Getting the role in '300' saved me. I'd been out of work for 11 months after 'The Brothers Grimm.' Once the film came out and didn't do so well, the director Terry Gilliam blamed me for absolutely everything. It was pretty appalling, and I had started to wonder if I'd ever get another job again when I was asked to audition for '300.'
I watched a lot of silent directors who were absolutely great like John Ford and Fritz Lang, Tod Browning, and also some very modern directors like The Coen Brothers. The directors take the freedom within their own movies to be melodramatic or funny when they chose to be. They do whatever they want and they don't care about the genre.