How do you get such big names to work with you?
"From the beginning, it wasn't about people being famous. The thing I like about using actors is that they can act. In the beginning, I started shooting people like Aaron Paul when he had only been in one commercial. Then as he grew and I grew, the people I started working with started becoming bigger—and so have my projects. Then that just attracts more people."
How did you first get hooked up with Lindsay Lohan?
"I was at the Chateau Marmont, where I think she was living at the time, and an actress friend of mine was there, and she said, "Oh, have you met Lindsay? She's a fan of your work." So I went over and met her, and she was like, "We should do something." And I was like, "Okay, come over Tuesday night, and we'll shoot." It was that simple. It wasn't like, "Have your people reach out to my people.""
How was she to work with?
"That was the first time where I had somebody who really had no inhibitions about putting something out there that might cause a stir. People get very caught up in not wanting the media to say anything bad about them. For her, that's obviously a double-edged sword, because the press really tried to eat her alive back then. I remember being in a car with her, and we were being chased by... I don't even know the number of cars—maybe thirty or forty. That's a crazy life I don't think people really understand."
Why did you decide to cover her in blood?
"I'd love to say, "Oh, we calculated it weeks before." But the truth is there was a photograph in my house at the time of Matt Dallas, who's an actor, with blood on him, and she was like, "I want to do something with blood." So I said, "Let's cover my whole living room in blood," and she was like, "Okay, cool!" and then we did it. But once I saw the blood everywhere and her in front of it, I was like, "Okay, this is crazy." Sometimes the best stuff happens from the simplest idea."
How are you so unbothered by backlash?
"I always say that a negative comment is just a compliment that took longer to write. If someone's gonna spend this time to hate you, they're spending more time than the person who's like, "Oh, I really like this," or, "I love this." People write these long diatribes about how angry you've made them, and that's what art is all about. I think it's impossible to make art everyone loves unless you show only five people, and you're related to them."
Read the full interview at Maxim.