"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."
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."Alexander Payne on Theodore Roosevelt
"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."Alexander Payne on Michael Jordan
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."Alexander Payne on Calvin Coolidge
"My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure."Alexander Payne on Abraham Lincoln
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important."Alexander Payne on Steve Jobs
"You just never know when you're living in a golden age."
"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."
"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."
"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."