I am incredibly passionate about my life, I am absolutely unable to hide any emotion. If I wrote a book, I'd have to call it 'P is for Passion'. I don't go in for anything halfway. My feelings about things are instant, on the spot. And my heart is always, always on my sleeve.
My real difficulty was to become a normal person again, after having been a movie actress for so long. For me, at the time I was living in New York and Hollywood, a normal person was someone who made movies.
Kanye West took me to a fashion meeting in Paris once. I'd never met these people; I was so nervous. It was the beginning of our relationship, and I didn't know anyone in fashion. And he passed out at the table. I'm like, "I'm so sorry, we're jet-lagged." You don't know the number of times I've had to say that. I always flat-out lie that he's jet-lagged, even if we've been home for months.
One of the rules that I always follow is that no matter how crazy characters may act, and no matter how absurd or strange their actions may be, that it's justified in the character's mind why they are doing it. Not to get all heady about it, but it's fun for me to test how far I can go with things while still keeping it grounded enough that you believe that the character really believes that what he's doing will get him what he wants. It's a personal challenge to me to see how far I can go with that.
As an actress, there's a lot of waiting. You wait for a script to come in that you want to do. You get to a point where you decide that if you want good things to be made, you're going to have to start making them yourself as an actress. You can't just wait around for it. But you can also just enjoy the breaks, and use them to kind of refuel. I've been working so long at this point that I don't mind the breaks. I think they make me better, actually.
I remember opening my dad's closet and there were, like, 40 suits, every color of the rainbow, plaid and winter and summer. He had two jewelry boxes full of watches and lighters and cuff links. And just... he was that guy. He was probably unfulfilled in his life in many ways.
I once sang 'Summer Nights,' from 'Grease,' at a bar in Melbourne with John Travolta, who's a good friend of mine. He looked cool singing the part of Danny - sitting in an armchair, smoking a cigar - while I got stuck playing Sandy.
You know what's it's changed is my appreciate for the art form of making cinema. I don't want to act as much as I want to tell stories. I want to be a part of the whole collective and pull all of the pieces together. That's what I love about directing.
I do consider myself an actress now. I think Dig and Transparent have given me the confidence. I've been working as an actress, it's something that I have to continue to earn, but I do feel like it's a part of me. It's something that I love, and to not acknowledge it would be false.
I didn't leave bodybuilding until I felt that I had gone as far as I could go. It will be the same with my film career. When I feel the time is right, I will then consider public service. I feel that the highest honor comes from serving people and your country.
I was friends with Salvador Dalí until the day he died. Lucky me. I can't say why. I didn't live to be noticed, I lived to enjoy the excitement of doing right that day, and I knew I was doing it right when they would have me back. That was the thrill for me. I yearned to be validated because my mother was stern and I never did much right, that's how I perceived it.
I did all the usual things. I think I did everything that everybody else does. I did auditions. I went to see people. I went to see the right people in some instances, the wrong people in others. The wrong time in others. The right time in others. Nothing seemed to make any difference. I quit 5 times! I always went back to try again when circumstances came around to it.
I'm often drawn to characters that are more obviously one thing. They're passionate, and there is always an element of strength because I think every person possesses that in some way, even if they've experienced hardship in their lives.
I hated Hollywood. It’s a town without pity. Only success counts. I know of no other place in the world where so many people suffer from nervous breakdowns, where there are so many alcoholics, neurotics and so much unhappiness.
I can't imagine having a real personal thing, like divorce and marriage, all those things, being in the public eye. I try to not talk about anything personal, and then nobody has the fire to throw back at you, like 'You said this back then!'
When I go away to do a movie, I bring the blanket I've had since I was a little girl. It helps me sleep. I also always bring my laptop so I can E-mail friends. And I bring my dog, Beauty, wherever I can.
I've always had a process that I do before I even get to set or go to the location. I work privately, and it almost feels like therapy between me and who I'm playing. So I have this inner life that's there and it gives me a confidence, too, that when I'm playing the role I know every question.