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Speaking in Sydney ahead of the June 5 release of his four-part documentary series on the Russian president, The Putin Interviews, Stone said Trump’s presidency to date: “I think it’s been a disaster. It is more a matter of style than substance right now. There has been a lot of bad things that have been started.”
“This is a little too early to tell if Trump lasts, but it seems he’s not to be the kind of president who plans, who deliberates,” he said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
By contrast, Stone praised Putin as one who “speaks articulately about what the Russian interests are in the world.”
“I would say to you that they’re not about empire or expansion or aggression or a return to the old days,” Stone added.
Having studied and made films on four U.S. presidents, including JFK., Nixon and George W. Bush, Stone said: “If the Trump story may right now be a story about a man who is enamored of consumerism or materialism and wants success at any cost, like Nixon a bit, and comes to the office willing to barter what is left of his soul in order to become president, possibly there is an angle there, but you know, I’m not there yet.”
He added: “Let’s let some years go by and see what happens.”
The director said that in hindsight, he wishes he hadn’t cut a scene from his 2010 Wall Street sequel Money Never Sleeps, which featured the putative U.S. leader in a cameo. The scene, set in a barbershop, sees Trump alongside Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko character discussing the state of the markets, offering to take a look at a Gekko investment and finishing the scene telling Gekko, “Has anybody ever told you would look great, really great, in a combover?”
“I didn’t use it and I fault myself, because I wish I had used it now. I wish I had used it, but at that point in time it was a long movie and I was trying to save time. I cut his scene,” Stone said. “If I had known now, I would have put it back in.”
And Stone is fearful of the U.S.’ current volatile relationship with Russia.
“I am very worried about it. I think we are sleepwalking toward a nuclear nightmare,” he said. “I think when you see my documentary, I think you can understand why.”
“If you look back in time, World War I, World War II, you will find they [the Russians] have been strong allies, and we can return to that position and have a strong alliance with them, which is what we need now,” the director maintained.
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Top Gun: Maverick