I have the ordinary experience of having the blender bottom come off in my room upstairs. I have the ordinary experience of being anonymous when I'm in an airplane talking to air-traffic control, and they don't know who they're talking to. I have a lot of common experiences. What's important is to be able to see yourself, as having commonality with other people and not determine, because of your good luck, that everybody is less significant, less interesting, less important than you are.
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I prefer to be part of a positive statement. I'm not interested in the psyche of a serial killer. What I'm interested in is creating a situation in which people get some emotional exercise, which makes them feel like human beings and makes them understand that they are part of the human community with all its responsibilities.
With the CGI, suddenly there's a thousand enemies instead of six - the army goes off into the horizon. You don't need that. The audience loses its relationship with the threat on the screen. That's something that's consistently happening and it makes these movies like video games and that's a soulless enterprise. It's all kinetics without emotion.
When I was a carpenter, I once worked with this Russian lady architect. I would tell her, 'Look, I'm terribly sorry, but I want to change that a half inch,' and she would say, 'No limit for better.' I think that is a worthy credo. You keep on going until you get it as close to being right as the time and patience of others will allow.
The capacity to create [visual] effects in the computer has made the job easier, but it has also introduced the complexity that you can with a few more keystrokes generate such a busy canvas that the eye doesn't know where to go. You lose human scale on an event and you're just wowed by the kinetics and the visualization. But, often in those cases I feel you lose touch with the human characters and what it is that they would feel and how they might feel, and that's still the most important part.
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I think American films right now are suffering from an excess of scale. Lots of movies we're seeing now are more akin to video games than stories about human life and relationships. Twelve- to 20-year-olds are maybe the largest economic force in the US movie business. I'm not a very nostalgic person - but I enjoy a good story.
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I just like the process of taking something written on a sheet of paper and giving it life and shape. I like the collaborative process of filmmaking, which is all simply to say that I love my work and I would continue to look for things that have the potential to be engaging and successful.
Because the character is a fiction, he's a composite of other contributors to the science that brought this enzyme therapy through the process. We had the opportunity to make him up out of those things that helped tell the story. We wanted to create both ally and antagonist for John [in the Extraordinary measures].
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There comes a point when you've exhausted your opportunities playing good guys. I've been around long enough, I think I'm entitled to explore a bit. But what I saw there was an opportunity to play a character different from what the audience's expectation was. A chance to take their crude experience of me - of my iconography, if you will - and turn it on its ear at an appropriate juncture in the film to be useful to the process of telling the story.
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We have been led to believe that we have come a long way toward world nuclear disarmament. But that is not the case. Our government is not doing all that it could. We must urge our leaders to fulfill the obligations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The United States must assume world leadership to end once and for all the threat of nuclear war. It is our moral responsibility.
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I don't want to be a slave to electronic devices. I don't want to be connected to my friends. I don't want to send snapshots of my dog and cute pictures of my family life to my friends and family. I don't want to be liked, by pushing a button. I use all of this technology to basically replace devices that I had in the past which worked just fine.
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I think I did have a reputation for being grumpy. I don't think I'm grumpy. I have opinions. I have an independent vision. I am a purposeful person. But on a daily basis, I think I'm other than grumpy. I think it is a case where I am coming to do business and not there just to be flattered and cajoled and used.
I was desperately unhappy with it [Blade Runner]. I was compelled by contract to record five or six different versions of the narration, each of which was found wanting on a storytelling basis. The final version was something that I was completely unhappy with. The movie obviously has a very strong following, but it could have been more than a cult picture.
American Graffiti was the first movie where the director let me have any input. It was the first time anyone ever listened to me. George thought my character should have a crew cut, but I wasn't happy with that idea. I'd always had pretty long hair back then - in college, particularly - so I told George my character should wear a cowboy hat. George thought about it and he remembered a bunch of guys from Modesto, California, who cruised around, like my character, and wore cowboy hats, so it turned out that it actually fit the movie.
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As a matter of fact, that was a bit of a problem for me at the beginning of my career - the problem of identification. In The Conversation I played a character who was gay, so nobody recognised me from American Graffiti. When I did Apocalypse Now, after Star Wars, I played an intelligence officer of the American army. George Lucas saw the footage I had done and didn't recognise me until halfway through the scene.
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I have children. I have other concerns. I have other focuses. I really feel very sympathetic and I would love to be able to help but I don't see this as the opportunity, having done 'Extraordinary measures', for me to suddenly leap on a soap box and begin to talk about the pharmaceutical industry or the desperate plight of sick children. I do what I can in my world but I don't have the bona fides to do that right now.
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[After playing Indiana Jones and Han Solo] hero image concerns me a little, though not for my sake. All it means to me is that I have a responsibility not to get caught doing anything terrible and thereby jeopardise my credentials. Not that I do terrible things, like running over dogs or anything like that. It just makes you think twice before you say or do things in public.