Neil LaBute Net Worth: Neil LaBute is an American director and writer that has a net worth of $4 million. Produced in 1963 in Detroit, Michigan, Neil LaBute studied theatre at Brigham Young University, where he became friends with celebrity Aaron Eckhart. While in school, LaBute composed a number of plays, a number of which were too contentious for the rigorous spiritual feeling at BYU. Several were shut down immediately following their premiers. He also studied at NYU, the University of Kansas, as well as the Royal Academy of London. LaBute’s 1993 play, “In the Company of Men”, debut at BYU after his graduation, and he shortly started teaching at Indiana’s IPFW while turning the play into a film. It had been shown at several festivals, winning the Filmmakers Trophy at Sundance. His follow-up, “Bash: Latter Day Plays”, starred Calista Flockhart, and led to LaBute’s proper banishment in the LDS Church. He also crafted “The Mercy Seat”, which targets the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and “motives to be fairly”. That play earned three Tony Award nominations, including Best Play.
The first great lesson I learned - many years ago - is be patient. The first play I had that was optioned by filmmakers was called "Rounder." It was a piece that eventually became the play "The Distance From Here." I waited a year for a film to get made, which never happened. I finally got frustrated enough to make my own film, In the Company of Men (1997) In a way, the second great lesson should read: Be impatient.
(On The Soft Skin) It's nice when somebody's actually so bold as to do something so obvious. We're always so worried about being so subtle, and "Oh, is this a cliché?" I think life is often a cliché; you find yourself in moments where you go, "If this was in a movie, people would say this is ridiculous, this is too much." And yet, it happens all the time.
My plays are polarizing. People love them or loathe them. I don't care which.
I don't shy away from subjects that come to me - and once I decide to do a subject, I don't pull back - but I'm not consciously stirring the pot or ripping stories out of the headlines to create tension and thus shine the light on me.
And I also don't think that my work will change your life. I think that at its best, it will raise new questions, give you an alternative view of something and perhaps over time that might lead you to greater understanding about something. But in terms of changing someone's opinion, that's a tall order and I don't see how, in an hour and a half or two hours, that's likely to happen.
I don't have a right way that I go about things. I'm not very good at working consistently... The actual planning out of something tends to go on in my head rather than me doing lines between things happening. I'm not good with a trail of Post-its to tell me what scene I need next. I like to finish a scene and then figure out what happens next and find my way to it. If it's not coming, then I walk away from it. I don't find great value in "I must write five pages everyday" because those five pages usually turn into place mats. There's nothing worse than staring at a blank screen and trying to be funny or profound or any of those things. It comes when it does.
Sometimes I think it's hard for an audience to know when to laugh. It's such an immediate and spontaneous response, and sometimes we're dictated by who we're with and the general public, and if everybody else is not laughing, it can sometimes quell the feeling inside you and you put a damper on it.
I think everybody has a place in an art gallery, they just should keep their mouths shut. They're free to walk around as long as they pay the price, I just don't think they should be dictating policy. I'm big on what the argument the film proposes about subjectivity about art itself. This... [picks up glass of water] can be art because you made it, or it can be a glass of water to me and I can think you're a loon for calling it art, and we could both be right.
But that's the beauty and the damning thing in theater, is that what you see will never be seen by anybody else on another night. And when it closes, it's gone. On film you can go back and watch it over and over, but it doesn't change.
[on why he writes his plays and screenplays with strong misanthropic tones] I take no pleasure in it, but I'm not afraid of it. Entertainment should be good, not nice and carefree.
I start writing about people. If they stay in the house, I say, "This is shaping up to be a play." If they go out to the car, to the grocery store, then I say, "I think it's going to be a film."