Adam McKay Talks ‘The Big Short’, Balancing the Drama with Humor, and More

     December 11, 2015

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It’s rare when a movie entertains and also informs, but that’s what director Adam McKay has managed to accomplish with The Big Short. One of my favorite films of the year, The Big Short is based on the best-selling nonfiction book from Moneyball and The Blindside author Michael Lewis, and investigates the housing and credit bubble of the 2000s. The story is told through four economic “outsiders”, played by Christian Bale, Steve CarellRyan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, who predicted the cataclysmic consequences of the major housing and bank fraud and used their inside knowledge to turn a profit of their own.

While we all know about the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis that led to the collapse of the world economy, most people wouldn’t be able to explain how and why it happened. That’s because the banking world is complicated and incestuous, where the powerful few control the majority and outsiders are left holding the bag when things go wrong.

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Image via Paramount Pictures

And this is why I strongly suggest seeing The Big Short. Not only is it a great movie, it’s a searing indictment of the entire financial system. McKay deftly maneuvers the dense material with ease and his bits of levity were perfectly handled. Everyone should see this movie if only because we all need to be aware of what the banking system got away with; otherwise, we’re bound to repeat the same mistakes again.


At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Adam McKay. He talked about memorable moments from filming, his first cut, deleted scenes, balancing the dramatic story with levity, how he was the one who wanted the movie released early, and more.

Finally, before getting to the interview, here’s the trailer and Brian’s review. The Big Short is now playing in limited release and expanding nationwide soon.

Adam McKay:

  • Memorable moments from filming.
  • How long was his first cut?
  • Will he release a longer cut on Blu-ray?
  • How he’s been building towards this movie the past few years, especially with what he talks about on Twitter.
  • Balancing the dramatic story with levity.
  • How he was the one who wanted to release the movie sooner.

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