ANDREW DENTON: … you made a very interesting comment once where, just almost in brackets, you said, ‘fame the enemy’. What does having a huge hit like that do to your work, do to your career?
MEL BROOKS: First of all two things. One, unconsciously you get lazy, you feel, well, it’s like you’ve climbed somewhere and you’ve hit a plateau. So you say well, I’ll sit down, I’m famous so I don’t have to worry about it, which is very bad for creative people. Creative people should always be striving, they should always be hungry, they should be looking for the next place to go. And secondly, the terrible thing is that the audience, it stops you from experimenting because the audience gets jaded, they want a hit, they want a big success, and so you don’t want to experiment because you say, well, I’ll disappoint the audience, they may not like it, I better do something that I think is more commercial. And nobody knows, no creative writer knows what is commercial and what isn’t. You just write from your heart, you write from the deepest, creative urges in you, and you write from your soul, and you just either get lucky or not.
When we use social media and engage in social networks we are more aware of our potential “audience” than ever before. Do you stick with a formula, based on what you suppose people might like to read? I like the notion of writing from your soul, being authentic in what we say and seeking a pure, fun kind of creative ethic. Do you?
Photo by Okavanga Delta