"Hollywood films have become a cesspool of formula and it's up to us to try to change it... I feel like a preacher! But it's really true. I feel personally responsible for the future of American cinema. Me personally."
"The empires of the future are the empires of the mind."Alexander Payne on Winston Churchill
"Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future."Alexander Payne on Oscar Wilde
"Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."Alexander Payne on Steve Jobs
"I never think of the future - it comes soon enough."Alexander Payne on Albert Einstein
"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves."Alexander Payne on William Shakespeare
"You just never know when you're living in a golden age."
"I get asked, 'How can you have such failures in your films?' Well, what else is life about? There's some sense of constant failure in something. Humor gives you a distance from it."
"Anytime you cast a movie and you need someone famous in the lead part, you're a prisoner of whoever happens to be famous in the six-month window in which you're trying to get a film financed."
"The biggest fear I have is to die with regrets, and of course that will come true."
"Joe E. Lewis said, 'Money doesn't buy happiness but it calms the nerves.' And that is how I feel about a film being well-received."