The Midwest isn't somewhere you mix with those from the performing arts. But my mum and dad would go off to Chicago every so often to see shows. They would bring back the albums and the movies, those little eight metres, and we would all watch. I think that was when I fell in love with acting.
I prefer shooting on location, just because it always helps you. You go some place, you put your life on hold even more than when you've settled in some place. You can make a new life so it opens yourself up to the make-believe and the imagination in a way when you aren't burdened by things that remind you of your life all the time.
I try to attach myself to people who really inspire me, and directors who are really passionate. That way, I can give myself more fully and trust the impulse behind why the film is being made, and I can be a little more irresponsible in finding out what the character is.
In films you do a scene, you play around with it and unless you're doing a lot of reshooting, which no one has the luxury to do, you deal with the problem for a day and then you move on. On some level, it never allows you to go very deep into what performing is about.
I'm never in Hollywood! I'm a theatre actor that lives in New York. I'm very seldom in Los Angeles. I don't dislike LA, I just don't think it's a very healthy place for me to be all the time. When I'm shooting a movie there and am working I'm perfectly happy. But when I'm not working or engaged in something it's a place that I wouldn't live.
The truth is I like the crazy ones better than the well-behaved ones normally because they tend to be the passionate ones. They never come after you if you're holding up your end. The only thing that's bad about an abusive director is that they bully the people they can.
Mounting those red stairs [in Cannes] is something I've done with a very different intention many times. So it's interesting any time you witness those shifts of perspective. The beach scenes were also fun. It felt very strange and very theatrical to kind of commandeer it and have La Mer booming over the speakers.
I feel like it's important to be flexible, particularly when I'm coming in late in the game and I'm connective tissue in the story. I'm not at the very center. It's important for me to have a certain kind of flexibility and try to help people do what they need to do.
It's true in the beginning I started playing villains, and I think that's pretty clear, because if you don't conventionally look a certain way and you've got a certain kind of presence when you're young, then what's available to you is character roles, and the best character roles when you're young tend to be villains.
I wish to Christ I could make up a really great lie. Sometimes, after an interview, I say to myself, 'Man, you were so honest - can't you have some fun? Can't you do some really down and dirty lying?' But the puritan in me thinks that if I tell a lie, I'll be punished.
Sometimes I say I feel more like a dancer than an actor, because there are things implied about being an actor that I don't really like. I feel more comfortable with the word 'performer'. I like being the thing. I like being the doer. There's a factualness to it. And then certain resonances happen out of how you apply yourself physically.
I'm not attracted to naturalism, I'm not attracted to behavior, I'm attracted to dance. I'm attracted to gesture, I'm attracted to singing with your voice, as opposed to having a natural manner. I'm a theater actor first, so that probably influences a lot of my approach. And I think in many ways, naturalism has ruined movies.