The Texas-born actor, who wows as a bad cop in this month’s Rampart, is also a Dostoevsky reader and recovering telly addict
I like all kinds of films, I just don’t much like to watch horror movies ’cos they scare me. I get scared easily. I actually do have trouble sleeping. I love Harold and Maude and Cool Hand Luke, it’s so beautifully crafted as a film, but it’s got that incredible performance by Paul Newman. And also George, George… I forget the name, is it George Hamilton? [It’s George Kennedy.] Anyway, a phenomenal movie.
I sometimes watch YouTube; “Battle at Kruger” is probably the greatest thing ever caught on film. And I liked that old couple who didn’t know they were being filmed trying to work out how to turn on the webcam. I watched an interview they did after and he’s a really funny, cool guy. But she said if she’d known she was being filmed she’d have lightened up. She’s like a dour librarian.
I loved Shameless. I never saw the American version: I was asked to play the part William H Macy got [ie, Frank Gallagher]. I said to myself, I don’t think I can make the show as good as the original. And I don’t think I can play that part as good as David Threlfall did. A backhanded compliment to be considered to play a drunk bum? I know. It’s like perfect for me, right?
My favourite writer when I was in college was Faulkner. It’s some genius writing. I also really love Henry Miller. Sexus, Plexus and Nexus. It is some of the best writing ever. I usually have a book on the go. At the moment, I’m reading Crime and Punishment — that is just phenomenal.
I might watch big things like the NBA finals or the World Cup, but I almost never watch TV. Until I went to college, I was a television addict; a real addict. For more than 10 years, I’d watch eight hours a day. I’m not complaining, but that’s my reason for not watching television anymore, in spite of the fact it kind of figures in my career.
Good People in New York — which Frances McDormand won the Tony for — I thought that was spectacular writing. I saw Jerusalem. Man, I know a lot of people talk about Mark Rylance but I’d never seen him before. Phenomenal, just phenomenal.
Rampart is out now