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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

'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.

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.'

Repertory theater is all about being part of the whole, one of the many colors in this vast palette.

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.

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.

There's a difference between solitude and loneliness. I can understand the concept of being a monk for a while.

Larger-than-life characters make up about .01 percent of the world's population.

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.

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.

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.

If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. It's the hard that makes it great.

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.'

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.

Actors with political views are a dime a dozen.

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.

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 know what I have to do now. I've got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?

'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.

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 had to say no to 'Fantasy Island' back when I was doing 'Bosom Buddies.'

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.

The prejudice surrounding AIDS exacts a social death which precedes the actual physical one.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I have gone through so many examinations of what a hero is, between the World War II stuff and the astronaut stuff.

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.

Human beings do things for a reason, even if sometimes it's the wrong reason.

I understand the concept of optimism. But I think with me what you get is a lack of cynicism.

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.

My job has always been to hold a mirror up to nature.

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.

If you're funny, if there's something that makes you laugh, then every day's going to be okay.

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.

Movie-making is telling a story with the best technology at your disposal.

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?

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.

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.

I would not want to live in a country that would have me as a leader in any sort of political bent.

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.

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.

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.

If they could offer up a way to go to the moon that wouldn't kill you, I'd sign up.