I didn't cry at my father's funeral, and I felt guilty about that. Of course, he got sick not too long after he and I had had that final altercation, and I felt real guilty because of that, too. Then years later, one day, I was probably in my late twenties, early thirties, and I just broke down crying, because I finally got my father.
I mean the most important thing you can have as an actor, writer, director, or whatever you are, poet or whatever it is, is life experience. Life experience doesn't mean you have to live 50 years to have it. I mean you know a lot of people have huge life experience by the time they're in college.
They were on the set of Bad Santa but I tried to keep the headphones away from them. My kids have seen Sling Blade, they've seen Armageddon, Bandits and Friday Night Lights. They have not seen Monster's Ball, nor will they ever, even when they're sixty [laughter]. I will leave it in my will that they can never see it.
I think I fully commit myself to any role to the extent to which I can. In other words there's some roles that maybe it's just not there, in other words on the page. You know, I mean your job is you need to play the governor and that's what you do. I mean I'm not going to stay up all night if I'm playing a functional role. And I've played a couple of functional roles. And so I'm not going to do anything other, look he's a functional guy. He says hey mister, you forgot your hat.
Robert Duvall taught me years ago. He said, "You know theatre is not real. I don't like plays." You know, he doesn't like plays. And I agree with him in certain ways, you know. They can be fun. I don't mind going to see them. I went and saw Phantom of the Opera. I thought hey, that's cool. Look at the mask and all that.
I don't like movies that are shot on green screen much, you know. I mean, I know that's the thing to do, and I know that it's getting. I'll put it this way; David Lean would probably kill himself, you know, again if he knew that people were watching Lawrence of Arabia on a telephone.
Directing takes a good chunk of your life out. It's a very hard thing. As an actor, you go in for a couple of months and do your job, and then you move onto another one. As a director, it's with you for quite some time and you're responsible for the entire thing, whether the results are good or bad, or whether people throw darts at you or put you on a pedestal.