INTERVIEW WITH: Jane Campion
FILM: "THE POWER OF THE DOG"
Q. Congratulations on your historic win. You are only the third
woman in the Academy's history to win the best director trophy.
Can you talk about this historic win for you? And
A. Well, I am very proud to have won tonight.
For my film, and for my crew, and for my cast.
And also, just to be another -- another woman who is going to
be followed by a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, a seventh, and an
eighth. I am very excited by the fact that this is moving fast
And, you know, we need it. Equality matters. Thank you.
Q. Your film had 12 Oscar nominations tonight. It is obviously
very loved. Can you just talk a little bit and just take a
moment to just praise all of the amazing folks that worked on
A. I would really love to do that.
It's -- it is impossible to win an award like Best Directing
without having an extraordinary team behind you, and I'm
particularly thinking of my lead actors who really gave
everything and dug deep to portray these characters: Benedict
Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Jesse
And then there's actually a raft of amazing other craft people
like Ari Wegner, amazing young woman cinematographer who I
think is just such a great photo storyteller and always
stretching for the poetic. And Grant Major, my designer, just
Jonny Greenwood, beautiful music. Extraordinary guy.
Sound team and Peter Sciberras with the editing. And there's
even people that aren't nominated here today that I really
would like to do a yell-out out to, like Noriko Watanabe, who's
been working with me for 27 years and did makeup, and Kirsty
Cameron with her costumes. Thank you.
Q. Congratulations. A lot of people have been saying that you are
due for this Oscar. So does all feel right in this moment to
A. I don't know if it feels right. You know, I look at the other
Oscar nominees for best directing, and I think they are all
extraordinary directors, and I learnt at their feet.
So, you know, maybe this time it's me, but, you know, maybe
it's a lottery. I don't know. But I am proud. I am grateful
to the Academy for choosing me on this occasion.
Q. It's a tremendous film, and I just wanted to say
congratulations also for winning for Directing after winning
for writing The Piano almost 30 years ago.
I'm wondering how this experience feels different to
you than that experience, especially because you've been so
vocal about bringing along a lot of your collaborators
throughout your career through this process, including a lot of
your female collaborators, and you get to celebrate that
tonight as well.
A. Well, just going back 27 years ago, when the -- when I won best
I had my daughter four months in my belly, and so it was a very
You know, and this -- 27 years is a long time. And, you know,
I've been chugging away, doing things. And so this is, like, a
real comeback. It is beautiful to feel that you can do that,
you can keep developing as a director and get stronger.
And, you know, I love working with women because they're --
because of the beautiful qualities of, you know -- they are
maternal, they are outspoken, they are emotional, they are
truthful, they are real, and they are incredibly freaking
Q. I just wanted to know, because it is such a dark film at times.
What was the most challenging part for you as a director?
A. Well, darkness never bothers me. What I don't like about
darkness is when people cover it up. What I think is, you
know, great when you are making a film is you are exploring it,
and you are looking at complexity, and you are dealing with it.
And also our film is written by a guy called Thomas Savage who
wrote about cruelty, but he was looking for kindness, really
thinking about kindness.
So these are the things that, you know, are challenging for me.
I mean, there's so many challenges actually. I could really go
on about it. Every day is a challenge.
But it's -- it's just an awesome, awesome thing when you have a
story that is so layered, that is so deep, that it really,
really challenges you and every corner of your psyche to reach
inside yourself and honor it.
Q. It is so good to see you holding that Oscar for Best Director
in your hands.
Jane, what will it take for all the nominees in that
category to be women and when do you think we'll see that?
A. Well, I mean, I don't know what it's going to take, but we're
doing -- you know, like -- we're going one by one, and that's a
nice dream. I like it, you know.
Thank you. That's a good dream. And I'm really enjoying it.
But, you know, I -- I'm someone that doesn't really think about
too much, you know, my fellow artists' genders. You know, I
really love great work when people do it, and I don't care who
they are or where they come from. I'm just, like, moved by it.
And what I guess is very gratifying is that very often these
days it's women, because they've got this energy. They have
been emboldened, I think, by the #MeToo movement to feel this
is their time and, you know, I think we're going to see a lot
more exciting film coming from women. So that makes me excited.
Q. Now, you once said that filmmaking sets you free. What did you
mean by that? And how free did you feel working on this movie,
The Power of the Dog?
A. What I really meant was that, as a woman, I struggled to find
my place when I was a young person. And when I discovered
film, it could take all my energy, everything I had, and still
leave me struggling to come up to the bar. And, you know, I was
a young woman with a lot of energy, you know, a lot of
And I just thought it was a place where I could truly express
myself and -- through the characters, through the stories, and
so I guess that's what I mean. Yeah.
Q. Thank you. And how free did you feel working on this movie?
A. Well, for me, freedom is -- you know, it's -- okay. Directing
is really about the imagination, in the first place, and about
discipline in the second place.
And in the first place, everybody has that as a birthright,
But in the second place, it's hard work.
So you are always balancing those two, you know, amazing
qualities, to do art, you know? To do good film.
Q. Thank you so much.
A. Thank you so much.