I don’t need bodyguards. I’m from the South Bronx.
Acting means living, it’s all I do and all I’m good at. If I weren’t getting paid well, I would still be acting in a small troupe somewhere.
I don’t think it was a surprise that I ended up as an actor, and it was anything but a disappointment. My parents gave me the knowledge that reading isn’t a bad thing, and admitting to liking a painting doesn’t make you an arse-bandit. And that wouldn’t have been a problem either.
I did Glengarry Glen Ross when I was 19, and afterwards my dad did this extraordinary thing. He said, ‘You are better than I ever was or will be and you can make a living at this.’ It knocked me sideways.
Because technically actors are just public servants really. They just tell stories because people need to be told stories. That’s all it is. And yet we get treated as though we’re important.
Everything I put my name to and take part in, I want to be good. That’s not saying it will always happen. But I want to make bold choices.
Sometimes I take the watch, or I take the shoes, but usually the souvenir is to take the life you had with those directors, or the crew - the camera person, the lighting person. When you finish a film it’s like a little death. You had a family for a bit, and you finish the movie and you probably will never see each other again.
I did have a knack for playing weirdos. There’s still sort of this perception of me out there as being this crazy guy.
I would rather five people knew my work and thought it was good work than five million knew me and were indifferent.
All these portrayals we see of knights fighting must be absolute rubbish because knights in armour could literally have only had two or three blows and then they’d have had to sit down to have a cup of tea.
I like to think the movies that I’ve picked have something worthwhile to say. Something relevant.
When I was a boy, I wanted to be a whiskery man in a white coat saying, ‘Look, it’s a pterodactyl!’ I wanted to be Lionel Jeffries in an Edwardian-set family fantasy film.
The best research for playing a drunk is being a British actor for 20 years.
My goal was always to be recognized as a good actor but no one was interested in that, simply because society just wants to warm towards your appearance. This is the great blemish of society.
Robert Downey Jr
I know very little about acting. I’m just an incredibly gifted faker.