Oliver Stone Shares Frustration of Financing Films Early in His Career, Calls Trump a "Sad Figure"

Oliver Stone - Getty - H 2019
Roberto Serra - Iguana Press/Getty Images

Appearing on 'Real Time With Bill Maher,' the director mentioned that he's had a dozen projects go through the "pipeline" but not be made, such as a film about Martin Luther King, Jr. that showed his wisdom and religion, but also his love of women.

Following the release of his memoir Chasing the Light, Oliver Stone appeared virtually on Real Time With Bill Maher on Friday to discuss his career in the film industry and some of the obstacles he's encountered with financing and controversial subject matters over the years.

At the top of the show, Maher, who read the book — released in July — "in one big gulp," emphasized that making movies is a difficult business. Stone said that it's especially hard to make a film these days, as the subject matter has to be politically correct. The filmmaker noted that some of his projects have been a little bit controversial, and that he may not do well if he were starting out as a director today.

Stone, 73, mentioned how finding the money for films can be a major roadblock, and noted that some of his films, such as  Platoon, were not financed by American studios. [It was] so frustrating during those years," Stone recalled of his time securing financing for certain projects and experiencing varying success.

Looking back at his career, Stone mentioned that he's had a dozen projects go through the "pipeline" but not be made into feature films, such as a Martin Luther King, Jr. film. The film showed the wisdom and religion of King, but also his love of women — and that was viewed as too controversial.

Those experiences are what motivated him to write the book, he explained, so that he can share his experiences with young filmmakers.

Touching on current politics, Maher mentioned that Trump is "screwing" with the U.S. post office [over the voting issues], and Stone gave a brief indication of where his preferences lie. "I'm not voting for Trump," said the director. He's a sad figure." Stone went on to say that he thinks people "are seeing through [Trump's] personality."

In Stone's book, Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game, he also opens up about his childhood and his parents divorce when he was 15, in addition to the many memories of his life in filmmaking so far.