People ask me what my hobbies are in interviews, and I always say biking. But all I bike for is to get to rehearsal more quickly.
I get very homesick, but otherwise it’s a great privilege to get to travel for work.
I am actually going to two therapists right now. I don’t know, I actually feel like therapy has just made me more uncomfortable.
Mother Teresa was asked what was the meaning of life, and she said to help other people, and I thought, ‘What a strange thing to say’ – but maybe it’s the right thing to say.
All of my pleasures are guilty, but that’s just the way I’m wired.
In acting class, you’re trained to express yourself as much as you can.
When cellphones came out, my girlfriend refused to get one for five years, because she thought it would turn her into somebody who couldn’t connect with other people – and, of course, she got a cellphone.
The scariest people to turn a movie over to are always the people who are drawing up the poster, because that’s the first impression it’s going to make. And very often it’s portraying a very different film from the one the actors actually did.
I grew up in a secular suburban Jewish household where we only observed the religion on very specific times like a funeral or a Bar Mitzvah.
The only way to be turned off to being famous is to be famous.
I grew up in Queens and New Jersey. I started doing children’s theater when I was seven to get out of school because I didn’t fit in.
If you’re acting, then there’s a prescribed way to behave; whereas in life, there’s no prescribed way. So acting feels like a comfortable way to get through the day.
I write plays, and I have a musical that’s starting to get produced now. That’s what I would love to do, but it’s so hard. The only reason people are reading my plays and musicals is because I’m in movies.
Every character I play has to be the hero of his own story, the way we’re all heroes of our own lives.
Look, I don’t have a Facebook page because I have little interest in hearing myself talk about myself any further than I already do in interviews or putting any more about myself online than there already is. But if I wasn’t in this position, I’m sure I would use it every day.
When playing a role, I would feel more comfortable, as you’re given a prescribed way of behaving. So, both Facebook and theatre provide contrived settings that provide the illusion of social interaction.
And I’m sure after Facebook it will be the little cameras that we have implanted into the palms of our hands and we’ll be debating whether we should get them, and then we’ll all get them.
Society will decide after the technology is created what we will and won’t accept.
The joy of acting for me is to be able to experience emotions in a safe environment. You can’t scream and cry in the street because everybody will look. If you do it on a movie set, you get applauded.
I cried every day of first grade. In class. Which meant I ended up getting comfortable emoting in a place where it wasn’t the norm.
I don’t understand capri pants. They seem like neither here nor there.
I grew up in an apolitical household. I never left the country. When I became an adult, I started traveling and became interested in politics, and I probably talked about things in a silly, ignorant way.
There’s something strange about theater. My characters consistently demonize elitism, but of course it’s taking place in a theater where only so many people can see it. I’ve been in silly popcorn movies – the kind of thing that as an actor you might feel embarrassed about – but those movies reach many more people.
It’s so nerve-wracking to be on a set. They’re the most stressful place in the world, because you’re making something permanent, and there are so many people relying on you in a lot of ways.
As an actor, you try to bring as much of yourself to a part to try and create a feeling of authenticity and emotional truth and resonance.
I think it’s my nature to – every time I hear about an award or a nomination, it makes me realize how much I must’ve been losing before, because I was not aware that every major city had these critics’ awards.
When you’re acting in a movie, you never consider the reception of it. It’s impossible to predict how something will be received. Even if you think it’s the greatest thing in the world, other people might not like it. Or agree with it.
Acting is kind of difficult to intellectualize – it’s a far more visceral experience. It’s really hard to be able to think about and then employ these kind of esoteric notions of this person’s backstory and try to weave it in somehow. It’s just kind of impossible.
The frustrating part of being a movie actor is waiting in your trailer to do two takes of a scene you’ve prepared for two months.
I purposefully isolate myself from anything that has to do with any press. I don’t read any press about myself.
I don’t follow sports that much now, but I was a Phoenix Suns fanatic in the early ’90s.
When you do a play, you have the kind of nightly feeling of accomplishment. But you also have the daily dread of the doing it every night. And because you’re doing the whole thing every day, it’s like climbing up the mountain every single night. With a movie it’s like climbing the mountain very slowly, over months of filming.
I like driving; I don’t drive since I live in New York. I don’t have an opportunity to drive, like, ever.
I had great difficulty in school interacting with others, and I took refuge in the contrived setting of play acting, which is what I still do.
When you are in a live-action movie, you have so many more options to express yourself. You can use your body and your gestures and facial expressions. When you are doing an animated movie, you really only have your voice.
I’m hardly the most notable person in ‘Zombieland.’ The other actors in it are way more famous than I am.
To criticize Facebook is to criticize the telephone.
The more people say nice things about me, the more I feel it’s false.
If you look at the movies that come out, most of them are bad, so it’s not as if achieving some level of success means you get offered better roles, because frankly they don’t seem to exist.
I know some amazing actors who are not mortified every moment of the day, so my feeling is that maybe you don’t have to be a wreck to be good.
As an actor, if I show up late somewhere or I say something that’s eccentric, it’s totally acceptable – not only that, it’s lauded in some perverse way.
I’ve never had tastes of people my own age. All of my friends when I was 15 were in their 40s. I’m not actually mature, just very self-conscious around people my own age because I feel like I’m supposed to act the same way they act and I don’t know how.
As an actor, you have to be open to doing things where you look stupid, to be experimental.
I hate watching me. I hate watching me. It just makes me feel awful. I think, ‘I look stupid from that angle. I wish I didn’t let them put that shirt on me.’
If you went to Harvard Medical School, chances are you’ll be a doctor at some place. There’s a career trajectory. Acting, there’s nothing. It’s constantly trying to procure jobs – it’s very disconcerting.
I prefer playing characters that are going through turmoil. Most movie characters are just in service to the story.
When you take on a role, even if the character is somebody that you are dissimilar to, you have to identify with the role and look for an emotional connection even if there is not a biographical one.
I have a job that requires me to be in the public eye in the way that makes me extra careful about sharing information.
I live in New York City, so there’s so much stimulation when you walk outside, it does not require a television in the home.
I meet people who are in movies, and the stuff that they write is terrible, but nobody tells them that because they’re famous. So I worry that my stuff might be like that, too.
People think, ‘You’re an actor, you can afford clothes,’ but I just try to take the clothes from the movie, which makes the selecting of film projects that much more difficult, because you try to play characters that might wear something you’d want to wear.
I guess the more serious you play something, if the context is funny, then it will be funny and it doesn’t really require you to be necessarily, explicitly humorous, or silly.
I can’t watch myself in interviews. I feel like I look like a wreck. My mom is always calling me and going, ‘Stop fidgeting,’ and it’s like, ‘You have no idea what it’s like, Mom.’
I don’t have a Facebook page because I have little interest in hearing myself talk about myself any further than I already do in interviews or putting any more about myself online than there already is.
The movies that are really big, at least in my experience, oftentimes don’t have characters that I feel as personally connected to.
I find people who want to help other people to be the most interesting. I come from a family of teachers, and my friends are teachers, often times in very difficult school situations.
I’m not into music – the only music I like is musical theater, but I have every Ween album.
Everyone’s a geek in some way or other. Everyone’s an outsider.
I don’t go to movies, I don’t own a television, I don’t buy magazines and I try not to receive mail, so I’m not really aware of popular culture.
In New York, everybody is their own celebrity, so they’re not so interested in other people