“I think it’s very important for a director to, with every movie, try something new,” said Matteo Garrone.

Best known for Gomorrah (2008) and Reality (2012), the Italian moviemaker caught up with MM earlier this year at the Kustendorf Film Festival (January 22-27, 2016) in Drvengrad, Serbia where he screened his new feature, Tale of Tales.

A big-screen retelling of classic Italian fables by the 17th-century Neapolitan writer Giambattista Basile, Tale of Tales is still decidedly adult fare, like Garrone’s previous work—the stories are weird and morbid, full of bodily humor and horror. They’re populated by an English-speaking ensemble cast in full medieval drag, including Salma Hayek, John C. Reilly, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones, Shirley Henderson and Stacy Martin. This presented another first for Garrone, who told us: “I know now how to direct actors in English. It was something new.”

What else was new? “I know also how difficult it is to have 100 people [in] a crew.”

Still, no matter how many tales they tell, Garrone believes that a through-line runs through every filmmaker’s oeuvre: “It is important to know who you are when you make a movie, what you really want to tell, and then find your way.”

Watch the interview below. MM

Tale of Tales opens in theaters April 22, 2016, courtesy of IFC Films.