I wouldn`t want to tumble with Harrison Ford in real life. He`s a tough son of a b*tch. I threw that man through a window seven times and he landed on his head, got up, rebuilt the window with the crew and then got thrown through it again. I hit that man in the stomach and he said, `Could you just land it a bit harder so I could feel it?` So I landed it a bit harder and he wanted a bit more so he could react to it. Finally, I just wound one up and let loose on him and he said, `That`s it!` It was the most humiliating day of my life.
(On The Da Vinci Code) I`d love to make a movie that shakes the world and offends people, but I really. Didn`t think it was going to be this one. I think next to The Last Temptation of Christ it`s Tonka Toys. Nobody seemed to get offended by Martin Scorsese`s movie, no one seemed to get offended when Francis Coppola made a movie where he suggested that the mafia and the Vatican were in cahoots. Nobody picketed that. I play a monk who murders people, but it`s no more a comment on monks than it is on people who wear sandals. Or big long brown dresses.
My plan - well, it isn`t much of a plan, but it`s mine and I like it - is to try to do lots of different things.
The only thing I think I can be accused of about paparazzi is being really naive. I didn`t think about it coming along with the job and I never, during my three years at drama school, fantasized about one bit of it.
I`m English, so I can`t wear a baseball cap. I`d look like white trash, like I should have a beer and a dog called Skeeter.
A woman, who shall remain nameless, said to me, `You`re going to love LA, Paul, because over here ambition is not a dirty word.` And I thought, `Well, you`ve named one of the things that I feel quite patriotic about.` It`s still a little bit embarrassing in Britain if you`re seen to try.
It`s weird, because usually if you`re British and you go to America you play baddies; but I play naughty people here and goodies in America.
For some ungodly reason, I end up being naked in a lot of stuff. But there is a certain grace and kudos that come with taking your clothes off on the first day, a respect that is given by the rest of the cast.
I love the way British people see ourselves. We say, `He`s like us, a bit of a loser.`
People like Cary Grant, Will Smith and Hugh Grant do it brilliantly. They are just relentlessly charming and self-deprecating. I found that really difficult. But there may be other reasons for that.
Up until like five seconds ago, I just took what jobs came along.
I feel safe in saying this, and that is that Peter Weir is without a doubt one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. I`d open a door in a movie for him if he asked me to.
Recalling once attending a photo-shoot with Connelly where she was asked to wear just a bra: And she said, `No, no, not gonna do it,` and so they asked her to wear a man`s dinner jacket. And I`m thinking, `How many times have I seen this, you unimaginative bastards?` So she does it, and then the magazine cover gets pulled, `cos she wouldn`t wear the bra. Because that`s what`s men`s magazines that are sort of soft porn want. They`re more insidious than porn magazines.
The world is split into two kinds of people, those who would go out for a drink with John Lennon, and those who`d choose Paul McCartney ... After the Beatles came back from India, Lennon wrote `Happiness Is a Warm Gun` and McCartney wrote `Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da`. End of argument.
The trouble with talking about acting is that it`s like sex. It`s enormously fun to do but just dreadfully embarrassing when you have to talk about it.
On how Hollywood treats its female actors: In general it`s so much more of an objectification. You know the drill, it`s a true story. For instance, if I am being asked to have a picture taken on the cover of a magazine, maybe they`re wanting me to look sexy, maybe they`re wanting me to look rugged, maybe they`re wanting me to look fragile. With a woman, they want you to look available, essentially, that you are in some way inviting. And that`s just f**king depressing.
In America, they shoot budgets and schedules, and they don`t shoot films any more. There`s more opportunity in Europe to make films that at least have a purity of intent.
Before the baby was born, I was making 2-3 films a year and I won`t do that any more because I need to bring up a child so it`s the slower journey.
One of my film heroes is Peter Weir, who made Fearless (1993) but also made Green Card (1990). Ang Lee makes a western, he makes a Seventies psycho movie, a costume drama and a monster movie. I wanted to be like that. I finished this in October and I haven`t worked since, because my wife (the actress Jennifer Connelly) had just had the baby and I wanted to be with them. But I`ve just taken on a film called Firewall (2006), which is a thriller with Harrison Ford. I`m doing it because I`ve never done a thriller before and I just get ... I just get bored if I don`t do different things.
On his relationship with wife Jennifer Connelly:
"We have never been apart for more than two weeks. I won't do it. I won't do a job. I start a job with the understanding that I'm going to go home every two weeks or they are going to come out and see me. We work once a year or twice a year, so it's a blessed life in that way. The rest of the year, I'm taking my kids to school every morning, we're eating and I say, 'Why are we arguing about who is going to take the trash out?' It's a peculiarly normal life."
On he and his wife both having films at Comic Con:
"She and me at these things, are sort of strange creatures. She's being whisked away to other rooms, as I'm being whisked away to other rooms, and occasionally I'll see her. She looks like my wife and she's got a dress on. She is obsessed with our vegetable garden in Vermont, and I have spent the summer trying to get her out of the garden and into the house. And she is like, 'What?' and she's covered in dirt and now suddenly, there she is, all brushed up with makeup and her hair done. It's like, 'Oh yeah, I forgot that you are also Jennifer Connelly.'" (starpulse.com)
On jamming in the music room in his home in Vermont:
"‘We play for hours, usually Jam and Paul Weller songs, and it’s great because at the end of the night that groupie I’ve picked out in the audience I get to go to bed with – and she’s pretty hot.’" (dailymail.co.uk)
On the start of his relationship with his wife "‘Jennifer and I were both with other people,’ he says. ‘We’d been speaking on the phone throughout the year when 9/11 happened. I was in Italy and found myself ringing her again and again and again. I thought: “What the hell’s going on here? I’m probably in love with this woman.” It took a terror attack to realise.’" (dailymail.co.uk)