Vegetarianism is a link to perfection and peace. But it's a small link. There are lots of other issues: apartheid , vivisection, political prisoners, the arms race. There's so much going on in this world today, so much ignorance among people. That's not to say I'm not standing amongst everybody. But the point is, what can we do now? That's the thing about vegetarianism; it's an individual's decision and it's something you have control over. How many things do we really have control over?
I don't want to get so lost in thinking about me and talking about me all the time in interviews. It's so nice to unwind and just look at other things and get out of yourself. It's hard to detach myself from myself without neglecting myself. You know what I mean? I don't want to get in to the habit of thinking about my career because when it comes down to it, it's not really that important. I could die tomorrow and the world would go on.
It really upsets me and I'm basically upset at myself for being so naive and gullible as I have been in the past as far as being intimidated by the stylists with the wardrobe and the hair-do's and the poses and the this and that and all that stuff that isn't me. What it does is it makes you an image, and they plaster you on all these magazines and sensationalize and they're all very nice and sweet and goody-goody but still, it's just false as far as, you know, the image that's portrayed; it's not me.
We need an extreme movement because what is happening to animals is so extreme. Some misinformed people claim that animal rights activists are terrorists, but these people are simply ignorant of who the real terrorists are - the companies and industries that torture literally billions of animals each year.
If I have some celebrity, I hope I can use it to make a difference. The true social reward is that I can speak my mind and share my thoughts about the environment and civilisation itself. There's so much shit happening with people who are exploiting their positions and creating a lot of negativity.
When I was younger, I was dressed up like a model, told to pose in certain ways; to tilt my head, push my lips out, suck in my cheeks. And I'd be tired at the end of the day so I'd just give the damned photographer what he wanted. It was the most mortifying experience. And the photographs were the ugliest, the most contrived...it wasn't me. then all the outtakes that you never want to see again in your life go through the teen magazines forever.
Most actors possess an intuitive side. Actually, the further away I am from the character, the less work I have to do. It takes so much more energy to detach yourself from your own life references that might cross wires with your character's. I think it's cheating for me to ever use my life references in conjunction with my characters. It's my reaction transferred to the character, which isn't good. What I have to do is erase those things and then find something else. I can't stand in front of a camera and let anything of myself come through or I'm betraying the character's complete trueness. There are some actors who just use themselves. They can wear their ego on their sleeve and it looks great. I can't do that.
It's really designed, I think, to strip you and blend you. It's like feeling like the invisible man. You just stand there, and you start disintegrating, and you can't see yourself, and you just feel like you're being absorbed into this big blob of glitter.
The business always goes for what you do best and I've just made myself do best in the way I've wanted to. So, if [my movies] get recognition, like, at the Venice film festival, the Toronto film festival, wherever it is, you know? In France, in Holland: When critics start speaking up and they believe in something then you have the power to get blow-jobs basically, from the corporate leaders. I mean, I've found myself being blown by America's film corporations. It's nice. I cum in their fucking lens.
Fame doesn't affect my relationships with people much because I've got my head on straight, but there is some sort of undertone that has a weird effect when you're trying to walk through life – I'm not interested in seeing "the media" manifest itself in my life. I don't even like to call acting a career. I prefer to think of it as a project, or else I'd start worrying about things like money. I like contributing to causes, people and the world around me. Just kind of sharing it all, that's what's important.
Fame is what gets people to go watch your film. I'm just glad to be in a film i believe in. And if it take's fame to get people there, then it's my job. But i'd rather be a ghost writer than have my name down.
One of the things that was introduced to me at an early stage in life was to try to make stuff happen. But nothing ever worked that way for me. What I learned on my own was that to try and play God with your life will wreck your brain and your nervous system, and mess up your natural direction in the course that's already there...But look, I just don't want to read about me being made into a basket case because of my work. It's self-pity that I hate. I mean, it comes with the territory. An actor with any conviction goes the extra mile.
It was very personal. Political comes from the viewing process. Nothing is ever political if it's genuine. In the reaction, yes, it can be political. But the motives were based completely on a deep need to communicate and share information. The film language has evolved enough that you should get people interacting with the film. It's exciting for us to exhibit it, and it's exciting for people to watch it...I think it's very important for the gay community to have random characters that represent nothing more than people...I think it's part of a wave that will set a precedent of some sort so that you will no longer need a label.
We are taught to consume. And that's what we do. But if we realized that there really is no reason to consume-that it's just a mind set, that it's just an addiction, then we wouldn't be out there stepping on people's hands climbing the corporate ladder of success. I have my reasons why I want to be filthy rich. It's so I can buy the last first growth forest and turn it into a permanent national park. I just bought 800 acres on the border of Panama and Costa Rica.
I woke up from a nap the other night. Everyone is cranky when they wake up. I thought to myself: 'I have no right to be cranky. I'm so lucky.' On my way to go to a restaurant, I get out of the car and I see this person on crutches. His sign says that he has AIDS and that his immune system is low. You know, he's broke, and his family won't talk to him because they can't eat because of the hospital bills. He didn't do this. The system did it - so that when someone has a chronic disease, it sucks him dry. He could have been in that same restaurant two years ago, eating and tipping big. I felt blessed that I could drop a fifty on him.
Quite often, when actors have such a strong charisma in real life, eventually it has to affect the characters they play. For myself I'm not charismatic in that way. I'm not a "performer". Ideally I would stay mute as River. That's the reason why, for a long time, I've said the opposite of what I really thought. In interviews, I've also played characters that I wasn't. I've lied and often contradicted myself to dumbfound people. It's all over now, because I have nothing left to hide. Eventually, I'm quite an ordinary person.
Last interview, Premier, (October 1993)
I don’t see any point or any good in drugs that are as disruptive as cocaine. I never tried heroin. I tried alcohol and most of the others when I was 15, and got it out of the way—finished with the stuff.
No...Please don't go...No...Please don't leave yet
You haven't heard my band yet
You haven't seen my house
You cannot understand yet
What it means to be old
River come, So I can sing you to sleep.
Heroines followin' Marilyn hoppin' over the edge just like Janis Joplin,
River Phoenix, Jimi Hendrix, James Morrison
All of them ended by Hollywood.
Thank God for Hollywood,
Hollywood, Sure you want this baby?
We didn't know Jackie O
She was one of the people that we did not know
Nor did we care about her hair,
Her pillbox hat or her savoir faire.
But still we thought we knew
Maybe you did too
and River Phoenix and me and you
They had a crush on you, River
Blue suede jacket and boots, River
And your face shaped like a moon, River
You were like my own James Byron Dean
Private idaho was my east of eden
Hit me like a stone when you passed away