I was too shy, I think, to sing publicly. It takes a particular kind of person. And when I was young, I was not that person. In the first instance, when a record company said to me, do you want to try and make your record, my first reaction was, no, I'm not worthy - I couldn't possibly, and so on and so forth.
Boxing is fascinating. It's good for the soul to be made to feel clumsy. I swank around during the week thinking I'm a big cheese, but you don't feel like that when you're in the ring with a chap who knows what he's doing. It's ritual humiliation. I'm going to be slugged about and probably killed, but I love it and have to do something to keep fit.
I would cling to unhappiness because it was a known, familiar state. When I was happier, it was because I knew I was on my way back to misery. I've never been convinced that happiness is the object of the game. I'm wary of happiness.
I do have a huge problem, a huge problem. In fact, worse than watching is hearing. I cannot stand to hear my own voice. When it's coming out of my mouth right now it sounds fantastically interesting to me. It's rich in light and shade, it goes up and down. But when I hear it either on TV or even on someone's answering machine, I just sound like I've had half my brain removed.
Humility was considered a great virtue in my family household. No show of complacency or self-satisfaction was ever tolerated. Patting yourself on the back was definitely not encouraged, and pleasure or pride would be punishable by death.
It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.
I have a reverence for medicine because I hero-worshiped my father [a former doctor], and because I admire doctors, I admire study, empiricism and rational thought. I don't study, empiricize or think rationally myself - but I admire it in others.
People are falling all over themselves to send you free shoes and free cufflinks and colonic irrigations for two. Nobody ever offers you a free acceptance speech. There just seems to be a gap in the market. I would love to be able to pull out a speech by Dolce & Gabbana.
Driving a motorcycle is like flying. All your senses are alive. When I ride through Beverly Hills in the early morning, and all the sprinklers have turned off, the scents that wash over me are just heavenly. Being House is like flying, too. You're free of the gravity of what people think.
I'm not a religious man... I find I am a fan of science. I believe in science. A humility before the facts. I find that a moving and beautiful thing. And belief in the unknown I find less interesting. I find the known and the knowable interesting enough.
Death and disaster are at our shoulders every second of our lives, trying to get at us. Missing, a lot of the time. A lot of miles on the motorway without a front wheel blow-out. A lot of viruses that slither through our bodies without snagging. A lot of pianos that fall a minute after we've passed. Or a month, it makes no difference. So unless were going to get down on our knees and give thanks every time disaster misses, it makes no sense to moan when it strikes.
It was the sheer variety of the pain that stopped me from crying out. It came from so many places, spoke so many languages, wore so many dazzling varieties of ethnic costume, that for a full fifteen seconds I could only hang my jaw in amazement.
I think good-looking people seldom make good television. And American television studios almost concede before they start: 'Well, it won't be good, but at least it'll be good-looking. We'll have nice-looking girls in tight shirts with F.B.I. badges and fit-looking guys with lots of hair gel vaulting over things.'
I personally believe that the iPod is a frankly corrosive device because it encourages you to surround yourself with your favorites. The whole idea of a playlist is to surround yourself with your favorite things, and the interesting thing is that when you do that, they cease to be your favorites.
As a real person, he wouldn't last a minute, would he? But drama is about imperfection. And we've moved away from the aspirational hero. We got tired of it, it was dull. If I was House's friend, I would hate it. How he so resolutely refuses to be happy or take the kind-hearted road. But we don't always like morally good people, do we?
I get anxious about a lot of things, that's the trouble. I get anxious about everything. I just can't stop thinking about things all the time. And here's the really destructive part - it's always retrospective. I waste time thinking of what I should have said or done.
I am very, very aware at all times. I'm watching myself, I'm listening to myself, I'm judging myself, critiquing myself all the time, and I will know when I do something and I will immediately say, "Can I do another one, because I didn't quite get that thing," or that I wanted to do something there and it didn't quite work.
Riding my motorcycle around L.A. is like my own video game. But unlike many folks at the wheel, I am occupied with getting where I'm going and keeping myself safe. Most people are applying makeup, texting, and checking out the beauty in the next car.
Clive Dunn, as I understand it, retired to the south of Spain, where he worked extensively in watercolours. I don't own any of Clive Dunn's watercolours. I loved him in 'Dad's Army,' loved him. But not enough to actually seek out his watercolour work.
I never went to drama school, I don't have any certificates saying: 'He's a qualified actor.' But I did think that 'House' was something I didn't have to apologise for. It was something I was really proud of and it was sort of... whether you liked it or not, it was undeniable.
I think maybe even one of the reasons I became an actor was actually to hide. I mean, it sounds paradoxical because, of course, people are standing up in a public place and encouraging other people to look at them. So that's not the conventional definition of hiding.
People are more open about seeking help these days. They recognise the fact that the alternative to having a shrink is that you bore your friends stupid. So I figured that I might as well give someone 100 bucks an hour to hear my woes. At least someone can make a living out of listening to my tedious problems.
Success on a cosmic level completely eludes me. I'm deeply suspicious of things being too good. It's part of my superstition, I think, to generate pain in order to give the illusion of gain. I'm not saying I reject success, but honestly, I don't quite know how to deal with it. It's an old feeling: As soon as you have the thing you've been going after all your life, that reasonable degree of security, you start kicking against it, doubting it.
Celebrity is absolutely preposterous. Entertainment seems to be inflating. It used to be the punctuation to your life, a film or a novel or a play, a way of celebrating a good week or month. Now it feels as if it's all punctuation.