"I guess maybe I try to make movies that are closer to real life than are many Hollywood movies. But I still try to stay within a commercial narrative, a contemporary American vernacular."
"Film spectators are quiet vampires."Alexander Payne on Jim Morrison
"Am I a romantic? I've seen 'Wuthering Heights' ten times. I'm a romantic."Alexander Payne on Johnny Depp
"You know what your problem is, it's that you haven't seen enough movies - all of life's riddles are answered in the movies."Alexander Payne on Steve Martin
"This film cost $31 million. With that kind of money I could have invaded some country."Alexander Payne on Clint Eastwood
"Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood."Alexander Payne on Walt Disney
"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."
"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."