I've been able to do a lot of things in the movies. I've been able to run with the buffalo, you know. I've been able to pitch a perfect game in Yankee Stadium. I've been in the bathtub with Susan Sarandon. I've had a lot of chances to do a lot of things. I enjoy sports, but I enjoy sports so much to the point that I wouldn't do the movie unless I thought it had a chance to be good.
I think it's hard for people to suspend the era they live in and understand the decisions that had to be made often during the western [frontier era] were life and death. You had to be resourceful and on your feet to try to figure out somebody. You didn't have the benefit of knowing who somebody was.
I've been evolving in my stunt career Stunts have always had their place, and I have to measure them now. I've done things where, if I make a mistake, I could die. You really need to look at each thing. That usually is a mechanical failure. So, I have gone from doing everything, to listening and saying, "Maybe I shouldn't do this."
I know I have this level of celebrity, of fame, international, national, whatever you want to call it, but it's a pretty surreal thing to think sometimes that you're in the middle of another famous person's life and you think to yourself, 'How the hell did I get famous? What is this some weird club that we're in?'
I was in the show for 21 days once-the 21 greatest days of my life. You know, you never handle your luggage in the show, somebody else carries your bags. It was great. You hit white balls for batting practice, the ballparks are like cathedrals, the hotels all have room service, and the women all have long legs and brains.
I think that you try to raise the bar on whatever you do because you know, in this day of having to deal with a lot of reality TV, people say that scripted programming is dying, so you have to try to create something that can live in people's minds, long after they see it.
There's actually a big difference between story and character. A great story doesn't make a great movie. A great script, which defines its moments and characters can become a great movie. You can make a movie that makes a lot of money and it may or may not have great story or great characters.
When you try to portray people's lives, you try to make sure you don't portray them as clowns and that you give them a level of dignity. You don't try to change their persona, but you try to understand that they had unique problems, set in a century that you don't live.
I think these movies are as much for people of that time as for people who weren't born. For people who weren't born, they see how leaders must act under a crisis situation, not trying to be re-elected or not trying to check polls, that they go from their gut check.
I've never changed my approach to acting. I've always felt like I've gotten better. I think that all of us can get better. I feel like, in my acting, I'm better than I was three pictures ago. I think about it. I'm a slow study. It takes me a long time to grasp the material, in order to perform it. But when I come to the set, on the first day, I know the whole movie. That's why I have to start early.