I never felt like someone who was boyish and coming to terms with asking girls out or anything like that, which was what 'The Big Steal' and 'Spotswood' were about. But I guess that's the impression I left on people.
At 15 I had moved out of my parents' place, and my options were looking pretty narrow. But I had this acting thing and I just wanted to be able to keep going because it was really good. That was all I wanted.
One of the things that I found very confronting in my early working life was that people thought I was some sensitive doe-eyed lovelorn boy, because they'd seen me do that a couple of times. What tends to happen is you get a run of similar roles.
The people I've encountered who are really dangerous in my life don't go around with their fangs drawn - they are dangerous because of the way they interpret what's going on.
Most young actors, that's all they're trying to do: Get better at acting and be able to keep doing it. And that doesn't work out for most people.
I did 'Quigley Down Under,' which is quite deliberately placed in Australia, which is a Tom Selleck, Alan Rickman, Laura San Giacomo film from '88, I want to say.
You think of 'Outlaw Josey Wales,' you immediately think of the old Indian guy, Sondra Locke, the old lady with the glasses, beautiful old actress.
I think now there's much more of a confessional culture. That's not my bag. I come from a slightly older school of thought: 'give 'em nothin.' You don't plead guilty.
I think some of my favorite Australian films were shot by people that are not Australian. And I think when Dean Semler did 'Dances with Wolves,' for instance, that's a very different-looking Western than what you've seen much of before. It's very rich, color-wise. But we've got our own very proud thing going on.
I think there's a lot of mythos about what's required in acting. The way that actors talk about acting is generally quite punishing, and I think actors want to put forward the idea that they do all of this work because, you know, it's a post-De Niro world, when, largely, in fact, it's almost never true.
I mean, there's a sense wherein you skip a part of childhood, too, when you start working at that age I did; I was out working and out of home at 15, paying my own way in the world.
I think it's that thing of growing up all the time watching American movies and listening to American music. It hits you in a way that's a lot purer because you are not in that culture that you're watching.
As an actor who has spent twenty years trying to crack America, the day I reached the 'Bloodline' set and found my name on a chair next to Sissy Spacek's was the happiest of my working life.
I remember 'The Yearling' was the first film I ever saw, and my mom told me I cried for about four or five days afterwards. I'd be going along during the day and suddenly start crying over what had happened to the little deer.
'Animal Kingdom' was an amalgam of two people that I had met-slash-known, not particularly well. They were both very, very scary people for very different reasons.
I got a good-enough adolescence. I mean, there's a sense wherein you skip a part of childhood, too, when you start working at that age I did; I was out working and out of home at 15, paying my own way in the world.
The thing about home is that it's a tough place to sustain a career, just by dent of the size of the place. I had about as good a run there as anybody, but it's still a tough ask. I mean, the person I think with the best career in Australia is Ray Meagher, in 'Home and Away.'
I got the first job and kept going. Once I got a job, I very much wanted to keep getting jobs, basically. I did try to learn what I could in those first couple of decades.
I had a pretty good career at home. What keeps you going is not having a plan B. It's a very good thing. I think if I had a viable plan B, I might not have kept going.
I have an intensive relationship with the thing that I'm working on, and I hope that comes through. It's better for me to not worry about the things I can't fix once they're done.