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"I want to resolve this like civilized men."
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December 20 2005

Aint It Cool's Moriarty interviews Joss. Moriarty talks to Joss about the DVD release of "Serenity", Joss' work in comics, and of course, the future of the Buffyverse. "Of this week's releases, SERENITY is definitely the one I'd recommend the most...".

First question: what’s with that lame, lame, lame cover?


Lame, lame, llamas!

Nice to see a turn around from this guy. It's kinda sad that some BC's went a bit nuts on the opening weekend, hey. Funnilly enough, most of them are not online so much anymore. They probably have new things to rant at.
I knew there were llamas... I knew it.

Just wonder where people get that impression that Joss is arrogant, I always felt him being very warm and nice, just very protective about his creations.
Self-depreciation can sometimes come across as arrogance, especially to folks lacking a sense of humor. And no one -- and I mean NO ONE -- self-depreciates more than Joss.

[ edited by bobtaylor on 2005-12-20 18:49 ]
By the way, that last post led me to research the grammatical puzzle of "self-deprecate" versus "self-depreciate," and the many arguments for and against the use of either. Something I've never considered for one second prior to today.

It's fun with grammar, kids!
And no one -- and I mean NO ONE -- self-depreciates more than Joss.

I strongly believe I come a close 2nd, heh. I'll add that skill to my CV.
From what I have seen, I think there are a number of reasons some people will say he is arrogant.

1. They are equating him with their opinion of his fans who they see as arrogant in the often expressed assersion that nobody is better than Joss or that nothing is worth watching if it isn't a Whedon product.

2. Joss will sometimes write things for his fans (like a post on the Browncoats board or here, for instance) as though he expects them to understand his humour or his opinions in regards to art or simply to know his work . He is right. The fans understand and love it, but when it is copied to another site it loses its context. Non-fans then treat it as though it is a press release for general consumption, which it was never meant to be.

3. Joss seems to give his honest thoughts on things he finds important without seeming to dumb them down. Some people find someone talking seriously about themselves as an artist, arrogant rather than honest. The line about giving people what they need rather than what they want, as an example, gauls some people. Others love it. I think the difference is that those who love it, think he is talking about, as an artist, trying to give people what humans need from art. Whereas the people who find it arrogant think he is asserting that he knows better than they do what they personally need when they sit down to watch a TV show or movie.

To sum up: Intellegent people are often seen as arrogant. Artists are often seen as arrogant. Intellegent artists...well you get the idea.

Anyway, Joss makes me smile, and I have never thought of him as arrogant. I just enjoy seeing what he comes up with. ;-)
Well, there's also the angle of in life, you've got to have a certain level of arrogance. Example: I'm good at my job. Really, I am. I understand technology like nobody I know. My job is to troubleshot, design, implement and think outside the box.

Am I aggrogant sounding? Probably. Do I think I'm right? Yes. I'm not saying I'm the BEST PERSON EVAH at technology related matters, but I am saying I do what I do because I love doing it, and I do it right where I can. I'm sure Joss would say the same about himself (except not, you know, about technology).

And some people don't like that. Honestly, I don't care - if I assemble a team, I want the people who really know their shit, who care about something and aren't afraid to show it.
I was having fun with the last link. : (
Oh well, it was a dead one so it had to go. Oh man, it had to go!
(sorry for going OT everyone)
I think the key to the fine line between arrogance and confidence is knowing you're good and letting other people see it and say it. I'm sure Joss knows he's good. But I never want to read an interview where he says, "Damn, but I can shoot a scene like nobody's business." Because that's arrogance. Of course, depending on Joss' tone, it can very well be humor. But some people lack that skill. And that just illustrates more of Joss' genius, which he should never, ever acknowledge himself. :~P

There is a difference between "I think I'm pretty good, and I'm rather pleased with my latest project,"(which already acknowledges your confidence and ability) and "Wow, has anyone ever completed a project to such amazing perfection as I?" I'm not a big fan of horn tooters. If you're good at what you do, others will recognize it. And if others don't recognize it, maybe you're not as good as you thought. And if you are good at what you do and people don't recognize it and you need that recognition, you're in the wrong line of work. Save horn tooting for job interviews.

And this particular thing bugs me because I have read that some people think Joss is arrogant. Maybe I'm too much of a fangirl for Joss, but I think those are the folks who usually don't get his humor and wit. I think no one realizes more than Joss what a lucky nerd he is. Because talent doesn't always equate success, and he's had a lot of success in his life. You get that vibe when you meet him, that he's so amazed people want to talk to him about his work. And I always love it when he's on a panel with gorgeous actors/actresses, and most of the questions are for him. Because he deserves it. And while he probably internally knows he deserves it because of his talent and hard work, he'll never acknowledge that. So we do it for him. It's the way it should be.

Ok, done ranting...
Gossi, It is sooooo tempting to take a walk through that opening you gave us with that post, but since humour is so easily misunderstood on the web, I will control myself...no matter how painful. ;-)

I was going to mention confidence and the difference between confidence in one's own abilities and arrogance. Tough call sometimes and from what I've seen often a distinction made depending on which side of a disagreement one is on or how someone is being affected. In first person, I/we/our team, it is confidence. In third person, he/she/they/their team, it is arrogance. If someone is rubbing you the wrong way, they are arrogant, if they aren't, they are confident.

Pysc 101 Alert: (and really long sentence alert)
I think technical people have a very similar problem as artists do in needing to be very confident of their own abilities in order to reach their potential, while at the same time having to battle the tendency to become arrogant as a defense against a world that does not understand them and often denigrates them for being different and unintelligable to other parts of the general populous. There are people I love who fit into that category and I have to say are arrogant. It drives me crazy. Not the arrogance so much , but the condecention that usually goes with it. It is a strong person who does not give into temptation on that front.

Hey, why is everybody looking at me? I've be strong. Ok...well...maybe not all the time...
I strongly believe I come a close 2nd, heh. I'll add that skill to my CV.


I'll battle for that title till the very end. Remember my 20-year-old virgin comment in the other thread? That's only 21.42% true.
Well, my arrogance thing is actually stolen from Joss.. I can't give the exact quotes as I still haven't transcribed the Edinburgh interview, but it's something along the lines of 'You've got to have a certain amount of arrogance in Hollywood for people to recognise you'. I think.

And I agree with that, but also, I know full well it's a fine line. Example: never use arrogance as a defense when being attacked - used confidence. Be confident in your work, but don't dismiss critism when you suspect somebody might have a point (is my opinion).

An example of why some people may get the wrong end of the stick is the 'Fox quotes'. Fox got a lot of stick over Firefly. People who knew nothing of the show likely thought the network cancelled it for being crap, and when they see a comment saying Fox didn't understand the show and support Joss properly, they can likely assume Joss is being an asshat. Which, of course, when you know the context is wrong: Fox didn't give the show their full support. But actually saying something bold like that irks some people, whereas it will claim respect with others.
'You've got to have a certain amount of arrogance in Hollywood for people to recognise you'.

Well, he would know better than I. But again, I think people, even Hollywood types, can be certain of themselves and confident and go-getters without being arrogant. But then, everyone probably has a different idea of what makes something arrogant. Walking into a room full of people auditioning for a role and telling them that you're going to get it is arrogant to me. It's probably ballsy and courageous and bold to others. I suppose in that line of work, maybe that's what people look for.

To be honest, though, I actually enjoy seeing the cocksure contestants on American Idol get shot down, so they do make the world a better place from time to time. At least for my amusement.

But I can't help but think if I heard Joss being what he called arrogant, I would consider it confident. It's all subjective.

I don't work in Hollywood, so I have little tolerance for arrogance. I guess that's the Midwestern gal in me who appreciates the 'aw shucks' attitude more than blatant overconfidence. I'm sure if I worked there, I'd eventually develop a "That's just how they are" mentality. Or my definitions of arrogance and confidence may change.
Never heard from anyone in person or on line that Joss was arrogant. I personally have never thought this about him. I would totally agree with newcj's #1 reason though! I know I'm all fan girl about my Joss and let's face it...he IS the best. Yes, I'm a little arrogant about him, I can't help it. I'm taking baby steps though...trying to watch other shows other than my Joss DVDs all the time.

Short interview, but nice to see him on Ain't It Cool.
gossi, I agree -- some people prefer artists to fumble nervously about their work, and constantly second-guess themselves or pick apart their own work for flaws, as if that implies humility or lack of arrogance. I think it's the fact that while he self-deprecates about his own personal qualities all the time, and jokes about himself constantly, Joss never apologizes about his art, or his personal vision. He never undercuts his vision, and people for some reason take that as arrogant. Which often strikes me as bizarre, because why should one hem and haw about something that important? And I love artists who possess vision, who don't apologize for their work because that certainty of vision makes for good art. And helps 'em deflect the slings and arrows of the critics. I love the work of Nabokov and Pauline Kael, and frankly, those were two writers whose artistic certainty actually verged on arrogance, especially in Nabokov's case. It made them, if anything, better writers and critics.

If believing passionately in what you do is considered arrogant, then arrogance is a good thing. I hate to echo a theme from Serenity, but it's the act of belief that matters, not whether you're right or wrong, the act of it that makes what you do transcend the mundane. Isn't that what every job interview is about? Finding the person who loves their job and has passion for their work? That passion can't exist without belief -- and it's what makes great art. Reading Shakespeare's work, I can't possibly see him 400 years ago ever doubting his own vision. The words themselves are so perfectly sure and, well, perfect. A lot of people think Coppola is arrogant (and an ass), with far more reason than Joss -- plus a ton of questionable behavior to boot -- but he made some of the best movies in the history of film-making. Joss has the artist's perogative to believe in his own vision, and more power to him. If he ever did get less "arrogant", and starting listening to his critics, or, God help me, believing them, I'd probably sense the sea change in his work and stop loving it so ardently. There's nothing more pernicious to an artist than doubt.

And on the flip side, just because I think Joss has every right to unapologetically follow his own muse, it doesn't mean I agree with every artistic decision he's ever made. I don't like the last 3 seasons of BtVS and don't think much of AtS as a whole, and I'm entirely unapologetic about my feelings; I can have my opinions and he can have his and really, isn't that what makes America shiny?

[ edited by dottikin on 2005-12-20 22:53 ]
Walking into a room full of people auditioning for a role and telling them that you're going to get it is arrogant to me

You see, isn't this what James Masters did for his role as Spike? I seem to remember an interview along those lines.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Joss is arrogant by any means - I'm just saying you don't land a project like Wonder Woman from being shy and unsure of yourself. Joss is the master of pitching - a surprising amount of the words he says are actually pitches of ideas and such. He sells concepts, and also sells himself well. Of course, not everybody is going to like that.
Walking into a room full of people auditioning for a role and telling them that you're going to get it is arrogant to me

You see, isn't this what James Masters did for his role as Spike? I seem to remember an interview along those lines.


That is also called psyc'ing people out. (Yes I'm a crappy speller and at work so I don't have time to think about it now. ;-)) It is a competetive tactic that may not be terribly nice and is certainly arrogant, but can work if you have the goods to back it up. With JM's audition for Spike in particular there is another factor. It is also taking on the character before you walk into the audition for the job. An actor who is not physically large saying he can play a character like Spike, had better be able to convince the casting people right away, or they won't bother to look up during the audition.

Arrogance can be a useful tool when used consciously and used as a tool rather than by one.
I'm just saying you don't land a project like Wonder Woman from being shy and unsure of yourself.

But again, there is a difference between being confident and arrogant, at least to me. I'm not saying someone has to be shy, but they don't have to be a jerk, ya know? Yes, when you're trying to get a job or a project, you want to exude confidence and certainty. But does that always have to equate arrogance? I don't think so, because I know there are a fair amount of successful people in Hollywood who not known as being arrogant.

You see, isn't this what James Masters did for his role as Spike? I seem to remember an interview along those lines.


Yes, and I found it arrogant when I read it. And it kind of disappointed me. And surprised me, frankly, because I've never gotten that impression from James before...

Arrogance can be a useful tool when used consciously and used as a tool rather than by one.

ROTFL

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2005-12-21 00:05 ]
I thought if anyone came off arrogant, it was 'Moriarty'. Pretending to have "forgotten" about the interview with Joss. As if.

And I know it was type, so kind of hard to tell, but did anyone else get the impression that he kept interrupting Joss? I did.

I know Herc does tv only, but I would have preferred he do the interview, given my druthers.
I know Herc does tv only, but I would have preferred he do the interview, given my druthers.

Choosing between one inadequate AICN interviewer and another seems redundant.

And why does that site take forever to load even in these magical days of high speed broadband?
I always have wondered why AICN is so popular, heh.
I personally go there for the little animations.

That, and the delightful, thoughtful conversations to be had in the talkbacks...
Heh, Rogue Slayer.

Keith G, I just like Herc because he's such a gihugic Whedon fan. And in all the years those talkbackers have been giving him shit for it, he has never wavered.
Nice to read such a rational and mild-mannered report on AICN- there's hope for all of us!

Although I suppose it's generally the comment section in which the sickening AICN trolls live. (And down with trolls in brown coats!)

Regarding arrogance- are the truly humble quite so worried about other people's supposed arrogance? What about Tall Poppy syndrome?
Good point, Gemini. Eventually they'll get their heads whacked off. Oddly enough, I first heard that from Russell Crowe, who I now think is one of the jerkiest, arrogantest actors around! Guess he oughtta watch his head!

Yeah, arrogantest is a word. Maybe not by any technical standard...
Rogue Slayer -it is now!
Rogue Slayer -it is now!


Heehee, Lioness, you beat me to it.
Yeah, arrogantest is a word. Maybe not by any technical standard...


by whedonesque standards, that's definetely a new word.

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