Macau, Chinese New Year 2012
MOTHERBOARD: I’ve tried in my own futile attempts to talk to Julian. I’ve phoned the Ecuadorian Embassy a couple dozen times, almost as a game, in the past year. I was wondering what you’d have asked, if you had been given the chance to speak with him, without paying the million dollar ransom on an interview?
GIBNEY: I just wanted to take the true story, it was that simple. I wanted to take him through the story and have him tell it from his perspective, that’s all. That’s what I told him. I want to drill down, step by step, beat by beat, and have you tell your story. He wasn’t interested.
I wondered about how absurd, but maybe fun it could be to get that funded. To pay him for an interview.
But it’s not like an interview with him was so precious. He never asked for a million dollars, he just said that, “The market rate for an interview with me is a million dollars.” And I had to take a second to think, what market is that? The fact is that everybody interviewed him. I joked with him at one point and said, “I’m the only person in the world who has not interviewed you.” So, by virtue of inflation the market was pretty well saturated. Julian has had no shortage of people to talk to. But I think what the problem is now, is the information he conveys now.
It’s not self-reflective, it’s a series of pronouncements, it’s a series of mega-statements. He’s like a guy constantly giving a speech, in his Evita-like way, on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy. When you have a conversation with a politician you feel like “Is this a human being or a talking machine?” And I think that’s what Julian Assange has become. It’s bad, because I think that prior to being attacked and prior to being so famous, he was a more interesting person to talk to I suspect.