(On getting into acting) "I guess I really started doing it in college and I mean clearly for every actor, there`s that sort of applause which is nice and all that stuff. I could never decide what to do and as an actor I get to be so many different things so I never had to decide to do one thing, but be an actor and be all these different things. I used to put a lot of philosophical weight on it, and I thought it was going to be something that was going to kind of answer great questions of life, which of course it is not, particularly not acting, I really did have this sort of pretentious attitude about it, which has definitely changed, and I don`t have that anymore. I guess your relationship to it always changes as you grow older, so now it feels like much more of a job to me, which it actually nice. I like that, Instead of feeling it was some sort of a mission I had."
(On his career) "I wouldn`t say that I`m aggressive in going out to find work and stuff like that. I just sort of..if something comes along, and it`s something I like, and they want to hire me, I`ll do it. I won`t just do anything."
Acting can be a really silly thing. It`s like playing dress-up.
I`ve always managed to find stuff to do that I enjoyed. But the offers have definitely gotten more interesting since `Sideways.`
I just sort of want to see how this movie thing plays out.
Am I really cool? You`re telling me I`m cool? Well, that`s good to hear.
(On how he prepares for a part) "I usually just read the script a lot. And that`s one thing I do, I just read the script over and over and over again. That helps me."
I`ve got to be the geekiest guy in the world in a lot of ways. I`m like a zeta male.
(On doing theatre) "For a long time it was all I basically did. I regret not doing it as much these days, and I feel like in a lot of ways I`ve gotten kind of soft as an actor, not doing stage stuff. In terms of being a better actor, it`s really important."
I think one of the great things about acting is the instant gratification: you just get up and start being a part of the story. The immediacy is something you get really addicted to.
(On working with Woody Allen & filming Deconstructing Harry) "He doesn`t even give you the script, he just gives you your scenes. On Harry, I was working with Philip Bosco and we were in it a lot - that Screen Actors` Guild scale minimum payment he gives you sure mounts up after a while - and then we were cut right out of it."
(On working with M. Night Shyamalan) "I mean, he`s definitely got his own thing going on. He`s got his own way of shooting things, which is great for actors because he doesn`t shoot the hell out of things. He`s got a very definite visual vocabulary for stuff like that. He`s got a real control over it because he writes it, but I found the biggest difference with him is that the crew and everyone else feel relaxed all the time. It`s like he`s the host of the big party all the time. I would work with him again because he`s incredibly astute about making everybody feel important and part of the process."
It`d be disingenuous to say I don`t like attention - I`m an actor for God`s sake - and it`s flattering and all, but attention was never my big goal. I just like to work and have a good time. This whole business feels kind of intense, like a bad fit. Round peg, square hole. But whatever, I`ll take it.
You start to really lose perspective on the movie when the critical response is as weirdly, regressively unanimous as it is. I`m such a natural skeptic that I start thinking, `Maybe it actually s*cks.`
Well, you know, when people say stuff about you, it`s always really flattering. But does it mean anything to me? It`s not really real to me; there`s no reality to it.
Growing up I didn`t know where I was headed, except to the grave or maybe to the gutter. I went through wanting to do a lot of things, but acting wasn`t one of them. I didn`t really know what I was going to do until after my father died. Going into acting was as much a surprise to me as to anyone else, and I was even more surprised to find that I could make a living doing it.
I`d rather be in something interesting that doesn`t work than something that`s a sure-fire thing but it`s just kind of ... whatever.
Generally, when I get offered these roles they`re twisted or odd. It`s never a straight-up romance. Like, the character can`t speak or they turn out to be a serial killer.
(On working with Russell Crowe) "Super complicated guy, but really smart. I loved working with him and had more fun working with him than anybody I think I have ever worked with. I play his trainer, so everything I did was with him and I kind of loved him, even though there was a lot about him that I can`t even begin to understand and he`s a dangerously complicated guy! But from an acting point of view, if you walk in the room and start throwing stuff at him, he just loves it, because he seems to me like he is only really truly happy when he`s acting."
I don`t consider myself a very interesting person. I have the mentality of a supporting actor.
(On supporting roles) "I think you`re given more license to have fun, in a way. You`re supposed to be more vivid, your job is to be more eccentric. I think I just like it better. There`s something about working in a smaller space that I`m more temperamentally suited to."
You are absolutely free to describe me as a turtle or something. Seriously. When you profile someone, there has to be a narrative, and my narrative just happens to be `Who is he?`, `Oh, he`s that guy` and `He looks like a squid!` Sideways (2004) doesn`t change that. Honestly, I never wanted to be more than a good supporting actor. Really, I enjoy it.
I`m not a guy who has a lot of, `I want to work with so-and-so.` I`ll take whatever work I can get.
(On working with Jim Carrey) "You can`t do the goofy stuff he does without being a good actor. Exciting to work with, but hard. You gotta find a way to work with him. He`s so frickin` intense all the time that you gotta get a break from it once in a while. Not that he`s always `on`, he`s just an intense guy. Everything is just burning away inside of him. I dunno how he gets through the day. Another really smart guy, too."