With Trump, because of the kind of seemingly violent way that he talks about things and because he's on Twitter almost every single morning, I think it brings down the respect that we have for the White House and for the Oval Office in particular, so the expectation is anything can happen, and that becomes the norm, which is unfortunate.
'Paycheck,' I thought, was a really, really good idea. I never got an opportunity, unfortunately, to read the novel, but I loved the idea of how to deal with intellectual properties. I just don't know that we necessarily got to the heart of that particular idea. I think it became more of a chase movie than anything else.
Actors are very often people who are placed in a position where they think they have to be grateful for the job and have no control over what they play and how they play it. I was not taught that way. I completely disagree with that. I think that you have more control than you think.
It's funny: We have so many shows and so many channels and so many things to occupy people as entertainment, especially with a show like 'Scandal,' which is clearly a hit, with a lot of heat around it - but every once in a while, people will say, 'What are you doing?' and I'll say 'Scandal,' and they'll have no idea what I'm talking about.
I make it a habit of never trying to judge what an audience might think, only because all points of view are too close, because we're doing it every day, I think that the actor's point of view is sometimes too close to what the material actually is.
My father was in the service. His job was to integrate the Armed Forces overseas. So that meant we showed up at military bases in Okinawa or Germany, racially unannounced. That made me, in that particular society if you will, the outsider.
When I first came into New York City, what I did was, I didn't have very much money, and I couldn't afford pictures or a resume, so what I used to do is I would tear off the back of a matchbook, and I'd write my name and telephone number on the back of the matchbook.
The advice that I usually give to young actors is that if you can create a character for the stage and keep that character fresh for at least 6 months that means you're doing the show eight times a week.
Without mentioning any names, there was a film that was being done, and I ran into the producer on the plane. It was a book that I really, really loved, and I said, 'I'd love to be a part of this.' And they made it clear that that was not going to be possible - for no particular reason other than that there was just no part for a black person.
What you find with really good directors is that they kind of leave you alone. They've hired you because they know the kind of work you do and the sense of how you'd approach it. So usually, they'll just stand back and maybe give you a nudge once in a while in terms of something specific they might want in a particular scene.
You want to be challenged, so you feel like you want to get up and wrestle with the character or enjoy the character - especially with a TV show, because you know you could be doing it for a long time, so you want to make sure it's something you really enjoy.