When I was younger, definitely, I let it get to me. As an adolescent, I was bitter and angry and I definitely put up these walls. But the older you get, you realize you just have to have a sense of humor. You just know that its not your problem. Its theirs.
I like animals, all animals. I wouldnt hurt a cat or a dog - or a chicken or a cow. And I wouldnt ask someone else to hurt them for me. Thats why Im a vegetarian.
[after winning a Golden Globe for his performance in Game of Thrones (2011)] I was talking to my mother in Jersey before I came out and she said, "Have fun but have you seen Mildred Pierce (2011)? Guy Pearce is so good. Hes gonna win." So . . . I havent seen "Mildred Pierce" but Im sure hes really good and I just love our moms because they keep us humble.
I think a lot of great male comic actors are introspective, quiet personalities, which I really admire. But they are really able to turn it up when the cameras on.
I was a sullen kid who smoked cigarettes and wore black every day, and I went to a school that was lacrosse players and Izods.
I should call people back more readily. Im not the best friend sometimes in terms of that. I do follow that white balloon and get distracted a lot.
Game of Thrones (2011) is an amazing show, and I have no problem speaking of the virtues of HBO.
Im a private person in many ways.
Im on Game of Thrones (2011), and every time we have someone new coming on our show, we welcome them with open arms and get revitalized by this new presence. Then we kill them off very quickly.
I spend my nights just sitting and reading a book and drinking my tea and walking my dog. Thats about as exciting as my life gets.
What I really want is to play the romantic lead and get the girl.
I think actors get too comfortable. I like being uncomfortable as an actor because it keeps you alive. I dont know, I think its important.
I never lived in an abandoned railroad station.
Writing is getting killed by too many chefs. Back in the [Humphrey Bogart] days, it started with great scripts. You had a writer, and he wrote a script, and that was your movie. I think thats been watered down a bit lately.
Any swagger is just defense. When youre reminded so much of who you are by people - not a fame thing, but with my size, constantly, growing up--you just either curl up in a corner in the dark or you wear it proudly, like armor or something. You can turn it on its head and use it yourself before anybody else gets a chance.
Thats one of the things about theater vs. film--with theater, actors have a little more control, and one of the disappointing things about films is that once youre done shooting, anything can happen, you know?
Being on television, playing the same character for many years, for me, I think that would get a little tedious.
I dont socialize. Im kind of a hermit. The life of an actor can be very lonely.
George R.R. Martin is an incredible writer.
I think if actors are successful at one thing, they paint themselves into a corner sometimes, and whats the fun in that?
I dress and eat like a fifth-grader, basically. I like sandwiches and cereal and hooded sweatshirts.
My family had a habit of collecting creatures that didnt always want to be pets. The first animal I can remember was a Lab named Zoe.
I do not fault anyone else who makes choices to play characters that they wished they hadnt . . . Because at the end of the day, none of us are happy with our jobs all the time.
Dwarves are still the butt of jokes. Its one of the last bastions of acceptable prejudice.
My brother, whos a violinist now, was the real ham, the real performer of the family. His passion for the violin is the only thing that kept him from being an actor.
I like playing the guy on the sidelines. They have more fun.
I was opposed to doing TV for a long time because I thought the quality of writing wasnt very strong, as opposed to film, but theres been a shift in term of the quality of scripts. HBO has attracted a tremendous amount of great writing talent.
I never was a big comic book fan. Obviously Id heard them growing up from my friends who did read them, but I never was a big comic book reader.
Bad guys are complicated characters. Its always fun to play them. You get away with a lot more. You dont have a heroic code you have to live by.
So I wont say Im lucky. Im fortunate enough to find or attract very talented people. For some reason I found them, and they found me.
I love working with the same actors repeatedly. That happens a lot. Its kind of inevitable, especially if you work with the same writers and directors and you start to form a company of actors. You gravitate towards each other.
I was fortunate enough to have an upbringing that made me more accepting of who I am.
I just think the less you know about an actor, the more serious youll take them as an actor because they will disappear a little bit.
My favorite superhero? I have a soft spot for Batman, because he doesnt have any super powers--hes just a person. And hes pretty dark.
Maybe everyone is a little too reassuring that things are going to be OK to college graduates. It gives them a false sort of security.
I was born in 1969, believe it or not, so I was a child in the 70s.
(2007, on Elf (2003)) Everybody asks me about Will Ferrell, because I knew him for about three days. But hes extraordinarily funny, and hes quiet between takes. I thought that was interesting. I think a lot of great male comic actors are introspective, quiet personalities, which I really admire. But they are really able to turn it up when the cameras on. I really enjoyed that movie, and the final result that Jon Favreau made was really entertaining. I had a good time. And its shot in Vancouver, which is a very pretty city.
(2007, on Tetsu-Wan andadoggu (2007)) Six weeks in Providence, Rhode Island, which I didnt know had a large history of crime. But its three hours outside of New York, so I would get to come home on the weekends, and it was fun. It was the first time Ive been under some serious prosthetics, which is interesting in and of itself. And it piqued my interest, playing a character that physically transformed me. It was fun. I think the kids enjoyed it. I got to play a villain in a movie based on a cartoon so, you know, the normal rules dont apply. You get to have a little fun.
(2007, on watching his own films) I try to. Ive been working quite a bit lately, so I had a couple movies out this summer, Death At A Funeral and Underdog, and I havent seen them because I was in Prague and we didnt get any movies over there. And by the time I got back, they had already left the theaters. So I havent seen those. I cringe when I see myself onscreen-sometimes I close my eyes-but I do watch my films out of sheer curiosity, to see how the director finished it up. Ive seen most of em.
(2007, on Death at a Funeral (2007)) That was great. Frank Oz is -you know- Yoda. Hes tremendous. That was about a month in London. I was one of the few Americans in the cast. I just loved it. It was hard to get through some of those takes. We were laughing quite a bit on that set. We had a really good time. And I havent seen the movie yet, but hopefully that sort of showed. Because people have said that about The Station Agent, they felt like it showed that everybody on the film cared about each other and got along. I think sometimes that shows through. And Im sure it showed through in Death At A Funeral, because we had a grand old time.
(2007, on seeking small films versus big budget) To make a crazy generalization, a lot of the larger films are made in commerce. Not art, but commerce: a moneymaking machine. And a lot of machines dont have that much interest in artistic worth. I try to lean toward something that will make me proud of what I accomplished. I guess I have the luxury of being a working actor, and being able to say that and choose what Im in. I guess I gravitate toward interesting stories. And I guess that the more interesting stories dont get a lot of money to be made. Thats bad, but its the truth in the film industry. Thats what I gravitate toward, but, shit, there are a number of big-budget movies that Ive loved, with artistic integrity, and Id gladly do any of those. But I just am a little picky. And dont want to be involved in crap.
(2007, on Nip/Tuck (2003)) I was unemployed, I had an apartment in L.A. that I was not utilizing that my wife and I had started renting just a few months before, so my manager called and said "Would you like to do this show called Nip/Tuck for two months, like eight episodes?" And I really wanted to go to L.A. I wasnt interested in doing television, because Id done a series that got canceled called Threshold, and I just wanted to get back to film and theater work. But I dont know. They caught me at a weak moment. Not to say that doing TV is a weak moment, but the timing of it worked out. I had never actually seen the show before, because I didnt have cable or anything, but I liked the people involved, and I met with Ryan Murphy, the creative person behind that show, and he sort of inspired me to do it. Because hes a pretty smart individual. So I said yes. By the end of the meeting, I agreed, and Im glad I did it.
(2007, on Tiptoes (2003)) Shit, Gary Oldman is one of my all-time favorite actors, so when I heard he was in it, and Id get to play his delinquent best friend, I immediately said yes. I thought it was a really interesting idea, about dwarfism and genetics and all that. Too bad it sort of fell apart. Thats one of those things where its out of the actors hands. I had a great time making it. I got to work with Patricia Arquette again. She was there with me at the audition. I thought it was going to be great, and it was great. But then it sort of-I dont know what happened after we all left, but I heard various stories about the post-production business, and its a real shame. Thats one of the things about theater vs. film-with theater, actors have a little more control, and one of the disappointing things about films is that once youre done shooting, anything can happen, you know? They can make a tragedy into a comedy. And things can fall apart, like I guess this movie did. Its a shame. That movie could have been great, but something bad happened and cest la vie.
(2007) "Living In Oblivion" I got right after I got out of college. And a lot of actors think their first big break-like, theyll get a movie or a TV show or something, and theyre set for life. But you know, I did that movie, and then I went back to my day jobs and temping and doing shitty work to pay the rent. And other little projects came, but they dont pay a lot of money, you know? You cant really survive off of doing one of those every once in a while. No, it was slow going at first. It took a good five years to get going. Until, finally, I could say "I make my living as an actor." Its not what youd expect.
(2007, on Living in Oblivion (1995)) That was my first film. I was working an office job at the time, and I get a call from this guy named Tom, and I thought it was one of my friends playing a practical joke on me. Because I picked up the phone in my cubicle-it was a cubicle temp job-and this guy says "Hi, my name is Tom DiCillo, and I was wondering if you could come in and do a read for me for this movie Im directing called Living In Oblivion." Oh no, at the time, it was called Scene Six Take Three, or some working title. And I was like [Heavy sarcasm.] "Yeah, sure, Ill be there tomorrow," then some expletive or something, and I hung up on him. About five minutes later, he calls back and hes like, "Um, no, its really-hi, my name is Tom and, uh, Im really making this movie." I felt really bad. So I was very close to hanging up on my first film job. But it was great. I came in and read for him, and he gave me the part right after I read. I couldnt have been luckier, that being my first film. Ive always been a huge fan of independent films, and that was independent and then some, and with amazing actors. I had just started to really discover Steve Buscemi and his films, and Catherine Keener, so I was pretty excited to do that one. And it was great. It was a good time.
(2007) Lassie (2005) was amazing. I didnt have any scenes with humans. Theres a couple little bits, here or there, but mainly just me and my horse and a couple of dogs in the Isle of Man. [Director] Charles Sturridge, I grew close to. Hes an incredible person. We ended up doing a production of Endgame two years after the film as part of a Samuel Beckett 100th birthday celebration. We still keep in touch. I really enjoyed that experience. Hes an amazingly intelligent, creative person. I would love to work with him again... It is hard working with animals, Ive got to say. We did the same thing with Underdog. Your pockets are filled with bacon, theres meat dangling above your head so the dog looks like its looking in your eyes, there are trainers standing by who have to shout commands before you say your lines. Its slow going. Thats what they say: "Dont work with children or animals." Ive done a couple of movies where Ive done both, and, especially with the animals, its slow going. But the end result has worked out somehow.
(2007, on The Station Agent (2003)) It was written and directed by one of my good friends, Tom McCarthy. Wed been trying to get that movie made for a while. Which was really nice. Tom sort of wrote it for the three leads: Bobby Cannavale, Patricia Clarkson, and myself. So whenever we were available, wed get together in somebodys living room and just read through the latest draft. Eventually it paid off-it took us a little while to get the money, so Tom was able to rework the script a number of times, based on our readings. And then when the money fell into place, it all happened sort of quickly... Its 100 percent Toms script. The funny thing is, a lot of people thought it was my story, that it was biographical, or that I co-wrote it. I find that a little amusing-I think it has a lot to do with my size. I found it peculiar that people would immediately assume it was my story or that I co-wrote it, but it was neither. I never lived in an abandoned railroad station. I did a play with Tom years ago, four or five years before we shot the movie, and we just loved working together, and Tom thought it would be a good idea to make me that character, I guess.
I feel really lucky; Although I hate that word-lucky. It cheapens a lot of hard work. Living in Brooklyn in an apartment without any heat and paying for dinner at the bodega with dimes-I dont think I felt myself lucky back then. Doing plays for 50 bucks and trying to be true to myself as an artist and turning down commercials where they wanted a leprechaun. Saying I was lucky negates the hard work I put in and spits on that guy whos freezing his ass off back in Brooklyn. So I wont say Im lucky. Im fortunate enough to find or attract very talented people. For some reason I found them, and they found me.