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John Carpenter Doesn't Really Want To Talk About Why He Stepped Away From Directing

Ask a genre film fan what living director they'd most like to see back behind the camera, and chances are good they'll answer "John Carpenter," the man behind such films as "Halloween," "Escape from New York," "Big Trouble in Little China," and "They Live." The director hasn't made a movie since 2010's "The Ward," starring Amber Heard.

It's no untold truth of John Carpenter that he's enjoyed his time away from directing. The director has never been shy about the reasons for his lengthy filmmaking hiatus/retirement. He has expressed a preference for watching basketball and playing video games over the rigors of the director's chair, and he also has his relatively new career as a recording artist taking up some of his energy (via Yahoo). But in a recent interview looking back at his career and what he's been up to lately, Carpenter shared a little more insight into what took him away from what many fans would say he was born to do — though perhaps a little bit more insight than he intended.

Carpenter says he saw some behind-the-scenes footage of himself that made him want to quit

John Carpenter recently sat down for a New Yorker interview with Adam Nayman. They covered everything from Carpenter's inspiration to become a director (the 50s sci-fi classic "Forbidden Planet"), his preference for ultra-widescreen composition, his love for video games and basketball, and his affection for the storytellers who came before him, like HP Lovecraft and Howard Hawks.

Eventually, the conversation turned to Carpenter's decision to slow down his directorial output, something that generally speaking occurred following 2001's "Ghost of Mars" (it was almost a decade after that when Carpenter made "The Ward," and he hasn't released another feature film since).

"I finally had to stop," the filmmaker said. "You know, the stress became overwhelming." When asked what the "last straw" for his work in the director's chair was, Carpenter's answer was revealing:

"It was just a culmination. On 'Ghosts of Mars,' I was exhausted. That was the big thing. I remember seeing a behind-the-scenes [featurette], and it showed me on set working, sitting in the scoring session. God, I'd aged. Tired and ancient." Carpenter shares that it was his love of movies that kept him from wanting to become too jaded or fatigued by the work. "For me, it became not worth it. And I didn't want to say that about movies. Movies are my first love, my life."

It's an unusually personal insight for Carpenter, who tends to shy away from introspection in interviews, this particular one being no exception. As he put it: "But, anyway, why am I telling you all this? This is not something I want to talk about."

In any case, Carpenter's fans will continue to hope he returns from his directorial hiatus sometime soon.