EW Did you spend a lot of time by yourself as a kid?
JOSS WHEDON I spent a ton of time alone. I was raised by a feminist, I had a terrifying father, and oppressively scary and mean brothers. We had a farm. The rule was between breakfast and lunch you weren’t allowed to make a sound. “Quiet time” is what we called it, because my mom was writing. So what are you doing? You’re either writing, or you’re eating, or you’re walking up and down your driveway creating giant science-fiction universes and various elaborate vengeance schemes upon your brothers. At our apartment in New York, I’d stay in my room and listen to [Star Wars composer] John Williams and make up stories. I was afraid because every time I went outside in Manhattan, I got mugged. I remember being in my room and going, “Oh, I’m alone, but not lonesome. I have a family. They are people. But I’m all alone.” For me, that’s a defining trait.
Were you beaten up?
Only once. The first time I got mugged. They kicked me around a lot.