The 70th annual Golden Globe Awards took place on Jan. 13, 2013, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. Here is what this Golden Globe winner said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.
Best Actor in a TV-Movie or Miniseries
Do you think that throughout American history that “hope” has been a dangerous word?
No. I think that people came to America with an awesome promise that if they were tough enough, if they were mean enough, if they were resourceful enough and could hold on to what they had, they could carve out a life for themselves. Unfortunately, that happened at the expense of Native Americans. Europeans who came to America and [people] from around the world, there was something that was missing in their lives. There was this Garden of Eden called America. And they came.
I’m not ashamed of the resourcefulness that it took for somebody to carve out a life. I know what happened though when people did that, there were other people that suffered. America was built by people who came and, in a lot of instances, didn’t have anything. I think that’s what I like about westerns. They just created their own destiny.
Do you think you’ll do another western?
Yeah, I’ll revisit that area, because I like the original story. I think that they are our Shakespeare, in a sense. I never do westerns for the shoot-outs. I always do them for the language. And the shoot-out has to happen or you don’t really have one. We all know it’s coming, but I like to invest in a language that comes with history.
What did you think when you knew you had to have a lot of wrinkles for “Hatfields & McCoys”?
I actually saw where I’m headed in my life as I get older and watch myself literally age every day. I was the kind of kid that never liked Halloween. I never liked dressing up. I liked the mayhem of Halloween, throwing things and doing stuff.
The idea of dressing up like a pirate was never interesting to me to be at a party, because after about three minutes, you’re talking to a pirate. I never enjoyed Halloween parties. But I always loved the movies for that opportunity to go into another world and start to make believe. At a certain point, I had to out-act the beard in “Hatfields,” and that was important to me.
What do you in real life to relieve stress?
I have three kids that I feel like I say no to all day long. “Don’t. That’s going to hurt your brother. That’s going to hurt your sister.” I love the raising of my kids.
I built my own homes. I have a life that’s very outside of the business. And I love our business. I’m romantic about what we’ve made in Hollywood and what’s been made before me and what could possibly be made after me.
But I step away from my work, and I may move to other interests. The world interests me. And I’ll probably never get away from telling stories, because I love to do that.
Can you talking about your February 2013 performance with your band in Schladming, Austria?
I’m coming there to perform. I have a band, and we’ve been performing for the last seven, eight years around the world. We actually made a record for “Hatfields & McCoys” called “Famous for Killing Each Other.” I was really proud of that record.
I just started playing music live because I wanted to play it wherever I was making movies. I would find myself in communities or countries or somewhere for two or three months. And I thought, “Gee, I’d like to leave this place with people knowing me a little better.”
And I think probably after people who see me play music know me a lot better than they ever possibly would. At least that’s what my wife says. And so I just started off just to play music wherever I was making a movie. And slowly but surely, people wanted to hear more of it. And the music is now taking me around the world, and it’s now taking me to Austria.
What does “Hatfields & McCoys” say about people who hold grudges and hold onto a lot of anger?
I have some people I’m upset with. No, it’s not any people in this room. I think I understand our relationship. Sometimes you don’t like what we do, and sometimes you do. It’s always great when it matches up. I’m human.
I understand the dangers of focusing on the negative and trying to make things even. It’s part of who we are. We are a funny breed of animal. We do horrible things, and we’re capable of doing the most generous thing that can bring a room to tears.
And you don’t see that in the animal world. Only humans can do that. We live on both ends of the spectrum. We can surprise ourselves. We can horrify ourselves.
Can you tell us about the freedom you felt to tell the “Hatfields & McCoys” as a miniseries instead of as a movie?
I think it’s pretty common knowledge that I’m not afraid of subplot, that I don’t subscribe to the conventional wisdom that movies have to be two hours. When you start thinking about conventional wisdom, you have to ask yourself the fundamental question: “What if everybody’s wrong?” And we often can be.
So part of telling a story is telling it your own way. And I saw the epic quality, the subplots that were going to be important to try to explain, something that was more than just about [a feud over] a pig. It was deeper than that: the economics of the time.
Some of the stuff threatens to be boring, but I think if you craft a script really well, you can make those moments entertaining. And that’s what I believe in. Some things take a little bit longer to tell. Some stories need to be a little bit longer. Some stories need to be a little bit shorter. In fact, some stories shouldn’t be told at all.
I’ll say this, because I see some familiar faces in here. The thought about being a little too cool for school or what does something like this [Golden Globe Award] mean or whatever, if you ever have a chance to stand up here, I tell you, the feeling is as good as you might think it is. It was nice to be nominated, it was really nice to win, and I really appreciated this night. Thank you.
For more info: Golden Globe Awards website
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