You had your breakthrough role when you were still a child and have since become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, even winning an Oscar. Does acting give you a sense of purpose in life?
That would be going too far. And I wouldn’t feel comfortable putting it that way either. My purpose in life is with the people that I choose to spend my life with. Acting is not my purpose. It is something that I do, and I enjoy it. Often it is a great deal of fun.
But acting isn’t a job like any other. After all, you have to put your heart and soul into your roles. Isn’t acting a part of who you are?
You are absolutely right. I don’t know what I would do otherwise. I love this job. It’s a fascinating thing I’m allowed to do. But I don’t want to sound pretentious. And for the important people in my life, it doesn’t matter what I do.
But we’re talking about you. What do you get from acting?
There are a few different things. I have always enjoyed observing people, and acting affords me the opportunity to do that and have a reason for doing it. So that way I don’t have people punching me because I’m staring at them or observing them so much. I have an explanation. I also like stories. I like telling stories and I found that I enjoy telling stories through film. Though I must admit I don’t know much about film. I don’t watch many films, but that’s for the director to understand and have knowledge of, not for the actor. And there is a certain enjoyment in potentially humiliating yourself. When that does happen, it’s quite informative to see how you deal with that. That sort of experience makes you feel alive.