Paul Thomas Anderson: Why He Dropped Out Of NYU Film School

In a clip taken from an interview with film critic Elvis Mitchell, Paul Thomas Anderson, the much-acclaimed director of such films as Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and There Will Be Blood, and arguably one of the true auteurs working in contemporary cinema, explains (in typical, candid PTA fashion) why he decided to leave NYU’s film school after only 2 days.

When, in one of his first classes at NYU, the teacher announced, “If anyone is here to write Terminator 2, get out”, Anderson, much to his dismay, thought: “What if I do want to write Terminator 2? Terminator 2′s a pretty awesome movie.” The rest is an amusing anecdote comprising an assignment, a submitted David Mamet paper (which seemingly wasn’t up to scratch), and his ultimate decision to quit the revered film school and follow his own path, a decision I’m pretty sure he has never regretted.