My skin still crawls if you call me a movie star. I get embarrassed. I think, don’t be ridiculous. Maybe it’s because I’m British. To me, Julia Roberts that’s a movie star. But when people do call me one, that, I think, is an enormous compliment but, my God, is that a responsibility!
I don’t know how you can play a human being going through real human experiences without being able to walk down the street. If you can’t live a real life, how do you play a real person? It always confuses me when actors work back-to-back-to-back with no break. If you live your life on a film set, how the hell can you relate to real people? You don’t know what its like to not have people fussing over you all day, and that’s not life – that’s silly movies. I will always want to take breaks and I wouldn’t be OK with losing that.
It’s hard for me to admit I have needs — that’s the big theme. I’m also really terrible at being alone. I confuse being alone with being lonely. I panic when there isn’t another person present. So I’m trying to panic less and learn I’m not going to disappear if there’s no “witness.”
I don’t like to share my personal life. It wouldn’t be personal if I shared it.
…Certainty is just so attractive in people. To me, it’s a completely bogus position – for me. Because, you know, I’m listening to every side. But it’s so nice not to have to listen to all the different sides. To be so clear and on your track and sure. It’s a fabulous thing.
I failed everything growing up. I was convinced I was failing for a reason. I wasn’t intelligent or like most people. I could barely get through school. I was considered in my family to be a loser. My brother, who is older, was an A student – captain of the football team and the baseball team, and I was the comedian. And someone saying, “Boy, you’re a real comedian,” is like someone saying, “Boy, you’re a real loser.”
Actors aren’t necessarily the most intelligent guys you’re ever gonna come across. They’re so easily manipulated that if you have any sort of control over your own sexuality, they’re just fucked. One actor at an awards show saw me smoking and was like, “Cigarettes? Do you have an addictive personality? Well, what else are you addicted to?” Like, I’m unaware that he wants me to say, “Sex. I’m addicted to sex, I just can’t get enough. I just really want a daddy, can you be my daddy?”
I was followed around a lot and privacy was a huge thing for me for a long time. Now, I make sure that I get my private time — to sit in a café where nobody recognizes me and watch what’s going on around me.
You take your seat, and back behind you is Gary Cooper. He has got his long feet stuck out in front of one of the exit doors, and people keep tripping over him and onto the street. Suddenly, a young man named Tyrone Power gets on. He asks you to move over. You make a picture with Joan Fontaine. You think you do a good job, but she wins the Oscar, and you get nothing. And pretty soon more and more people get on, it’s getting very crowded, and then you decide to get off. When you get off the trolley, you notice that it’s been doing nothing but going around in circles. It doesn’t go anywhere. You see the same things over and over. So you might as well get off.
One thing I realized from Julia [Roberts] — which I knew before, but was made very clear — is that when you’re the star of the film, the crew looks to you to set the tone of everyday work. So when you come into work, whatever it is that you’re giving off, that is what the tone is going to be for the working conditions.
I’m just an ordinary person who has an extraordinary job.
I feel like we’re so lucky because we get to explore what it is to be human and all that it is to be human—the good sides, the bad sides, the human condition. You’re a truth-seeker. I find all that very meaningful and very profound.