey shore." So the perceptions are such that
they don't really know what's there.
You could say the same for L.A. too.
Absolutely. Or any city. Any city in America.
Because New York and L.A. are the centers of entertainment in America, do you find it's hard to get a small Southern movie like Seven Days in Utopia made?