It’s hard to be surprised by a film. It’s hard to be surprised by another actor or by a director when you’ve seen enough and been around. So when I am, or when I forget that I’m watching someone’s movie, or when I don’t know how someone made a certain turn that I didn’t expect… You know, I’m in.
The choice or decision to take on a film certainly isn’t calculated as far as doing something that will be successful against something that will have a smaller audience. It’s all a gamble to me, I don’t bet on the horses; I just go with the story that speaks to me and that I feel strongly about which is this one [The Assassination of Jesse James].
When I first got out to Hollywood, they were pushing me for sitcoms, and I didn’t really have an interest in them. I wanted to do films and slowly worked that way. And then it became, I guess, this curse of the leading man.
I grew up in Oklahoma and Missouri, and I just loved film. My folks would take us to the drive-in on summer nights, and we’d sit on the hood of the car. I just had this profound love for storytelling.
You never know when I might decide to work in a Bollywood film and do one of those dance numbers with the whole crew in the backdrop.
I always liked film as a teaching tool – a way of getting exposed to ideas that had never been presented to me. It just wasn’t on the list of career options where I grew up.
I was very curious about the world even at a young age, and I don’t know at what point I became aware that other cultures believed in different religions, and my question was, ‘Well, why don’t they get to go to heaven then?’ And the answer was always, ‘Well, everyone gets a chance – meaning at the word of God as it was described to me then. And that didn’t sit well with me then. But in times of trouble or discord, it’s a great comfort. And it wasn’t till I left home that I really came to the conclusion that it didn’t make sense to me for many other reasons.
I don’t have a chance [on being elected Mayor of New Orleans]. I’m running on the gay marriage, no religion, legalization and taxation of marijuana platform.
My father came from a very poor background, but I was very fortunate in the sense that we were never in need. My dad was determined to make sure that we didn’t want for things. He wanted to give us more opportunity than he had, a better shot at a better life.