Always when I directed the play, I was always trying to cast people not who were necessarily like the characters, but people who I felt had the essential component that the character had, some kind of soul for it.
The trite answer is that everything is true but none of it happened. It is emotionally true, but the events, the plotting, the narrative, isn't true of my life, though I've experienced most of the emotions experienced by the characters in the play.
When you're in your early 20s your love life seems to explode every 20 minutes or so. By the time you've reached your thirties, it is every five or ten years.
Back in my 20s, I was playing poker to avoid living. I wasn't very satisfied with life. I used to play in a big game in Archway. And we'd play as much as we possibly could and for as much money as we had, and that went on for a couple of years.
No one ever wanted to see it as anything other than a boring play about a middle-aged man having a mid-life crisis. I think it's about rather more than that - or maybe it's not. Maybe that's exactly what it is about.
I hoped the dramatic power of the play would rest on that tension between elegant structure - the underlying plan is that you see the first and last meeting of every couple in the play - and inelegant emotion.
Theatre is how I first encountered art on any level.
But I think the thing I'm proud of about the film is that there aren't many films - either independent films or mainstream Hollywood films - that are like this; it's of its own times, and it's the film Mike Nichols wanted to make.
A couple of flop plays, a death in the family, and it could all collapse.
I like them all - I don't always approve. I see myself as a sort of benevolent uncle to these characters, and I can see why they do what they do; sometimes they make some mistakes, but at heart I think they're decent.
It doesn't really feel like it's got anything to do with me. I mean, I know I wrote it, and all that and invented the characters and made it up, but it's Mike's film, so doing the press and stuff, it feels a little bit inauthentic. I was just one component of it.
I'm a happily married man and I think to get married you have to be optimistic.
I know it's a film and all of that, and it's a Hollywood film, but it kind of feels like this sometimes, when you're in pain and it hurts, and you're desperate. Or you are about to cross some moral line and it's so seductive and you just do... and all that.
I used to go with my parents and loved it, I was in school plays, and I started reading plays before I started reading novels. I'll defend it to the hilt. When theatre is good it is fabulous.
When I look back I can't believe I was so stupid as to direct Dealer's Choice.