Here is Fincher, talking about fame and why it is perilous for him as a director to be recognised:
One of the things I like about being a director is, when your plane is late, you are doing homework. Because you are sitting there in the lounge, listening to people talk. That’s your job. When you become the focus, when people feel like ‘I can’t act like myself, because that’s the guy who did whatever’, all of a sudden you lose an advantage.
Listening to people talk. Or gathering the lego blocks. The hunches. The half-formed insights for future assembly of great new ideas.
I also loved this thought around ego in terms of creativity:
I don’t want to be a Winchell’s Donut. Even if my last name is ‘Winchell’. I want to be able to make something like Zodiac. I mean, shouldn’t your movies, if they are truly personal, change the way you change? Every seven years all of the cells in our bodies change, everything is in this process of evolution; so the notion that the director is a brand–?
Indeed. We are only vessels for ideas to take shape in.
In fact, ego just gets in the way of creation.