The 5-minute Interview: Roland Emmerich, Director and screenwriter

'In movies you can think big, but in life you have to take small steps'
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The Independent Online

German-born Emmerich, 52, is responsible for such movie blockbusters as 'Independence Day', 'The Day After Tomorrow' and 'Godzilla'. He is profiled in CNN International's 'Revealed' programme this evening at 6.30pm.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be ...

Having a sleepless night. I get a lot of these once a film has been completed.

A phrase I use far too often is ...

"I don't like this". You have say what you don't like to get people to understand what you do like.

I am not a politician but ...

I would like to erase all nations and religions. Nationalism and religion are what create wars. They are slowly destroying the world.

I wish people would take more notice of ...

How hard it is make movies. It really is very difficult. It's very complex because it involves so many different art forms. You have to deal with photography, story-telling, leading actors. The list is endless.

A common misperception of me is ...

That I like to blow up things. There's a lot of computer-generated imagery involved in movies nowadays. You don't blow things up any more – you do it on the computer.

I'm good at ...

Thinking happy thoughts. I like to think about the harmony in the world.

I'm very bad at ...

I have no patience. I want everything to happen right away, otherwise I get very frustrated.

The most surprising thing to happen to me was ...

Finding out I could make movies. I think every movie I make is a miracle although The Patriot is probably the most special to me because I wrote it myself.

The ideal night out is ...

I enjoy having dinner with friends. After that, I would usually just go straight to bed.

In weak moments I ...

Say "yes" to a lot of things which I sometimes later regret. I promise things to people and then always try my best and fulfil them. That's my problem.

You know me as a film director but in truer life I'd have been ...

An architect. I'm a big fan. I appreciate all buildings but I especially like buildings from the 1920s to the 1960s.

The best age to be is ...

I would say about 40 – that was when I fell in love.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this ...

Take everything step by step. In movies you can think big, but in life you have to take everything in small steps.

Jack Williams

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