Two years ago I was contacted by the University Press of Mississippi. They were in the process of making a book containing various interviews with Paul Verhoeven. They asked me if I would allow the interview I did with him in 2013 could be included. Of course it’s something I was immediately enthusiastic about, because I think it’s an honour to have something you have done to be included in such a collection. It took quite a while, but since a couple of months the book has been available to buy and I have a copy proudly displayed on my bookshelf. But how did I manage to speak to him?
It was 2013 and Verhoeven had just finished his latest film Tricked. It was a special movie because it was the result of a project he did with a Dutch cable provider, Ziggo, crowdsourcing everything. I received an invitation to attend the press screening and it also stated that it was possible to apply for an interview. As I was looking forward to that opportunity, I applied thinking that I probably wouldn’t get to talk to him as “just a blogger”. It was a nice surprise to get the confirmation a couple of days later that I would be able to do an interview and was alotted five minutes. That wasn’t a lot of time, but I would try to make the most of it. And as the film was crowdsourced I decided to crowdsource some of the questions as well through this blog.
When the day of the screening arrived I received news that time wise things had shifted a bit. I was asked if it would be a problem if I did the interview together with another blogger. I wasn’t jumping for joy for the idea, but as I had to grab the opportunity I decided to agree and talked to the other blogger to see if there was any overlap in questions. The positive thing about two people doing the interview would be a little bit more time: ten minutes. After a while we were asked into the cinema, where Verhoeven was sitting at a table enjoying something to drink and croissants. The interview was very nice as he is a warm, enthusiastic man who talks about his work with much passion. That did cause a small issue though, because if you asked one question he would easily keep talking for minutes. I knew I had more questions and limited time. But should you interrupt Verhoeven? I decided to do so in subtle ways (of course also allow the other blogger to ask his questions) and eventually managed to ask most of what I wanted to know. In the end the conversation went over those alotted ten minutes, but he didn’t mind that and it’s something I appreciated as well. He even took out some time to pose for a picture. It was a great experience and the end result is now available in the form of a book (but you can also read it here). If you are interested in the book itself, it can be ordered here..