It's obviously a lot harder to try and be a good guy than it is to be a bad guy. The world is a fundamentally evil place, it seems like. So in order to be a good person, you have to fight temptation and vice.
I'm just kind of odd. There are dark forces in the world, and if you pay attention to what's going on around you, you end up incorporating it into the storytelling. Maybe it's some aspect of myself that's coming through that people are seeing, that I am in fact a quiet psycho.
If you don't believe there's some organising principle, or somebody up in the sky pulling the strings, then it can be very stressful. And nature itself is very arbitrary - it's not malevolent or benevolent; it doesn't even know we're here.
The thing about New York is, more than any other place I've ever been, you run into people on the street that you would never imagine you'd see, old friends, people just like there for a day or two. I find that all the time when I'm walking around Manhattan, running into people that I had no idea were even there.
One of the reasons I'm an actor is because I was no physical specimen as a child. I wasn't athletic and didn't have any prowess in that regard. Growing up in Kentucky, most little boys were trying to get into sports, and it was very competitive, so that was not to be. But I did want to do something.
There's nothing routine about 'Boardwalk Empire.' It's like being in some secret society where they call you up and tell you where to go: 'Meet us at the corner of such and so.'
I've never worried about anything in my life a fraction of the way I worry about my daughter. It's much more than hoping people like the play you're in, or that your outfit doesn't look bad. It's the real deal.
I've known a lot of religious people. My mother is very religious, but she also is very private about it. When I was growing up, she never went to church. She just prayed and read her Bible and kept it to herself. I'm not from a background of flamboyant believers. It's much more a personal issue.
If I were God, I would just be up there scratching my head, thinking, 'What the hell am I supposed to do with this?' For everyone helping an old lady across the street, there's someone else bludgeoning a person to death. And sometimes they're the same. How can He separate us all out?
My dad used to say, 'You have to become part of the machine to beat the machine,' and there's some validity in it. But honestly, even when I'm inside the machine, you still see me. I stick out a little bit.
I enjoyed living in Chicago and doing plays for little or no money. I never actually thought that I would leave Chicago, originally. I wasn't one of those people that had a plan to pack up the van and drive out to Hollywood. I didn't want to.
Honestly, as hard a profession as acting is, I think music is even harder. Acting, you're like a leech, because someone else does the hard part for you. They write it for you, then the director tells you what to do. You really just need to know how to pay attention, follow instructions.
I like to play characters that get to do it all - to have a bit of comedy here and a bit of pathos here and a bit of suspense here, that's what's fun.
I think if you watch a lot of what I do, you're going to ultimately walk away seeing me. I can't hide - that impression is a personal impression people have of me.
You can't escape this feeling of disintegration. The world is fragile. But you also can't let it ruin your life. I'm actually a pretty composed person. I guess people imagine I spend my life thinking about crazy, sinister things but I don't, really. It's not like I'm trying to exorcise any demons.
I've always been happy just to be working. It doesn't really matter for me how many people are familiar with my name or my picture, or whatever.
It's always very daunting to play someone who actually existed. You have to honor that, and be specific and accurate and try to make people believe that you're that guy, which is really hard.
I want to focus on each scene. I'm a real perfectionist, and I don't want to feel like I didn't consider every possible variation of a scene. I come from a theater background, so I'm used to a lot of repetition, and I'm used to really attacking something over and over and over again.
There are certain ways of being that people don't find acceptable or very pleasant in regular life, but you go out on stage and do pretty much the same thing and they find it spellbinding.
I started acting because I was miserable and crazy and wanted to be someone else, to run around and scream in front of people without getting in trouble.