I think if you talk to the experts in any field where you have to take on a unknown challenge, where you're going to be working on it for a long time you'd find that to work themselves up to their best performance and really throw themselves into it, you know, spend all these hours in there and ah, give it their... give it their best that optimism plays a role.
We measure areas of performance that are often ignored: jumping in pursuit of every rebound even if you don't get it, swatting at every pass, diving for loose balls, letting someone smash into you in order to draw the foul. These 'effort' statistics are also stored on computer. Effort is what ultimately separates journeyman players from impact players. Knowing how well a player executes all these little things is the key to unlocking career-best performances.
I worked with creative people who were very demanding of me, and they helped me reach performances that I never could have gotten on my own without being pushed and having trust in them. And so I know the best way to get the best performance of an actor, and that's not to coddle them or to baby them. It's to help them; it's to push them.
I have been doing this since I was nine years old. So whatever the role is, I am going to do the best I can do. The only thing I am concerned with is stepping on the stage in front of that camera and giving the best performance I know I can give, day in and day out as an actor.
I've always thought that when anyone receives an award for acting they should always thank their fellow actors, because the only way you're going to deliver your best performance is when you have other good actors on the set supporting you and being very present for you even when the camera is not on them.
I've been in a poor physical shape many times in my career and I've had some of my best results. My best performances happened because my mind was in the right place. The mind is definitely stronger than the body.