And that’s something I definitely noticed about this film. The structure is more free-flowing than your previous movies, and it really does lend the story a “week in the life” kind of feel, and I’m assuming that was completely on purpose.

I like movies by Robert Altman and John Cassavetes that aren’t tightly structured. For me one of the great pleasures of going to the movies is having absolutely no idea where it’s going. A lot of movies, as soon as it starts you can almost feel what the structure is going to be. “Okay, he’s looking for that guy, he’ll find that guy, maybe they’ll get into a fight, and that’ll lead to the treasure…” You can pace it out in your head. I like to make movies where in every moment you have no idea what the next scene can be. Because that’s what life is like – it’s so random. So then it becomes how can I keep this amusing and dramatic while doing that. Because in this movie there is no goal. It’s just life. They’re just trying to get through it and get along, and stay in love, and have their kids not be too screwed up [laughs].

When you are developing new projects, is there an entry point into a story or a character that you typically look for to get things going?

Usually I have the larger idea and I start figuring out what the small details of it are. So if it’s mortality with Funny People, at some point I thought, “Oh, maybe I can combine this with another idea I had about comedians and why people are interested in that line of work and how it affects them.” And I just start making lists of ideas and thoughts about it and a structure starts revealing itself. I know, first of all, that I would like to do a movie about someone dealing with the fact that they almost died. And with Knocked Up I knew I wanted to talk about getting someone pregnant who you didn’t know at all and trying to see if you could make the relationship work – wanting to give it a try for the baby. So with this I just thought, I would like to do something about what my life feels like right now,” and even though it’s fabricated this is about all of the emotions that we have about the things that are in our lives and the things that we’re struggling with, and I don’t have the next idea, so we’ll see. Maybe it will present itself.

And that’s a thing in itself - you announce your projects one at a time. But is there a notebook or a drawer somewhere that you use to get down all of your potential ideas for future projects?

Well, I have one idea for a play that I’ve been working on and I’ve done a lot of research, and I don’t know if I’ll suddenly explode into watching that or it will take me a while. I like the idea of working in the theater – I’ve never done it before and I think the interplay with the audience and developing the project would be really fun for me. But talk about a project that’s really difficult to execute.

Just the idea of doing it on stage or the specific type of thing that you’ll be doing?

Just to write. It’s a great idea, but it contains characters who have a life experience I don’t have, so I have to do a lot of research and it’s not how I usually work. So we’ll see what happens.

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