In the film world, and I know this from just talking to other people, that I'm known as a kind of dramatic, serious, almost humorless actor, and the fact is I'm a funny guy, and I spend most of my life trying to find a lighter side of things and on stage was given plenty of opportunity to do that.
If you're playing a good guy, you show some darkness. If you're playing a dark guy, you show something different, like humor, that will mix it up and hopefully surpass the audience's expectations. What I'm battling all the time is complacency in the audience. I try to bring a little mystery to what might happen because that engages people more.
Television and cable have become the new independent films, in a sense, for writers and actors to gravitate towards. That's why I like short films, too; I love doing readings, audio books, working with young filmmakers; anything that keeps you from getting blase about yourself or in a rut.
Since I was from the theater, that's how I learned how to go through the process of being a character. That's how I learned, and that's what I was comfortable doing. And then, the first feature films, I'm sure I was no fun because I did not want to be spontaneous in that filmic way that really can work for you.
Actors aren't all the same. They have very different skills. There are actors of intellect who are very thoughtful about everything they do... and then there are actors of instinct who don't know what they're doing until the cameras roll... My father was actually quite thoughtful about what he did, while my mother was much more instinctual.