Chat Room

The WIF Crystal + Lucy Awards honorees share their thoughts on being successful in the business -- and in life

Jennifer Aniston, actress
The 2009 Crystal Award

"I became a comedian probably out of some sort of necessity to survive and be a happy kid because I wasn't in an environment under the happiest circumstances. But you come through it and find a survival technique that serves you positively in your life. For me that's been comedy.
"If there's any battle, it's fighting the image of the tabloid world, which is very damaging to film and the mystique of it and the mystique of your actors and actresses. They're trying to create a whole other world of entertainment that actors are subjected to and don't have a choice in. They create these soap operas and we're assigned the characters.

"All that does is make me work harder to put out work that I feel good about -- work that will remind people: 'Oh, that's what you do.' All you can do is do your work and do it as good as you possibly can. I know that in the next couple of years I'm going to take the time to stand behind the camera."

Elizabeth Banks, actress
The MaxMara "Face of the Future" Award

"I love telling stories. I feel I'm a trained storyteller. I like to laugh and I like making people laugh. I'm really proud of that talent. It's very addictive. I'm in the circus and I love going around and setting up camp and doing my circus job. I'm OK with not being the moral center of the world.

"I don't know if I'm successful. I feel like I've got a lot more living to do. To me, life is a hill and I want to be going up the entire way. I want to put off that peak as long as possible because coming back down will not be nearly as fun."

Catherine Hardwicke, director
The Dorothy Arzner Director's Award

"Up until the success of 'Twilight,' I could see how I could be turned down for projects because my movies didn't make a lot of money. With 'Twilight,' people can see that I can be a very financially viable director. However, it's been said directly to my face or to my agent's face: 'We want a guy to direct that.' That's pretty shocking because on the most girlie movies -- 'Hanna Montana: The Movie,' 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,' 'Sex and the City' -- they think a guy can do it. They don't think a girl can do a badass action movie? In my mind, I can direct any movie. I don't see a limit. Maybe other people do, but I don't."

Holly Hunter, actress
The 2009 Lucy Award

"There's kismet involved in all of it. Do people get what they deserve? What you get is not necessarily your choice, but what you take often is your choice. Do you take joy? Do you actively participate in what is great about your life? I certainly try to. I want to. Grace -- my character on 'Saving Grace' -- does that. I learn from her because Grace takes her joy. She says, 'I will celebrate. I will engage with my partner. I will have conversations with this angel. I will be the best cop.' There are aspects of Grace that I find to be the glory of what it means to be alive. It's great to be with somebody who wants it."

Petra Korner, cinematographer
The Kodak Vision Award

"Stepping on to a dark set and turning on that first light -- there's nothing better. When I take a movie, I'm a 110% on board. I'm gonna see it from preproduction through post and I'm going to be in the production offices until 4 in the morning. It's not just another job. Not everyone gets to do what they love, so I feel like I can't do a half-ass job.

"My goal is still not achieved. I want to get in to the American Society of Cinematographers. But you have to do your time and I'm putting in my time right now."