Mike De Luca: What's the biggest difference between being a writer and now, a writer/director?
Billy Ray: Well, the biggest difference is, when you're on the set of a movie, and you're the writer and you say, "Gee, I love apple juice," they say, "Well there's a 7-11 right down the street." But when you're the director, and you say you like apple juice, you hear these walkie-talkies clicking all up and down the stage.
Mike De Luca: [laughing] Trucks are backing up...
Billy Ray: I mean, they can't get it to you fast enough!
Billy Ray: [Commenting on being the writer and director of a movie] There were days on "Shattered Glass" when the director in me thought that the writer should be fired. And there were days when the writer in me thought, "Who the hell is directing this movie? 'Cause that guy's an idiot."
Billy Ray: [Commenting on his perspective and motivation for being brought in for a late draft of the "Flight Plan" script] Let's go make the best "Twilight Zone" episode we can possibly make.
Billy Ray: At home, my computer monitor sits on top of two screenplays... And that's "Casablanca" and "Chinatown." And the hope is that, you know, genius by osmosis will just seep into my computer.
Billy Ray: [Discussing whether his experiences as a writer/director has made him want only to write for himself to direct on future projects] I didn't get into this business to direct. I got into this business to work with great directors. And I am not a great director, so it would be stupid of me to limit myself to working only with me. You know, I'd rather go write a movie for Peter Weir; I'd like to write a movie for Ang Lee.
Mike De Luca: So you're... you still get excited about the prospect of working with directors you admire.
Billy Ray: Oh yeah. They're better than I am. So of course I'm going to be excited to work with them. They're going to make me a better writer. I got into this business because I value writing. And I want to have my name on a great screenplay. And if a great director will help me get there faster than directing myself... great.