I think the last time I remember hanging out with you, you had just made Boy and you were still struggling to pay your rent. How’s the rental situation these days?
Still struggling. Still struggling, just more money, more problems. No, I think I was probably staying on Bird Runningwater’s couch at the time in LA and still to this day, the most comfortable couch I’ve ever stayed on. I think the good thing about coming into a career or something later on in life, is that you get used to being poor for 35 years and are always ready to go back.
In Montréal, I saw your collaborator Sterlin Harjo and he said for the first time ever, he didn’t have to beg, borrow or steal to get there.
Yeah, well, we all grew up the same way. With Reservation Dogs, that’s the reason that show exists is because Sterlin and I were talking about our upbringings and how we come from completely different sides of the world, but we had very similar upbringings.
So seriously, talking with you as a Native creative who has achieved so much on the world stage, is this real or do you think it’s just a dream?
What, from the beginning to here? Yeah, it is somewhat a dream. I mean, I grew up in a town of 600 people and as you know, when you grow up in this really small town, the first question you ask someone at a party, if you’re interested in them is, “Who’s your grandmother?” and then they go, “Oh, blah, blah, blah,” and you go, “Oh. Have a good night, cuz...” But to go from a tiny little place, all the way to here, to whatever city I’m in... Oh, London… Yeah, and just to be [here]...
This is my eighth movie? What movie is this? Eighth film? Next Goal Wins was my eighth movie. Even just to be able to make one movie when I was young, it felt like an achievement and success in its own right, but eight movies in, I feel really good about that. As you know, New Zealanders are very humble, too humble, actually. Humble to a fault. So we never like to celebrate ourselves, but eight movies is pretty good.