Bill Pullman Interview; Talks INDEPENDENCE DAY, NEWSIES, and a BEYOND APOLLO Adaptation

     November 5, 2010


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to interview Bill Pullman while in Austin. Pullman has a decorated career while working in various genre films and standard fare, which includes Independence Day, Spaceballs, Casper, While You Were Sleeping, Newsies, and Lost Highway. Among the topics of discussion was a the famous speech in Independence Day, why his name was given as a thanks in The Cove, upcoming projects, what it meant to bring a few genre films to Austin for the Quote-A-Long series, and more. So hit the jump for the full video interview (which is time indexed):

I had to split up the interview time with another man, and he seemed particularly interested in Independence Day, so as you may notice there is a lot of discussion of the film in the first portion. We also discuss the possibility of him and Matt Reeves making a film based on the novel Beyond Apollo, which sounds very interesting. As promised, below is the video and you can see the timestamp highlights as well. Also, I do apologize for the shaky nature of the video for bits. We had a tripod mishap and so my camera operator, Matt Cowand, had to shoulder shoot the entire interview.


  • 0:29- What it felt like to give the Independence Day speech and how the title of the film hinged on that speech.
  • 3:46- What draws him to a genre festival like Fantastic Fest.
  • 4:39- Mentions that this was the first time he has seen Independence Day since 1996 and goes into detail about the Quote-A-Long for the film.
  • 5:52- Talks about a possible sequel to Independence Day.
  • 7:25- Talks about Newsies sing-a-long, the Broadway adaptation, the difficulty with making the original for him, and Christian Bale.
  • 10:38- Talks about future projects; mentions Beyond Apollo with Matt Reeves.
  • 11:16- Why he got a thanks in The Cove.
  • 12:15- The fear for the president dieing in Independence Day because the rest of the cabinet had already died, and the special effects for the film.
  • 14:00- The scenes of space in both Spaceballs and Independence Day and how they look so cliché today. Also the use of blue screen in Spaceballs and how they wore sunglasses between takes.
  • 15:26- Was he a fan of Star Wars and did he have fun filming a riff on the film?
  • 16:25- How science fiction became “the genre of our time,” replacing the westerns.
  • 18:13- How the three narratives in Independence Day were a precursor to the modern narrative mashing like Crash and how it caused confusion during shoots for the posters in terms of who stood in the middle.
  • 19:20- Would he pick up the phone call about the ID sequel.
  • 20:00- The course of special effects through his career; how they shot the fireball scene through the city in Independence Day.
  • 21:22- Talks a bit more about Beyond Apollo.

As you can tell, Pullman has a willingness to talk frankly about his career and he seems to enjoy the process. If you ever get a chance to meet him, I would encourage you to have fun with your interaction and ask what is on your mind. He seemed game for just about any question.

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