You hear about things happening to people - they slip in the bathtub, fall down the stairs, step off the curb in London because they think that the cars come the other way - and they die. You feel you want to die making an effort at something; you don't want to die in some unnecessary way.
Laurence Olivier said in an interview once that when he plays a tragedy he always aims for the funny parts, and the other way around. Because in a comedy you look for what's serious. I think that's true. Sometimes things are really funny if you're absolutely earnest. If you're really serious, it's hilarious.
One thing that's happened to me is I've been around a long time and I've played a lot of villains and so forth. I think it had to do with, well one thing is that I looked younger than I was for a long time. Now I think I'm suddenly starting to play people's father.
I like to be cast well and then I like to be left alone. And good directors, that's generally what they do when they hire you because you have something that's useful to the part, and then they leave you alone. The times that I've run into trouble is when, very rare actually, but you get hired and then there's some sort of makeover involved.