I studied Hitchcock and Josef von Sternberg under Richard Dillard at Hollins, and that year under his tutelage just completely rewired my brain. Both directors combine moral seriousness with great artistry and, certainly in Hitchcock's case, an enormous respect for plot, for its power to enthrall and delight.
I had never really heard of Meryl Streep before. Someone told me she was an actress and she'd been in a few things, but I said, you know, whatever. She showed up and she seemed somewhat inexperienced, so I gave her a few pointers, and I think she has a decent career ahead of her. It's always hard to tell these things in Hollywood, but I do think that she has some talent under there. I think she's a diamond in the rough.