I am a greedy actor in the sense that I like the big bites. Put a big fat steak in front of me, and I will eat it.
I don’t for a moment think I am any braver or better than anybody else. This is how I attempt to explain what gives me the strength to do what I do; when that thunderbolt of an idea first hit me and inspired me to row across oceans, it filled me with a sense of purpose so strong that it overcame my fears. Even when boredom, frustration, fatigue or despair threatened to overwhelm me, it was that powerful sense of purpose that kept me going.
I try to stay fit and eat healthily, but I am not anxious to starve myself and become unnaturally thin. I don’t find that look attractive on women and I don’t want to become part of that trend. It’s unhealthy and it puts too much pressure on women in general who are being fed this image of the ideal, which it is not. I think America has become obsessed with dieting rather than focusing on eating well, exercising and living a healthy life. I also think that being ultra-thin is not sexy at all. Women shouldn’t be forced to conform to unrealistic and unhealthy body images that the media promote. I don’t need to be skinny to be sexy.
When I walk into [the studio] I am alone, but I am alone with my body, ambition, ideas, passions, needs, memories, goals, prejudices, distractions, fears. These ten items are at the heart of who I am. Whatever I am going to create will be a reflection of how these have shaped my life, and how I've learned to channel my experiences into them.The last two -- distractions and fears -- are the dangerous ones. They're the habitual demons that invade the launch of any project. No one starts a creative endeavor without a certain amount of fear; the key is to learn how to keep free-floating fears from paralyzing you before you've begun. When I feel that sense of dread, I try to make it as specific as possible. Let me tell you my five big fears:1. People will laugh at me.2. Someone has done it before.3. I have nothing to say. 4. I will upset someone I love. 5. Once executed, the idea will never be as good as it is in my mind."There are mighty demons, but they're hardly unique to me. You probably share some. If I let them, they'll shut down my impulses ('No, you can't do that') and perhaps turn off the spigots of creativity altogether. So I combat my fears with a staring-down ritual, like a boxer looking his opponent right in the eye before a bout.1. People will laugh at me? Not the people I respect; they haven't yet, and they're not going to start now....2. Someone has done it before? Honey, it's all been done before. Nothing's original. Not Homer or Shakespeare and certainly not you. Get over yourself.3. I have nothing to say? An irrelevant fear. We all have something to say.4. I will upset someone I love? A serious worry that is not easily exorcised or stared down because you never know how loved ones will respond to your creation. The best you can do is remind yourself that you're a good person with good intentions. You're trying to create unity, not discord.5. Once executed, the idea will never be as good as it is in my mind? Toughen up. Leon Battista Alberti, the 15th century architectural theorist, said, 'Errors accumulate in the sketch and compound in the model.' But better an imperfect dome in Florence than cathedrals in the clouds.
I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.
I'm probably an actor that tends to, instead of putting things on, think about it more in terms of taking away what's not in the character, until I'm left with what is. If that makes sense. That's probably a particularly American way of working, but maybe not. The end of any movie is a readjustment.
I am like a little child naked in a strong wind. I have a fever, I shiver, I'm too hot or too cold. My lips retain the unusual fruity taste of your mouth, & the bitter taste of your saliva lingers on my tongue, making me find everything I eat bland, sickening since nothing is as good as your love.