Director M. Night Shyamalan has made films that received critical acclaim (“The Sixth Sense”, “Split”) and others that critics hated (even star Mark Wahlberg has admitted “The Happening” was a “bad movie”).
Reviews for his latest, “Glass”, were not his best, and in a recent lecture the director delivered for NYU’s Stern School of Business, he admitted the negativity toward the film hit him hard.
“I was in London when I heard the U.S. reviews for ‘Glass’ were poor,” said Shyamalan, 48, as reported by IndieWire. “I was in a makeup chair for a TV show and I cried.”
As he explained, audience response to the film — a sequel of sorts that brought together characters from “Split” and “Unbreakable” — had been enthusiastically positive, and he felt blindsided by the criticism.
“We’d just come back from the London screenings, which were through the roof,” he continued. “We had only great screenings of the movie around the world. So essentially I wasn’t prepared. I had this false sense of being a part of the group in a safe way. But boy, did I feel distraught that day.”
Despite the rotten reviews, “Glass” went on to become a box office hit, leading Shyamalan to feel conflicted about the film’s success.
“Honestly, I was feeling like, ‘Will they never let me be different without throwing me on the garbage pile?’” Shyamalan said. “The feeling of worthlessness rushed me, and to be honest, it doesn’t ever really leave. But anyway, the film went on, right? It became No. 1 in every country in the world and it represents my beliefs.”
However, Shyamalan doesn’t want anyone to think he’s not grateful for the success he’s experienced, acknowledging he needs to develop a thicker skin.
“I’ve had more success than anybody should be allowed to have,” he admitted. “I mean, everything I’ve ever written has been offered to be made into a movie, and my nine films that are original ideas have averaged $270 million each. I just think I can’t complain about anything. But I get tired.”