Number 1. Rats. We had a birthday party once and my wife had cleaned everything up and I was taking some stuff out of the garbage can and she had somehow just taken the birthday cake and just thrown it on top of the garbage can inside. I opened it up, and there was a rat on it eating, who then freaked out and jumped right at me, and I was just like, oh oh. Like the completely like willying, flippying, flipping out. So that was awful.
And then another time, I was up in our attic and I had to go through a bunch of boxes to try to find something, and I was up there and just out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something on the ground. I looked and it was a rat that had gotten caught in a rat trap and died and it was just sitting there decomposing and I’d been sitting next to it for like 20 minutes, and again that was just me walking around just going like, ahhh, for forever.
And then actually, another one. When we shot Ghostbusters and we had a scene in an alley that is known as, I won’t say the word but S, S-alley. So yeah it was where a lot of people went to do their thing, but we were shooting and all of a sudden I look down and an enormous rat was sitting under my chair and of course I freaked out again.
Number 2. Helicopters.
Number 3. Taking off and landing in a plane with all the windows closed.
Number 4. Conflict. Actually, the irony is when I write scripts and stories, people are always yelling and being mean to each other, and I think you know, working, like Melissa McCarthy, some of her characters just yell at everybody. And I find it so funny because it’s a safe way to get all that aggression out.
Number 5. Hurting someone’s feelings.
Number 6. Being yelled at. To me, it’s the equivalent of being like hunted down and eaten. I was bullied and made to feel bad so much in my youth and it was compounded for me by the fact that I was really tall when I was a kid and so all my bullies were half my size. They were these little short, aggressive, scary guys who would kind of surround me and it was terrifying because, first of all, you’re kind of looking down at them like I think I could probably take you on but I don’t want to. I don’t fight. I have no desire to do that. And it was always personal attacks about my nose being too big, or my ears being too big or you know with a name like Feig, you can imagine all the homophobic references you get for that. I think it’s one of the many reasons why I love doing movies about women and and telling women’s stories, ‘cuz I would just run to all my female friends and it was like a safe haven. To not get bullied by them. Although I did have, there was a couple of girls in our school who were really really mean bullies too and they took some cracks at me also.
Number 7. Failure.
Number 8. Embarrassment. I’m always the guy in the street apologizing, oh I’m so sorry. Like you know, if you turn a corner and somebody’s there, I’m like, oh I’m so sorry. It’s like, why am I sorry? Like, I’m sorry I exist I guess.
Number 9. Being falsely accused.
And number 10. Dying in public.
This is Paul Feig and these are ten things that scare me.
PAUL FEIG: I remember I had a Sunday school teacher and his whole thing was like, sometimes you gotta hit ‘em back and that’s you’re way of saying like, hey man. I love you. Why are you being mean to me and I was like, boy I don’t know. Man, I don’t know if I’m gonna punch somebody because all I see is just I punch and then I get punched back ten times harder.