Ben Affleck

I learned that as a director, you’re around all these talented people, so you have this window that all these really good ideas can come in to help your movie, so you’re crazy to close them. You need to be inspiring people, engaging people. There are lots of people who are really good at their jobs but might not know or feel like they want to come up to people and get them to participate and want to do their best.

We wanted to show people what it was like in one of those neighbourhoods that they would never have access to, in bars that they would be too scared to go into, and a world that they would never get to see. All of that is something really unusual and rare and kind of fascinating. And the only way to do that and to make it really worthwhile was that it had to be authentic. We dedicated a lot of time and energy to making that right and real. So we found basically the worst locations that we could.

Clearly, there’s a real onus on you to do something correctly when everybody, at least in the United States, had a really clear, specific idea of what this guy looked like – and even more so, what he looked like as Clark Kent and as Superman. You have this whole vast audience of people who would be acutely aware of any deviation whatsoever and probably holding you to a slightly higher standard as a result.

Jen came first, and then they wanted to cast somebody that would… Kevin liked the idea of having a kind of The Ghost of That Character kind of haunt the movie in a way throughout, by having Raquel look so much like her. And also, it was sort of serendipity. I mean, she was also the best actress. I mean, as you can see Raquel has a pretty appealing, engaging kind of precocious, sparkly quality that’s… it was just luck really that she happened to the film.

To answer the question, though: I didn’t always want to direct. I just liked the idea of it. If a friend was making a short and needed someone who knew screen direction, I would jump in. It would be horrible, but it led to a short, then another, and another. It was like student films.