Features September 7, 2010 By Alex Shephard

Werner Herzog directing My Son, My Son, What have you done? Photography by Lena Herzog. Courtesy of Absurda. (Click images to enlarge)

Werner Herzog directing My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?

You seem to attract the attention of the clinically mad. Why do you think that is?
I wish I had an answer, but I do not even want to investigate it for myself. Many of my colleagues receive cranky letters and crazed mail, and things like this. But, in my case the stark mad, the clinically mad, come after me sometimes. They open fire at me when I’m in the middle of the interview. I don’t know what attracts the clinically insane.

You’ve had a number of brushes with death, and people seem to be attracted to making something mythic out of those close calls.
That’s out of my control. And I wouldn’t use any minute of my life to try to correct it. It would only make it worse. There are at least four or five doppelgängers out there and I decided to take it as it is and enjoy them as if they were bodyguards. I can’t help it when I’m shot at and I don’t blink. I just want to continue my sentence. That’s nothing that is stylized — that’s just me. I’m not afraid. It’s as simple as that. If other people try to make something mythical out of it, it’s their problem, not mine.

Are you particularly frightened of death?
I am not afraid. Why should I, and why should we? At least, it’s the only certain thing of our existence.

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