Feudal societies don't create great cinema; we have great theatre. The egalitarian societies create great cinema. The Americans, the French. Because equality is sort of what the cinema deals with. It deals with stories which don't fall into 'Everybody in their place and who's who,' and all that. But the theatre's full of that.
There are characters that have made me uncomfortable. I did a film called 'Rob Roy,' and I played Killearn, who was this sort of greasy fallen-angel character who was voyeuristic and sleazy and really unpleasant. It was a great role, but I didn't especially enjoy living with this awful man for the length of time it took to make the movie.
The hardest thing to do in movies is be a day-part player. You have to go in, make your mark, and get out. There's a lot of leading actors who are not good for a lot of a movie, and then suddenly they have good moments, and they're like stepping-stones across a particularly feisty stream. They build careers out of that.
Charles Laughton, who's a great hero of mine, only ever made one film and it happens to be one of the great films ever, which is 'The Night of the Hunter.' It's full of his kind of imagination and creation and how you do things and just in the way he used the studio, I just thought it was a fantastical way of using the studio.
I actually went to see 'Rushmore,' and I came late, and I missed myself. It was great, that scene. I caught that scene the other day on TV, funny enough, the first scene that you see with Jason Schwartzman and myself, where we talk about his grades. That's a brilliant scene, and I have to say, we play it brilliantly.