'Larry Crowne' is about as bummed out a human being as one can be when he loses his job. What he is able to enjoy is something that may not be available to everybody. But it's about the value of being willing to get and willing to give good advice.
Some people go to bed at night thinking, 'That was a good day.' I am one of those who worries and asks, 'How did I screw up today?'
There's a small percentage of people who can act. There's a small percentage who get to do this for a living. There's a swath of the population that are able to keep a story in their head and fight all the battles against self-consciousness and the surreal unnaturalness of acting in a movie. The technical aspects you can learn fairly quickly.
Acting still rings my bell as much as it did in high school. Plus, I can now indulge my interests as a producer as well. My work is more fun than fun but, best of all, it's still very scary. You are always walking some kind of high wire.
The most accurate representation of how I feel is that I'm incredibly lucky to be working in this structure where people get paid millions to read the news on TV. And, yes, it is insane. And there is nothing I can say beyond acknowledging my immense good fortune, and being aware that I'm blessed, and aware that it isn't going to last forever.
What we're doing with Band of Brothers is trying to put it into human terms, so it is not just a flickering, black and white myth on a screen, it is a resonant story. I want the audience to recognize themselves in these men. They're not just mythic heroes.
That's what's nice about directing a film and having it done: There's nothing more I can do about it. It's done. That's it. All I can do is let it go and hope that people are kind to it.
My doctor said, 'If you can weigh what you weighed in high school, you'll essentially be healthy and not have Type 2 diabetes.' Well, I'm gonna have Type 2 diabetes, because there is no way I can weigh as much as I did in high school.
I do not want to admit to the world that I can be a bad person. It is just that I don't want anyone to have false expectations. Moviemaking is a harsh, volatile business, and unless you can be ruthless, too, there's a good chance that you are going to disappear off the scene pretty quickly.
I went to college because I didn't have anywhere else to go and it was a fabulous hang. And while I was there I was exposed to this world that I didn't know was possible.
Yeah! I got type-two diabetes! I'm sure there's going to be some media scandal now, saying I got it because I gained and lost weight for movie parts or something - but I doubt that.
I must say that I do wrestle with the amount of money I make, but at the end of the day what am I gonna say? I took less money so Rupert Murdoch could have more?
Growing up in northern California has had a big influence on my love and respect for the outdoors. When I lived in Oakland, we would think nothing of driving to Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz one day and then driving to the foothills of the Sierras the next day.
My TV show had been cancelled; nothing else had gone anywhere; some alliances I had made petered out and nothing came of them and I was looking at a long, long year ahead of me in which there was no work on the horizon, the phone wasn't ringing. I had two kids, one of them a brand-new baby, and I didn't know if I would be able to keep my house.
But look, I was born in 1956, the peak year for births in US history. I think I'm very representative of many of the thought processes my generation have been through and, by and large, people of my age have had their imprint planted on the consciousness of western society for a long time.
I'm not interested in doing something edgy with a capital E just so everyone knows, 'Oh, OK, now he's showing us he can do edgy.'
When I was 21 years old, I had a job playing Santa Claus in a shopping centre in Sacramento. I was rail thin, so it's not like I was a traditional Santa Claus even then. I had a square stomach; that was the shape of the sofa cushion that I had stuffed into my pants.
There is something basic about protecting land by taking it off the market. People should be able to enjoy where they live while at the same time protect the plants and animals around them.
For some people, I will be Forrest Gump for the rest of my life. But that's OK; that's a good thing.
My kid could get a bad X-ray and I could get a call from the doctor saying I have something growing in my bum and that would change my perspective on everything instantaneously, on what is and what is not important.
By and large, the making of motion pictures is all about, 'Let's ratchet it up.' And I always think, 'We don't need to ratchet this up.' If you do, don't call it 'Captain Phillips' or 'The Maersk Alabama.' Call it something else, and then you have carte blanche to do anything, down to sea serpents and aliens.
I have gone through so many examinations of what a hero is, between the World War II stuff and the astronaut stuff.
I am who I am, and I think I have a good nature, by and large. But if someone takes advantage of that good nature, well then, you know, I'm not that nice a guy.
There isn't any great mystery about me. What I do is glamorous and has an awful lot of white-hot attention placed on it. But the actual work requires the same discipline and passion as any job you love doing, be it as a very good pipe fitter or a highly creative artist.
One thing that was amazing about World War II was that everybody signed up for the duration plus six months. Fliers got to leave combat after 25 missions, or 35 missions, but other than that, you were in it. You were part of the great effort, until, oh boy, six months after it was over.
I have high blood sugars, and Type 2 diabetes is not going to kill me. But I just have to eat right, and exercise, and lose weight, and watch what I eat, and I will be fine for the rest of my life.
No journalist has ever been in my house and no photographs have ever been taken of where I live. I don't parade my family out for display, which is the way it will stay.
Some people are cowards... I think by and large a third of people are villains, a third are cowards, and a third are heroes. Now, a villain and a coward can choose to be a hero, but they've got to make that choice.
My favorite traditional Christmas movie that I like to watch is All Quiet on the Western Front. It's just not December without that movie in my house.
The same way that I know that I'll never do a movie as good or as celebrated as 'Forrest Gump,' I know that I'll never do a movie as bad as 'Bonfire of the Vanities.'
I've talked to a number of actors who have gained weight for roles, and just the sheer physical toll it puts on one's knees and shoulders - no one wants to do it again. I'm 57 and I don't think I'm going to take on any job or go on vacation again and see to it that I can gain 30 pounds.
When I was growing up, everybody in charge, my parents and teachers, had all survived the war, and they talked about the war like it was the Kraken - you know, this huge beast that roamed the earth during their formative years.
But television, when I was doing it, was all about scoring. You had to make these jokes bang, do whatever you could to make the material really pop. And if it didn't, there was something wrong with the material, or with you.
The nature of motion capture is only going to work for certain films. It's not going to put any other type of movies out of business.
There's this misconception that the Navy is this cruise ship, and you get to go out and sail around, and every now and then, you have to swab the deck. But, no, it is a very impressive group of young people that live at sea, in this place that's very uncomfortable. They exude a pride that is well-deserved.
Now, learning how to make a movie is something you can figure out in about an afternoon. The physics of it, the marks, the lights, etc. What's hard to do is to suspend your own feelings of self consciousness. The natural actors can do that; they can become part of a characterization and learn how to maintain it.
The truth is that everyone pays attention to who's number one at the box office. And none of it matters, because the only thing that really exists is the connection the audience has with a movie.
Reading a script is usually as exciting as reading a boilerplate legal document, so when you read one that makes you feel as if you're seeing the movie, you know it's something different.
I think 80 percent of the population are really great, caring people who will help you and tell you the truth. That's just the way it is. And I think 20 percent of the population are crooks and liars. It's just a fact.
But the battles against loneliness that I fought when I was 16 are very different from those I fought when I was 27, and those are very different from the ones I fight at 44.
And I'm not apolitical - I'm very specific in my politics. But a lot of the time it's nobody's business unless you're over at my house having dinner.
If I was to direct Ron Howard, I guarantee you, I would put him through a living hell every day. I would demand so much of him. We wouldn't quit until he leaves the set crying. Weeping! Spent!
At the end of the day it's got to be a good movie, it's got to be a funny movie, and it's got to make people think, 'Hey, I couldn't have spent my time any better.'
As long as you as an individual... can convince yourself that in order to move forward as best you can you have to be optimistic, you can be described as 'one of the faithful,' one of those people who can say, 'Well, look, something's going to happen! Let's just keep trying. Let's not give up.
As a young man, even if I was going to see a play or a film by myself, I didn't feel like I was alone. There was something that was unfolding up there that brought me into it. And I recognised that. For those two hours, it made me feel like I belonged to something really good.
I love what I do for a living, it's the greatest job in the world, but you have to survive an awful lot of attention that you don't truly deserve and you have to live up to your professional responsibilities and I'm always trying to balance that with what is really important.
My wife keeps on telling me my worst fault is that I keep things to myself and appear relaxed. But I am really in a room in my own head and not hearing a thing anyone is saying.
Truth is, I'll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candour.
I think I'm lucky that I had kids as spread out as much as I did, 'cause my son, my oldest, was born when I was 21. And my youngest is 15 now. He was born when I was 40, you know?
There's a difference between solitude and loneliness. I can understand the concept of being a monk for a while.
Even if a story has nothing to do with my life, if I can recognise something of myself in the character and think, 'Oh yeah, that's what I'd do...' Yeah, that's what I look for.
Everybody has something that chews them up and, for me, that thing was always loneliness. The cinema has the power to make you not feel lonely, even when you are.
If there are nine guys auditioning and they're all gorgeous, I have an advantage, because gorgeous guys are a dime a dozen. But if they need someone else - like a goofy guy with bad hair who is just okay - then that's me. And finally, the other 2 percent who audition are geniuses that I could never touch.
The year I was born, 1956, was the peak year for babies being born, and there are more people essentially our age than anybody else. We could crush these new generations if we decided too.
It's always a combination of physics and poetry that I find inspiring. It's hard to wrap your head around things like the Hubble scope.
E-mail is far more convenient than the telephone, as far as I'm concerned. I would throw my phone away if I could get away with it.
Repertory theater is all about being part of the whole, one of the many colors in this vast palette.
And then it was like, wait, you can go to college and study theater? And act in plays? This is almost a racket, you know. And then when the opportunity came along to do it professionally, I thought I'd won the lottery.
I did a 'Love Boat!' And based on my trip on the 'Love Boat,' I said, 'I'd just as soon not do 'Fantasy Island.'
Prior to Saving Private Ryan I never worked with men. I was always working with some babe, and it was always about falling in love, and it just got turned around. I'm not looking for any particular kind of story. I wait until it comes across my desk.
You cannot look up at the night sky on the Planet Earth and not wonder what it's like to be up there amongst the stars. And I always look up at the moon and see it as the single most romantic place within the cosmos.
I want to have a good time myself. I don't want to dread going to work no matter what the gig is. I think, selfishly, I will make sure that I have a good time; how about that?
If you look at romantic comedies as pieces of commerce, the audience is looking for wish fulfillment.
But I also think all of the great stories in literature deal with loneliness. Sometimes it's by way of heartbreak, sometimes it's by way of injustice, sometimes it's by way of fate. There's an infinite number of ways to examine it.
I always wanted to play Lestrade of Scotland Yard 'cause he's a buffoon that gets to wear a uniform. I thought that would be fun.
When I work, a lot of times I have to lose weight, and I do that, but in my regular life I was not eating right, and I was not getting enough exercise. But by the nature of my diet and that lifestyle - boom! The end result was high blood sugars that reach the levels where it becomes Type 2 diabetes. I share that with a gajillion other people.
I will entertain anything; it doesn't matter. You know, it's not obviously about the price, it's not about who, it's kind of about when and what. It's material, that's all.
'Forrest Gump' was great, it was fabulous. It lasted much longer than anybody thought, and brought me a degree of attention that no human being on the face of the planet deserves.
The nature of the movies is different than it was five years ago, and they're all driven by the possibilities of CGI, which means you can make anything happen on screen that you can possibly desire.