"The biggest fear I have is to die with regrets, and of course that will come true."
"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."Alexander Payne on John F. Kennedy
"Pick the day. Enjoy it - to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come... The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present - and I don't want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future."Alexander Payne on Audrey Hepburn
"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."Alexander Payne on Thomas Paine
"We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict."Alexander Payne on Jim Morrison
"What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it."Alexander Payne on Jiddu Krishnamurti
"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."
"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."