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Amy Heckerling

  • American director
  • Born May 7, 1954

Amy Heckerling (born May 7, 1954) is an American film director. An alumna of both New York University and the American Film Institute, she directed the commercially successful films Fast Times at Ridgemont High, National Lampoon's European Vacation, Look Who's Talking, and Clueless. Heckerling is a recipient of AFI's Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal celebrating her creative talents and artistic achievements.


Sometimes people say, 'Oh you did one of my favorite movies,' and I will ask them what the other one is, and it's always something that I totally hate.




I'd rather see what young people are going through than see things explode.




I'm real excited by a phone where I can look at my kid and talk to her face.




I spent my entire youth in front of a TV watching old movies, and as soon as I was able to get a subway pass, when I was 14, I joined the Museum of Modern Art and was there all weekend watching old movies.




I sometimes think it's better to go with a bad movie that is true to a certain point of view than to take something and make people try to like it when they're not supposed to.




NYU was my comfort zone.




I'm just not happy with Hollywood.




It definitely sharpened my interest in language, the way people used language, slang words, speech patterns. There's a big advantage to being the outsider.




When I did 'Fast Times,' I felt very close emotionally to the characters. I liked those characters because they all had to work, so they were dealing with adult problems even though they were very immature, and I could relate to that.




In Hollywood, whenever you do anything, it seems like there's going to be 30 of them. When I did 'Look Who's Talking,' people went: 'Oh but there's going to be this baby movie and that baby movie.' I can't worry about that. I can only do what I want to do.




There was one vampire movie that Gerard Butler was in, 'Dracula 2000,' and they touched on something interesting, but it only worked in the context of that particular movie, which was that the original vampire was Judas.




I went to art and design high school with a lot of people taking fashion. They would get up in the morning, and what they put on meant a lot to them.




You could go out with a camcorder tomorrow and make a movie with virtually no money, but promoting a tiny low-budget movie costs $20 million. And the money they spend on the big movies is astronomical.




I wasted most of my 20s being so frustrated I forgot to have fun. I was so concentrated on one thing - 'Must make movie.'




Over-the-knee socks remind me of the 1920s, silent films, and the stars of the era who wore the rolled-down stockings. They sort of referenced that in 'Cabaret,' when Liza Minnelli was singing 'Mein Herr,' and I love the way she looks in that scene.




I'm obsessed with history, especially WWII and the Jews in Europe during the Holocaust.




I've always tried to figure out what people think of themselves and what they think they're projecting.



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