I feel it`s a responsibility for anyone who breaks through a certain ceiling... to send the elevator back down and give others a helpful lift.
I`ve been trying to take this journey over the last four years of getting away from playing manipulative and villainous characters and playing characters that are affected by what happens to them as opposed to unaffected.
I liked it because it was such a dangerous script and showed just what human beings are capable of. Here was a movie in which Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, who always win in every movie they ever do, simply don`t win. I felt that was outrageous for a commercial movie.
I`m lucky if I find one movie a year that`s worth doing, and when I do find one, it usually only takes 20-30 days to shoot.
Sometimes the person who is the most logical is the person whom we call insane.
I open myself up every time I walk on screen and give you everything that I am. There are parts of me that are in every movie that I`ve done. That to me is what my job is.
It`s a great thriller or mystery, but on another level it`s a film about the fact that, if you only look at a person through one lens, or only believe what you`re told, you can often miss the truth that is staring you in the face.
It`s so easy for us to misperceive and see the things in others that we want to see. And, when we`re wrong, and often we`re dead wrong, we miss the truth.
Success is like death. The more successful you become, the higher the houses in the hills get and the higer the fences get.
If you`re lucky enough to do well, it`s your responsibility to send the elevator back down. as quoted in Woman`s World, 2-22-05 issue
Over the years, I`ve been trying to build a relationship with an audience. I`ve tried to maintain as much of a low profile as I could so that those characters would emerge and their relationship with audiences would be protected.
As the years have gone on, I find one of the dangers of watching dailies... is you fall in love with moments.
Secondarily, I think films that are driven by music also terrify studios.
My life will change, because I want it to change; and also because this is something I`m committed to doing and that I believe my life has been leading towards.
I`m not someone who`s led my life trying to get publicity; I`d rather do my work and go home.
I`ve been on sets where things weren`t relaxed because someone was creating tension for no reason.
My idea of credibility is primarily self-imposed and it all relates to the thing that I`ve been interested in as an actor and a director, which is what are you *willing* to live with as a human being? And there`s things I`m just not willing to live with--and I won`t. And if it means that I stop and find something else in life that interests me or challenges me, so be it.
I`m not out there trying to get press for myself nor am I trying to convince anybody that I`m living any kind of a life. I`m actually trying to convince people: I don`t want you to know what I`m living, because it`s none of your business.
Directing a film was something I was yearning to do. I always wanted to see if I had the capacity to be a good storyteller.
As far as I`m concerned, when I looked at what happened in my career in 2000 - after American Beauty (1999) - I thought it couldn`t get much better. What was I going to spend the rest of my life doing? Trying to top myself? Trying to stay hot, trying to make sure I was in the right movies? I don`t give a s**t. I`m trying to do something with my success which is bigger than myself. I`m no longer interested in my personal career. I am interested in the impact I can have on a lot of other people`s careers and on audiences.
I`m aware that, from the outside, this looks like I`ve got quite an ego.
There is no prize, out there. The only prize is, this one, and what you feel and what you want to accomplish. And if you can, as you start out, these what could be lean years or could be fat years. I feel that I very often watch a lot of young people sort of meander around without any idea about why they`re doing what they`re doing. I mean to want and to be ambitious and to want to be successful, is not enough. That`s just desire. To know what you want, to understand why you`re doing it, to dedicate every breath in your body to achieve... If you feel you have something to give, if you feel that your particular talent is worth developing, is worth caring for then there`s nothing you can`t achieve.
And I certainly won`t lay out areas of my life that I think are just private.
But I feel that I have a responsibility to help the film and I have relations with the studio and with those who put up the money so that I can tell a story that I believe in.
Over a spell of about three years, I played a series of roles that were, for me, all very different, but most of them came out within a six-month period. They all dealt with a kind of dark territory that in some cases had been mined before in movies.
For me, coming to work every day has turned out to be exactly what I hoped it would be.
I`m supposed to convince you, for two hours, that I`m somebody else. Now if you know everything about my life, if you think you`ve got me figured out and you think you know all my dark secrets, how am I ever going to convince you that I`m somebody else?
I find it sad that by not talking about who I sleep with, that makes me mysterious. There was a time when I would have been called a gentleman.
You try to do the best work that you can do to give audiences something that maybe they haven`t seen before and keep challenging yourself.
I mean we all played as kids. You play games, you take on different characters, you imitate; the fun and the love of play has never left me.
If you haven`t turned rebel by twenty you`ve got no heart; if you haven`t turned establishment by thirty you`ve got no brains!
The next day I was in my school`s production of All My Sons. This was the performance where I realized something was happening between me and the audience that I hadn`t recognized before.
John Normington was a remarkable talent and all of us at the Old Vic are deeply saddened by his passing. We were fortunate to have John in the company of The Entertainer, where so many audiences had the chance to see his extraordinary performance as Archie Rice`s father. John brought a wide range of experience to his characters throughout a diverse and successful career that touched the lives of all who worked with him. We were honored to have enjoyed John`s company for as long as we had him. His spirit and influence remained throughout and now that same spirit joins the other great actors who have played the Old Vic stage, where he will always be remembered with admiration and affection. They don`t make them like him anymore. We send our love and condolences to John`s partner, family and friends.
Am I now supposed to go on Oprah and cry and tell you my deepest, darkest secrets because you want to know?
I went through a period of great rebellion within my family, when I was about 9 or 10. I was mad, I had no focus, had no real interest in anything, and so I started to do things that were just rebellious and stupid.
If you look at how most artistic beginnings have been greeted in this country (UK), I`m in very good company. I know I`m a bigger target as long as I`m seen as a Hollywood movie star instead of as an actor of the theater, even an artistic director. They don`t accept that I come in to work here every day, and have done for the last two-and-a-half years, and will continue to do so.
I was beginning to feel I just didn`t want to go through another 10 years of living in hotels, making three or four movies a year. I long for the ritual of theater. I adore it. And I want to do plays that challenge me.
(As Artistic Director of London`s Old Vic Theatre) I`m living my dream. I`m doing it the way I want to do it. I`m working with an extraordinary group of people at that theatre who are dedicated and who really have in so many ways helped us discover what our ethos is.
The movies are not my first priority - the theater is.
"Beyond the Sea (2004) is not a linear story at all. It`s not what people will expect and it`s not a biopic. It`s my statement".
Success is like death. The more successful you become, the higher the houses in the hills get and the higher the fences get.
The less you know about me, the easier it is to convince you that I am that character on screen. It allows an audience to come into a movie theatre and believe I am that person.
Discussing occasional misconceptions by women that he is gay: For them it`s a challenge. They want to be the one to turn me around. I let them.
On American Beauty (1999): "I read the screenplay and nearly fell out of bed. I thought I better meet him quick before someone else read it".
(on winning the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in American Beauty (1999)): "This has definitely been the highlight of my day."
Register to update information, save favorites, post photos, news stories and comments. A LucyMe.com login allows you to edit our four websites.