Intrepid filmmaker Werner Herzog is fearless. He's been shot at and practically shrugged the attack off moments later. He once pulled Joaquin Phoenix from a car wreck. He's filmed numerous movies in locations that required dangerous "stunts" in order to capture the right image. The German filmmaker has evaded a plane crash and even got himself banned from an airline after refusing to crouch down in a "shitty, undignified position" during an emergency landing. Some might say he's crazy, others might say he has a death wish. No matter how you slice it, it's clear that the man is untouchable and plays by his own rules. That also holds true even when defining something, including what a "man" is.
In the 2007 documentary On the Ecstasy of Ski-Flying: Werner Herzog in Conversation with Karen Beckman, the director shares that he refuses to distinguish a gay man from a straight man. His brain simply doesn't think that way. "For me a chair is a chair — and I do not reference to other possibilities … For me, a man is a man. I cannot distinguish a gay man from a straight man. I just cannot distinguish … " he said. This logic even applies to his 35-year-long friendship with filmmaker John Waters.
"After 35 years of knowing John Waters I turn to my wife and I said to her, 'I have the feeling that this man is gay,' which is in a way wonderful, because I took him as John Waters," Herzog shared. "And I love the man, I love him dearly, he's a wonderful … he's the boldest of the bold filmmakers. I wish I had the guts of this man, and he's very, very dear to my heart — but for me this is a man. Yes, a man is a man."
As if you needed a reason to love Werner Herzog more than you already do. Watch the clip below.