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  1. The bad things about theatre get balanced by the good things in film and vice versa. So to tell you the truth, I love it when I can go back and forth — it feeds different parts of you and exercises different muscles.
  2. The English Patient’ is about the coming together of a French-Canadian nurse, an English patient, a Sikh in a turban and me, Caravaggio, and each of us is seeking a resolution to our own problems.
  3. Emotionally men and women are different, but only as a result of the physical differences. It all comes back to our bodies.
  4. I think on some level, you do your best things when you’re a little off-balance, a little scared. You’ve got to work from mystery, from wonder, from not knowing.
  5. My dad was a surgeon, my mom a nurse, and they were always out working. I had five sisters and a brother. They didn’t care what I got up to.
  6. It’s true in the beginning I started playing villains, and I think that’s pretty clear, because if you don’t conventionally look a certain way and you’ve got a certain kind of presence when you’re young, then what’s available to you is character roles, and the best character roles when you’re young tend to be villains.
  7. Turn off the sound in a movie, and if you can tell what’s going on, the movie should work.
  8. I think, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to be more reckless with my choices, because practically speaking, you get less careful. Your choices become more instinctive, and you feel like if you make a mistake, it won’t destroy you.
  9. I love theaters. I love the event of going there and seeing a movie with a lot of people. I like the community coming around the story.
  10. With theatre, you have to be ready for anything.
  11. I guess they often cast me as the bad guy, because I’m not, er, conventional looking. I look sort of violent. I’m the odd one out, the outsider.
  12. A lot of critics are lazy. They don’t want to look closely and analyze something for what it is. They take a quick first impression and then rush to compare it to something they’ve seen before.
  13. In films you do a scene, you play around with it and unless you’re doing a lot of reshooting, which no one has the luxury to do, you deal with the problem for a day and then you move on. On some level, it never allows you to go very deep into what performing is about.
  14. In order to inhabit a character, you’ve got to embrace and empathise with them.
  15. I love doing action and stuff; the problem is usually action movies are not that interesting. Also as I get older I feel like there’s less opportunities for me.
  16. Plenty of bad movies are very successful, and plenty of good movies are not. And distribution is so crazy, some films won’t even get their day in court.
  17. I do know that I like to play characters that are sometimes a little on the outside — that’s because it feels kind of romantic and sexier to me. I really think they are the people that we learn lessons from.
  18. I’m a task-oriented actor. A pretender. And I try to invent my process anew each time I make a new project. So I frown on any method.
  19. I’ve never had any close male friends. The most important relationships in my life have always been with women.
  20. It’s no fun for an actor to keep repeating what you did before. It’s always changing. I’m changing. The target keeps moving. That’s the beauty of it.

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