You had a rep for going the extra mile when you were younger. Would you still do any of that cockroach-eating stuff now?
I think that I would if I thought it would really help the role, but it’s been 25 years and I’ve become a little more seasoned in the work that I do. In the first five years, I was desperately grasping for ability, so I felt like I had to ‘live the part’ to play the part. It was very taxing on my relationships, on my social life, on my mind.
I cultivated a pretty bad reputation because of some very crazy behaviour on the set and, right off the bat, I was labelled as a very strange, difficult actor. De Niro had just done Raging Bull and everyone was talking about the weight-gain, so I thought, ‘That’s what I’ll do, I’ll just live these parts.’
And the thing is, it works, it really does work, it’s just very, very demanding. It’s one element to acting, but it’s not the complete bag of tools. There are so many other things that I learned down the road.