By Oliver Gettell
7:14 AM CST, December 21, 2012
There are many things that can draw a filmmaker to a project. It could be a great script or the chance to work with a talented actor. In the case of Ang Lee and "Life of Pi," it was fear.
In this clip from the Envelope Directors Roundtable moderated by the Times' John Horn, Lee and five fellow top directors -- Tom Hooper ("Les Miserables"), Ben Affleck ("Argo"), Sacha Gervasi ("Hitchcock"), David O. Russell ("Silver Linings Playbook") and Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty") -- discuss how the challenges of their work inspire and drive them.
Lee admits being attracted to "Pi's" artistic and technical demands and said, "Fear is our strongest emotion. Not even love -- fear is the No. 1 thing that tends to make us do the best thing. I don't think we're looking for the fall, but we just want to go to the edge."
Hooper agreed, adding, "I felt when I was being drawn to 'Les Miserables,' I was being drawn like a moth to a flame because I knew the possibility, the probability of getting severely burned was quite high. And that sense of taking a risk, I found incredibly exciting, not just for me but the entire team."
Affleck, who said he was both daunted and intrigued by the complexity of making "Argo," added, "There's a dynamic that goes into being afraid of the thing that you most desire. I think those two things are connected."
View the full video above for more from Gervasi, Russell and Bigelow.