I'm Irish as hell: Kelly on one side, Shanley on the other. My father had been born on a farm in the Irish Midlands. He and his brothers had been shepherds there, cattle and sheep, back in the early 1920s. I grew up surrounded by brogues and Irish music, but stayed away from the old country till I was over 40. I just couldn't own being Irish.
I was in the Marine Corps in 1971. The idea 'Where does authority come from?' is fascinating to me. And also, the idea of a chaplain is fascinating to me because it's a man of the cloth in uniform, and it's the uniform of a killing machine. Back when I was in the Corps, when I saw that, I was amazed by it.
Conscience is the most dangerous thing you possess. If you wake it up, it may destroy you. To live a life of total moral rigor is not necessarily the way to go. It's the path for very few people. Most people need to come up with some kind of middle ground that satisfies their practical, moral, and philosophical esthetic needs.
If you put someone in a room with no script to direct, they're just going to sit there. Writing scripts is the execution for a show. Then the director takes that and hires people. It's like trying to build a house without any bricks. You need the script. I could build the house, but I have to know how.
There is some level on which this life must occasionally become repugnant and unappetizing to you and you must step back from it. And then you have a new relationship with it, and then you step back into it from a different angle - with a new appetite - and then you find the next leg of your journey.