Since the release of 1998’s Boogie Nights, it’s a commonality to hear Paul Thomas Anderson mentioned among the most gifted living directors. In lieu of Inherent Vice, his latest, here is an early conversation with the director–and it’s certainly an entertaining one. Of course, this was filmed in simpler times, when Anderson could kick back and discuss John Holmes movies through mouthfuls of pizza. What’s more, it’s refreshing to hear the young filmmaker talk honestly and passionately about such a traditionally maligned industry, while also finding a moment to namedrop Downey’s Putney Swope and ruminate on the state of modern action films. Interviews rarely come more casual.