I grew up at a time where I think most people had a social and political conscience. Some of the biggest changes in our country's political history happened at the time I was growing up, so I was raised to be a part of those things and to participate and I will continue to do that as much as I can.
You can't beat your enemy anymore through wars; instead you create an entire generation of people revenge-seeking. These days it only matters who's in charge. Right now that's us - for a while at least. Our opponents are going to resort to car bombs and suicide attacks because they have no other way to win. I believe (Rumsfeld) thinks this is a war that can be won, but there is no such thing anymore. We can't beat anyone anymore.
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There are some scenes that you have to lose in order to win something at the end. A good director will keep pointing you that way, but it is also your job as an actor to understand that there are scenes that you do, particularly when you are the lead, where other people get to come in and steal and you have to let them. I understand that but a good director always reminds you where those moments are.
We're in a strange state in our world where we sort of have that belief - and I have it too - that if it's written down there's got to be some truth in it. We haven't quite got to the spot where you go: "Well, it doesn't necessarily mean it's true." It could actually be completely made up and made to look very nice. So, we have to get to the point where scandal and those kinds of things are less and less important because otherwise we won't have anyone willing to run as politicians.
The Patriot Act is certainly a concern; all of those things are dangerous. I think more important than me preaching is that we as a nation have to have the debate. I don't know what the answers are. I just know that if the idea is to say talking about it makes you unpatriotic, I've got to call your bluff on that.
I haven't shied away from political and social conversations in my life, so I don't shy away from them in the films I make either. It doesn't mean that I'm out here preaching to the converted; I'd actually like to open up discussion and find ways that aren't polarizing. Films are reflecting what is going on in society. We as a society since 9/11 have, for the first time since Watergate, sat around and had outrage, discussion, polarization and arguments from both sides of the aisle. Questions are being asked. And that is good.
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Oh, man, there was this screening the other night. One of the special nights of your life where you feel ... I mean, this was at the Warner Bros. screening room and you had Dan Rather there and Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, Andy Rooney ... Walter Cronkite gave a speech at the party afterward. And everyone seemed to like it ... Bill O'Reilly ...
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In 2003, a lot of us were saying, 'Where is the link between Saddam and bin Laden What does Iraq have to do with 911 Which is why it drives me crazy to hear all these Democrats saying, 'We were misled.' It makes me want to shout, 'F-- you, you weren't misled.' You were afraid of being called unpatriotic.
My father was and is a great journalist. Thirty years ago, I was studying broadcasting in college, and the problem was I wasn't nearly as good as my father. I wasn't as quick or as smart as my old man, and I realized it would be a long time before I was ever going to be, and I decided to do something else.
There's a certain cruelty to being on a big screen as your eyelids start to sag and your hair falls out and turns gray that you either have to be able to handle or not. What you can't do is try to force yourself into roles that you could have played or would have played ten years earlier.
The best advice I got from my aunt, the great singer Rosemary Clooney, and from my dad, who was a game show host and news anchor, was: don't wake up at seventy years old sighing over what you should have tried. Just do it, be willing to fail, and at least you gave it a shot. That's echoed for me all through the last few years.
There's ten of us, we've been best friends for thirty years. Ten guys. And their wives, and their kids, are all family now. I'm not big on keeping up on the phone, none of us are. Some guys I won't talk to for two months and then you pick up the phone and hear, "So, anyway." There's no guilt or where have you been? or what's been going on? or why haven't we talked? There's an ease to it.
[On charity] I try to pick subjects that I can learn about and then focus on and then do as much as I can. If you have a tremendous amount of heat from the spotlight, then you're able to shine a little bit more of your light in a different direction. It's just deflecting. My dad calls it a celebrity credit card that you can cash in. I think if you're in this position you should do it.
Actors tend to get in their own way, a lot. A lot of times you will do things that will screw up your audition process. I was very bad at auditioning, and I always went in to it saying 'God I hope I don't screw this up.' But at the same time, the directors are saying, 'God, I hope this person is the savior.' You have to remember is that the worst thing that could happen is you don't get the job you don't already have.
It is a question in that case of breaking up one piece of art, and whether that piece of art can be as best as possible put back together. So it's an argument to say, maybe that's one of those instances, like the bust of Nefertiti, I think that should be given back [Egyptian piece currently in Neues Museum in Berlin]. It's one of those pieces you look at and think that would probably be the right thing to do.
We try to make films for people [that are] the films that we'd like to see. They're not easy to get made. They're hard to get made. You have to keep the budget low to get them made. But at the end of the day, I don't really worry about competition, because I don't really think of it that way. I don't feel like I'm in a race with anybody.