DO YOU EVER WONDER WHY YOU GET SO MANY PEDOPHILE ROLES? It's a profound question in ways you don't imagine it. In acting, you really are what you eat. If you continually do roles and continually do them correctly, it doesn't make you want to be a pedophile, but it does degrade your spirit. If you're continually playing a murderer, it affects who you are. That's why there are so many onscreen romances that continue off screen, because they become so vulnerable to one another and so close that a defense comes down.
One of the first big pedophile roles I did [laughs] was in Where the Day Takes You. And, I tried to investigate pedophiles in a kind of spiritual way. It was sad and creepy, but I recognized that these were people who, when they were children, had somehow lost their souls, and their desire to be with children was to try to capture the soul of that other child to fill the hole they had. It was about vacuum. And, in doing so, they destroy the other child. It's really about someone stealing a soul, rather than something physical, even though it becomes that.
When you're talking about television, which is where you really have pedophiles, that's all from the tail wagging the dog. Because television is such a small screen, vista is lost. You have no size, you have no scope. You have to make do with heads and close-ups. So what's going to be compelling when you're only telling a story with heads? It has to be courtroom; it has to be the lab. You can only do murder or crime drama. Or the hospital. Where the audience knows the signs and signals of what's at risk before they go in.
IN EVALUATING ANOTHER ACTOR'S PERFORMANCE, WILL YOU HAVE DISAGREEMENTS WITH YOUR ACTOR FRIENDS ABOUT WHAT IS GOOD ACTING AND WHAT IS BAD ACTING? I have more disagreements about what a terrible performance is than what a good performance is. First of all, a good performance on film is so different than a good performance on stage. That's because the role of the actor is so significantly different.
On stage, the actor is supplying the reality. The actor has a rehearsal period, in which he learns the lines, the blocking, the movements. He wears the clothes. Seamlessness is what an actor has to create on stage. The audience has to be transported into that world on stage, even though they realize they just paid money and are looking at a set. The actor has to transport them.
In a movie, an actor only has to sustain a performance 30 seconds at a time. It's going to be pieced together a year after he finishes it by editors, who use a take here and a take there. So much of an actor's performance on film depends on the skill of their director and an actor's ability, knowing what they have to go through to shoot it, to be fresh and in the moment.