I always say it takes as much preparation and thought to do a small part as a leading part. In some ways, leads are easier because you have the luxury of time to discover the character.
One of the unique things is that whether we were out at sea or in the middle of the water tank, a lot of times you just couldn't leave. Especially when we were out at sea.
Hey, I'm just trying to become the Michael Caine/Gene Hackman of my generation.
I always felt really guilty if I spent too much time playing video games. It's a colossal waste of time. And I can't say it's a very satisfying feeling at the end of the day, if you've spent eight hours playing a video game; you just end up feeling kind of spent, and used.
There is a level of fame that is really unmanageable. But most of the people who experience that level of fame are compensated in other ways. Private villas and chauffeured boats.
An actor's life is like a series of - it's like the first day of school happening over and over again.
My family are all storytellers, and I think I inherited a lot more of that gene than other people in my family. I guess I was fun to have around.
I try to take things that challenge me either physically or mentally, or I have to learn a new skill.
If you're really being honest with yourself when you're acting, part of it is touching the real you. You can only separate yourself so much from the character. Those vulnerable moments do touch me.
I grew up listening to a lot of player-piano music in my house and a lot of old Tin Pan Alley songs and American standards. My dad listened to a lot of traditional Irish music and I grew up doing musical theater. So most of the music I was exposed to as a kid was pre-rock n' roll.
I like working. I wish I could say I made a deliberate choice to comedy, but it's just what came my way. It's what the studios wanted to make. Some of my friends were doing it, like Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, and they offered me 'Talladega Nights.' It's just nice work if you can get it. It's a joyful day at work, making your friends laugh.
Why people pick me for the roles that they do is a bit of a mystery.
For a long time, it was like I was part of some special forces unit: I'd land, meet everyone, five minutes later I'd have to do some amazing work, then - boom! - I'm out again. You know, playing supporting parts takes courage.
Honestly, to tell you the truth, being trapped in any video game sounds like a living nightmare to me. In most video games, the point is it's a fight for survival, so I think it would be a terrifying place to live.
People say, 'Don't you get tired of people coming up to you all the time?' But what's wrong with strangers saying they love you?
Animation is a great way to work. No early morning call times, no make-up chair. In live action, you're always fighting the clock; the sun is always going down too soon.
When I first joined SAG, there was another John Reilly. My dad was John Reilly, too, but growing up I was John John. Nobody in life calls me John C. It's more like, 'Hey you, Step Brother!'
I know I'm not some matinee idol, but I think we're sold this bill of goods by the media, which says that only the most beautiful and dashing people can become movie stars. So when someone like me sneaks in, they have to redo the calculations.
This is real human drama, we're not creating some amusement park ride for the summer. Even though the movie is really exciting to watch, it's got a real pathos behind it.
There's so much joy in doing comedy work, and that's one of the reasons I like to do it - because it's just a hilarious day at work.
I love card games, and I've always loved board games and stuff like that as a kid, and I think it's that part of your brain that's engaged in con movies. It's like this 'Who's outsmarting whom?'
Here's the thing, with comedy - and I learned this from Will Ferrell - you can't be ashamed. If you're doing comedy, you have to fully commit to the joke. Shame is not part of it. If you act shy or uncomfortable about your body, that makes the audience shy and uncomfortable. And in a comedy you just want them to loosen up and laugh.
I don't mind doing scripted material. It's actually kind of a relief, because improvising is a little bit like screenwriting on your feet.
This whole celebrity racket, it's not really my bag. I don't really do that stuff, and I am not looking to get famous myself. I would love it if my characters get famous, my work was well known and appreciated. But I'm an actor, not a spokes model or a celebrity or whatever that is. I don't know how to be that.
I'm not a big fan of kids' movies that have this knowing snarkiness to them or this post-modern take on storytelling. I think that sails right over the heads of most kids. There's something to be said for a well-told fairy tale. There's a reason that these mythic stories stay with us.
For a while I had a blues band in L.A., but I realized I was too optimistic to play the blues. I did not have the misery in my heart that the blues required.
You know, the truth is that us actors would all like to believe we re-invent the wheel, every time we play a character. But, we're human beings and our instruments are not violins, they are our bodies and our consciousness and our collective life experience.
I love that people can't place me. They don't know my name. That's 'mission accomplished' in my world.
The thing I tried to remember when I was younger was 'Do something that's at least as good, if not better, than the last thing you did.' So I started with Brian De Palma and Sean Penn. I had a pretty high bar to start with.
A lot of people that make films say, 'We need this kind of character. Who's done it before? Get them to do it again.' That is exactly what actors are pushing against. It's kind of a cliche to talk about being stereotyped in that way, but it happens.
I went to an all-boys Catholic school, and not only were we not allowed to wear pajamas, we had to wear dress shirts, dress pants, a tie, dress shoes... they stopped making us wear blazers, like, two years before I started there, so pajamas... you wouldn't even get in the front door wearing pajamas at my school.
Surprising people is the key to career longevity for someone like me.
I hear actors complain about being stereotyped, and a lot of the time, you have yourself to blame. Just don't take the part if you feel like it's a stereotypical part for you. You have control over your life. We don't have the old studio system, where you have to do what they tell you.
Movies are this thing that came into my life, and it still feels pretend in some way. I kind of do this thing, and I never really accepted this idea that I'm a film actor. That's what I do. I feel like I'm a theater actor that started doing films. Most people have never seen me in a play. They're fun, though.
One of the reasons people find me a believable actor is that I don't seem like one of the gods from Olympus. I seem like someone who was lucky enough to be let into Olympus.
From the first time I did a movie, people have said, 'Oh, it's all going to change now.' And it would change, but very incrementally. I think I prefer that to some big explosion of fame all of the sudden.
I was never a very dependable employee for anything. Perfect for the actor's life!
God forbid you got seasick because there was no option to go back. So that really did force us to be a group.
I don't really get off on the anonymous love of strangers, which I think a lot of actors do. They're lacking something in their own personal lives, so they want the adoration of autographs and all that stuff.
Oh, absolutely, it felt more serious than your typical job. One of the things that got us through how difficult the shooting actually was was that we are telling a real story.
I did a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, and his skill level was eons ahead of mine. It was really more like an abattoir - he just slaughtered my character over and over again.
I like being employed, you know. That's my favorite kind of acting.
There's something about the water - that solitary kind of peaceful feeling. You're on Earth but not quite.
I like how pure the expression is in music. You can go straight to the heart of an audience rather than through their brain.
I'm a big fan of the 'Harry Potter' movies and 'The Lord of the Rings' films.
You were there all day long, 12 hours a day. So there was none of this, 'I'm going back to my trailer, my trailer's bigger than your trailer,' that kind of Hollywood nonsense.