Monday, December 1, 2008
Losing My Religion: Charlie Kaufman
During a public Q&A after the Seattle premiere, I asked Kaufman about his apparent disinterest in questions of a religious nature. I told him I keep waiting for one of his characters to look beyond broken humanity for consolation and redemption. Why don't these characters ever look for God?
Kaufman answered very directly. “That's sort of like asking me, 'Why aren't they lumberjacks?' The answer is, 'Because I don't write about lumberjacks.'”
While the crowd laughed, Kaufman sought to reassure me. “I'm not making fun of you at all.” He explained that it just doesn't occur to him that he might find any kind of love or grace from a sovereign God. “It just doesn't resonate with me. I don't think God is a guy, or a woman, if God exists at all. But other people around me can relate to me in ways that are tangible.... I read a lot of philosophical stuff about religion, metaphysics, and the universe, and I'm really fascinated with it. But my feelings about it are that there's not an anthropomorphic version of someone watching over us who's going to love me. I could be wrong, but that's who I am. And the stuff that I write about is the stuff that I think about.” -- From an interview in Image Journal, via Being Charlie Kaufman