Albert Brooks on Steven Soderbergh and 'retirement' as a dirty word

Posted by · 7:17 am · September 26th, 2011

We’re continuing the daily build to our big Albert Brooks interview on Wednesday. Friday we touched on Pixar and the actor’s work on “Finding Nemo.” Today it’s all about Steven Soderbergh and that sudden prospect of retirement that was put out into the ether a number of months back.

In case you’re unaware, Matt Damon dropped a bomb on the film world back in January when he told the Los Angeles Times that Soderbergh — who has been talking about retirement for a number of years — really was planning to hang it up after completing a handful of projects in the pipeline. The story took on a life of its own for the next six months until Soderbergh, while promoting his film “Haywire” at Comic-Con in July, claimed Damon was “about as discreet as a 14-year-old girl.”

So things have been in a bit of a retreating state since then, with Soderbergh saying it’s more like he needs to “recalibrate” and telling Reuters to “call it whatever you want,” suggesting a sabbatical. “It’s been non-stop since ‘Out of Sight.’ That’s a lot of work,” he said at the time.

Well, speaking of “Out of Sight,” you’ll recall Soderbergh worked with Brooks on that film. So even if the retirement talk may have been a bit overstated, I figured I’d get his thoughts on the matter anyway. And, indeed, he seems to think there’s no way a guy like Soderbergh could walk away from his filmmaking career.

“I don’t believe anybody when they say they retire. It’s called, ‘I’m gonna take a vacation.’ There’s no such thing as retirement in this modern age unless you really get ill and you can’t get out of bed, because what do you do? You know? I mean there should be another word for it. ‘Hiatus.’ They have a word. That’s the word. Retirement? How many singers came out of retirement? Isn’t Cher still doing a retirement tour?

“I don’t know what’s in his soul. I read like you do that he likes to paint. He certainly could do another artistic venture. But he certainly makes a lot of movies. I would think just to go from that to none would be difficult. But, you know, I don’t know him that well. I loved working for him. I don’t hang around him and I don’t really know, but I think ‘hiatus’ is the word. Retirement suggests something that our parents did when they couldn’t get up anymore.”

Tomorrow, we’ll have Brooks’s thoughts on his Twitter renaissance before dropping the big “Drive” interview on Wednesday.

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