“There’s more a sense of a fun intellectual community in New York. Here [in London] it is not. This is a city supported and made by the banks. And also, British upper classes are very philistine, while in the U.S. you can have an upper class that is cultivated, not necessarily good or bad, so that they support the arts. And because of that, with all the flaws of the U.S., something it keeps that is great is the sense of possibility. Look, I can be critical about a lot of stuff around U.S. politics and stuff, and something I hope it doesn’t lose, because it makes the country great, is the sense of possibility. Europe, in general, before you even throw the idea out, they are bored. It’s an old continent attitude of been there, done that, where in the U.S., there’s a sense of possibility, and maybe it’s part of this school of capitalism that nobody wants to suddenly say no to something that may be big later on, might make money. It creates an energy. New York is buzzing. I think it’s beautiful. You can go to dinner and there’s a master painter from the sixties or seventies, a philosopher, actor, and then that kid that is 18 and you say, What is that? ‘Oh, he’s an up-and-coming painter and he just arrived from New Orleans.’ And because of that sense of possibility that maybe he’s going to make it, then there’s this blend of ideas but also social classes. In L.A., that doesn’t happen. But you never know if that black kid who just arrived from New Orleans is going to be an amazing artist — at least for two years, then you dispose of him. [Laughs.] But they give the benefit of fate, of the doubt, so that is great.”
1. How much do you love Alfonso Cuarón? 2. How happy do you think Mayor Smaug is going to be when he leaves New York City at the end of the year for his new life in London?