You’re known as a writer and director for your sharp eye. Could that have anything to do with your sense of yourself as an outsider?
Everything was new to me when I arrived in America, so I looked closely. I had arrived in the country on a six-month visitor’s visa, and I had great difficulty obtaining an immigration visa that would allow me to stay on. Also, the status of my English was rather poor. I couldn’t rearrange the furniture in my mouth—the tonsils, the curved palate. I’ve never lost my accent. Ernst Lubitsch, who came in 1922, had a much heavier accent than mine, as did Otto Preminger. Children can get the pronunciation in a few weeks, but English is a tough language because there are so many letters in words that are totally useless. Though and through. And tough!