Everybody does lists of the hundred greatest movie lines of all time. “You can’t handle the truth!” always seems to be in there, which is very nice to see. But for me, the best line will always be: “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”
The rules are all in a sixty-four-page pamphlet by Aristotle called Poetics. It was written almost three thousand years ago, but I promise you, if something is wrong with what you’re writing, you’ve probably broken one of Aristotle’s rules.
You’re allowed one fuck in PG-13. The rules are silly. Not all fucks are equal and not all cocksuckers are equal.
I had a lot of survival jobs. One was for the Witty Ditty singing-telegram company. I was in the red-and-white stripes with the straw boater hat and kazoo. Balloons. Even when you’re sleeping on a friend’s couch, you have to pay some kind of rent.
I desperately need the love of complete strangers. That’s one reason I overtip. I love when skycaps, waiters, and valets are happy to see me.
The only political experience I’ve ever had came in sixth grade when I had a crush on Jenny Lavin. Jenny was stuffing envelopes after school at the local McGovern-for-President headquarters. So I thought it’d be a good idea if I volunteered, too. One weekend they put us all in buses and took us to White Plains, the county seat, because the Nixon motorcade was coming through. We went with signs that said MCGOVERN FOR PRESIDENT. I was holding up one of these signs and a 163-year-old woman came up from behind, took the sign out of my hand, whacked me over the head with it, threw it on the ground, and stomped on it. The only political agenda I’ve ever had is the slim hope that this woman is still alive and I’m driving her out of her mind.
I do not diminish the incredible symbolic importance of a black man getting elected president. But my euphoria was a smart guy getting elected president. Maybe for the first time in my lifetime we had elected one of the thousand smartest Americans president.
I kind of worship at the altar of intention and obstacle. Somebody wants something. Something’s standing in their way of getting it. They want the money, they want the girl, they want to get to Philadelphia — doesn’t matter. And if they can need it, that’s even better.
Whatever the obstacle is, you can’t overcome it like that or the audience is going to say, “Why don’t they just take the other car?” or “Why don’t you just shoot him?” The obstacle has to be difficult to overcome. And that’s the clothesline that you hang everything on — the tactics by which your characters try to achieve their goal. That’s the story that you end up telling.
Oh, I’d love to get A Few Good Men back. I feel like there isn’t a scene where, if I could have it back for half an hour, I couldn’t give you a better scene.
I keep thinking that I graduated from college a couple of years ago when it was actually 1983.
You’ll be able to say ”motherfucker” on network television before you’ll be able to take God’s name in vain.
When you’re a hit, you get a little more elbow room and you walk with a bigger stick.
Except when I didn’t have any, money has never been that big of a deal to me.
A friend is somebody who says the same things to your face that they would say if you’re not in the room.
By the way, you don’t have to necessarily always enjoy being with your friends. It’s possible to have friends that drive you out of your mind. Don’t you have friends that you’ve had since you were a little kid? And you constantly have to explain to people who’re just meeting him: “I’ve known him since fifth grade. He really is a good guy. Trust me. Really — he’s got a heart as big as Montana.”
I feel like if I’d gotten married once a year, every year since I was twenty-five, there would never have been the same five groomsmen twice. Two new people would always be coming in. My brother is a constant. He would stay.
There are these signposts along the way of getting older. The first is when the Playmate of the Month is younger than you are. Suddenly you’re starting to feel dirty because you’re twenty-three and she’s nineteen and you really shouldn’t be looking at that picture.
The next thing that happens is professional athletes are younger than you are.
Then coaches and managers are younger than you are.
And finally, the last one that happens: I’m the same age as the president of the United States.
When I’m done with an episode of television,I feel euphoric for about five minutes and then I’m Sisyphus.
All being finished means is that you haven’t started yet.