Were you prepared for the criticism you might receive over "Pearl Harbor" 's historical accuracy?
You've got to be true to the period of history without making it a documentary. A documentary of "Pearl Harbor" would take about nine hours and no-one would like that except maybe my mother. I think this movie is the essence of what happened and if you want to know exactly you have to read a book.
This is the biggest budget for a film ever – did you relish that?
Yeah, I like all those big boats and ships and planes. I enjoy a challenge, and looking back I think "phew!" but doing it at the time was just taking one day at a time and facing the problems that you had to deal with.
The critics have been less than kind so far in reviews of "Pearl Harbor" – does that bother you?
I think a film has to be good for millions of people to see a film – some critics don't see it that way but they're not the final word. Some critics didn't see it the same way as the public did but that's happened my whole career. Some things the audience love and the critics just don't get it. I've always said that you should have different critics like in the music press – you don't have an expert on opera reviewing Kid Rock. It's the same with movies, the ones who love films from Cambodia aren't going to like "Pearl Harbor", that's the way it is.