Whedon’s World

The director behind the mega-blockbuster The Avengers brings you this summer’s underdog, Much Ado About Nothing, a tiny independent film starring Tom Lenk, who sat down with the director to talk Shakespeare, superheroes, and their mutual man crush.

BY Tom Lenk

June 21 2013 7:00 AM ET


Above: Director Joss Whedon at the premiere at the Dublin Film Festival. Photograph by Caroline van Oosten de Boer.

I'm just looking at your schedule — film festivals, speaking engagements, and I think you’re doing Fallon next week? Do you enjoy the performance aspect?
I’ve never been on a talk show before and I’m scared like a little girl — and not a brave little girl like the ones I write about. I’m nervous as fuck about it. I like public speaking. I like Q&As because then I don’t have to prepare something, I can sort of wing it. And usually at Q&As it’s the fans, so there’s a comfort zone there. And I love teaching — I was a TA for a couple of my teachers in college, and giving lectures was among my greatest thrills.
 
I’ve noticed that when your fans are up at the mic [about to ask a question], if they’re having a silent meltdown and are overwhelmed to be talking to you, you always seem to make the situation easy and talk them down off that ledge.
People say, “You helped me through a dark time,” and I used to think, “Oh this is why we connect so well.” They love the work. I love the work and I’m trying to write empowering stories. And I really didn’t understand for a long time that my entire career has been a 20-year cry for help. The only person I was trying to help through a dark time and empower was me, and that person who’s shaking and crying at me is basically me. So when they’re in that space, I’m right there. It’s difficult at a Q&A; you’re 200 feet away and how many arm gestures can I comfort them with? But I absolutely empathize with them.

Well…that just blew my mind. Thank you so much!
Thanks, Tom. You were a very fun reporter.

Thanks for being my first.
And thanks for not asking, “Why Shakespeare?” “Why Much Ado?” “Why black and white?”

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