Even the all time Hollywood greats have their lapses in judgment. From Meryl Streep in She-Devil to Robert De Niro in Dirty Grandpa - the entertainment industry is far from an exact science when it comes to talent and career choices.
This was the scenario faced by M. Night Shyamalan as he spent a number of years maligned in the wilderness. After 1999's smash hit The Sixth Sense and 2000's Unbreakable, the director was one of the most acclaimed names in film. Experiencing a string of flops with the likes of The Happening, The Last Airbender and After Earth, Shyamalan would be welcomed back into the fold with the 2017 thriller Split.
Sitting next to his star James McAvoy this week, the filmmaker had a theory as to why he failed to make an impression with moviegoers.
M. Night: Art Can Shield You From Reality
Talking theory and philosophy when he was quizzed on Sway in the Morning, Shyamalan intimated that he bought into his own hype. And forgot what made him successful in the first place.
"What is that architecture of an artist's life that causes them to not be able to reach us," the director stated. "For me, this is all a theory of: there's an optimal moment of experience and instinct that happens and it causes this electric moment... The way that life is, experience kind of becomes your expertise and becomes safety. You use your craft to protect you and you stop doing that instinct thing. For me, what I've been trying to do is become a beginner again. So it was taking away all the money. You don't have trailers or anything."
As a caller came on to talk about Dissociative identity disorder (DID), Shyamalan believes it is still something of a taboo subject to cover in film.
"That's part about what really fascinates me about this condition," Shyamalan said. "When you see the movie, you'll actually - it's an interesting spin on what the human mind is capable of and how it defends itself. What these individuals can do is astounding. So it's really a conversation about trauma."
McAvoy: I Had To Learn A Career of Acting In 3 Weeks
As the title suggests, lead star James McAvoy had to venture off into different sectors of his personality. The crash course is not something he will forget in a hurry.
"Playing the 9 characters - it was complicated," McAvoy remarked. "There was a lot of work to do in a very short space of time, but really, to be honest with you, I was doing the job I always do. It was just doing it 9 times instead of one time. Some of them came really naturally. Some of them came without having to work too hard. Some of them took a long time because playing 9 people - you want them all to be distinct, all to be different. But you don't want them to be different for the sake of being different.
You get through 3 or 4 of them and you've run out of physical quirks... and you have to sit there as an actor and actively expand your range. Which is a hard thing to do in your career, never mind with a timescale in mind saying, 'we're starting shooting in 3 weeks,' you know?"