From an interview with the NY Times:
You’ve made a lot of movies and documentaries based on other people’s lives. Did that experience help you tell the story of your own? Well, I thought of the book as having the structure of a novel. You set up a problem in the first chapter: The protagonist is in a box. He’s in New York City, 1976. He’s broke. He feels like a failure and has to take his whole life into account. Then the novel winds its way into the 1986 period. It’s a picaresque. It’s a bit like a Thackeray novel.
Should I be reading into the fact that you’re calling your memoir a novel and referring to yourself in the third person? You can read what you want. It is “me,” but you have to distance yourself from yourself. That’s not to say you’re fictionalizing. If I write another book, which I hope to do, it’d be nice to get closer to where I am now. I’m not there yet. Making a film to close out your life? I don’t know. There might be a way. There have been some very nice farewell films. Mr. Kurosawa did “Rhapsody in August” — a very nice and gentle film.
Would you close out your life with a nice and gentle film? You think I’m so ungentle?
I don’t know if gentle is how I’d describe your sensibility. Fair enough. But even in “Natural Born Killers,” if you look closely there’s a tenderness there between Juliette and Woody. Or the Bush movie that I did, “W.” — at the end, it’s very tender with him and Laura.
From a 2020 Irish Times article:
“My dad didn’t see that much of my film career,” Stone says. “He didn’t live to see Salvador. But he did live to see Midnight Express. So he knew I was going to be okay. His standards were high. At the end, he did say that he thought the movies would do well. It was dad that suffered, because Wall Street took a direction in the 1980s that hurt him.” Those changes in the financial district – the corruption, the cocaine, the naked greed – inspired Stone’s 1987 hit Wall Street.
As the 1980s shoulder-padded forward, Stone allowed himself to get caught up in Hollywood’s passion for cocaine. I wonder if cocaine brought on the professional decline or if professional decline brought on the cocaine. You get some sense of the madness that drug generates from his script for Brian De Palma’s 1983 gangster flick Scarface.
“In a sense both,” he says. “Cocaine was very popular in the 1970s. It was extremely popular by the 1980s. It was not hurting me at that point. I felt it was a party drug. Let’s have fun. I was wrong. I did get addicted. I realised the cocaine wasn’t helping my writing. On the contrary, it was hurting my writing. My brain cells deteriorated. I think I dealt with it well. I did the last of it researching Scarface. But when I came to write it I moved to Paris and, thank God, nobody was doing cocaine there.”
There is no apparent hypocrisy from Stone here. He doesn’t bang any drums. He doesn’t issue any sermons.
“It was not that I didn’t do cocaine after that,” he says. “But I was never addicted again. I never became an AA-type person. My mother wouldn’t have liked that. My mother was so fun-loving. Ha ha!”