“I decided to learn something that I could do no matter where I lived – I became a hairdresser. I chose hairdressing because it is a useful skill and one that I could always go back to. Knowing this gave me great security and the freedom to explore other avenues.”
Andrew G. Vajna
“We’re glad to be a part of your lifetime.”
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore to Andy when he received NATO/ShoWest Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995
“He’s one of the few people around with the balls to play with his own money. His word carries a lot of weight. He’s personally out on the line. It’s always given me a lot of respect for him. Andy is always involved. He’s your partner or your boss, but he offers guidance as opposed to instructions… He approaches business in a sort of family style. He keeps the same friends for 30 years, and that’s kind of remarkable.”
John McTiernan, director of Medicine Man and Die Hard With a Vengeance
“When you work with Andy, the buck stops with him. I don’t deal with anybody else. It becomes very much Andy’s movie, one singer, one song.”
Danny Cannon, director of Judge Dread
“He’s got great respect for the director and courage to do projects that aren’t so easy… He won’t let you down; you can trust him.”
Paul Verhoeven, director of Total Recall
“I fell in love in love with Andy the moment I met him, because for once I’d met a Hungarian in Hollywood who was not only more successful than I was, but also crazier.”
“Andy doesn’t compare to anybody else in this business. Andy is unique, he’s independent; he’s a rare blend of entrepreneur and film maker. He puts his money on the line time and time again, and he’s won as big as anyone in this town. You’ve got to admire somebody like that.”
Jeffrey Katzenberg, Dream Works SKG Partner
“Working with Andy was the best experience of my career and he makes the world’s greatest bouillabaisse.”
Steven de Souza, screenwriter Judge Dredd
“When Andy gives you his word, you know it’s good. And no matter how tough the going gets, you can count on him. He’s got nerves of steel.”
Joe Roth, chairman, Walt Disney Motion Picture Group
“Vajna defined what would become known as the ‘big action picture’. He really has a wide range of talent and ability.”
Tim Warner, general chairman of film company NATO / ShoWest
“You can’t make an actor act. You have got to create an atmosphere he wants to perform. It can be hell.”
Andrew G. Vajna
“The profession is never boring. I have found the interesting things in everything I have ever done. So none of my occupations ever seemed like work.”
Andrew G. Vajna
First time in Variety
Variety first noted Andy Vajna’s work in Asia during Mifed sales market in Milan in 1974, 43 years ago. On this occasion, he was interviewed by Steven Gaydos, Executive Editor of Variety and shared stories about his early days in the entertainment industry.
Vajna attended Mifed in 1974 as a buyer after he decided to quit the wig business and it was time to go back to his first love, the movies, and bought two cinemas in Hong Kong. He remembered his theaters screened some big films, like “Papillon” with Steve McQueen and the Charles Bronson film “Chino” at that time.
„Thanks to Bruce Lee and other kung-fu stars, Chinese films had become a fad. My first Hong Kong production Deadly China Doll starred Angela Mao, who was already a star. So it fit in with the kung-fu craze and did very well” said Andy Vajna about his first movie in Variety.
“I was never the artist. I was always the audience”, emphasized Vajna, who said he didn’t like being on the set, but loved post-production. The full interview can be read on Variety.