Billy Campbell

Most sailing ships take what they call trainees, who pay to be part of the crew. The Picton Castle takes people who are absolutely raw recruits. But you can’t just ride along. You’re learning to steer the ship, navigation; you’re pulling lines, keeping a lookout; in the galley you’re cooking.

The first trip I remember taking was on the train from Virginia up to New York City, watching the summertime countryside rolling past the window. They used white linen tablecloths in the dining car in those days, and real silver. I love trains to this day. Maybe that was the beginning of my fixation with leisurely modes of travel.

There have been times when I’ve been asked to do things and I’ve thought, “This is great! This is a great script. But, I do not believe myself in this role.” I pretend I’m the producer and I think, “If I was making this movie, would I cast myself in this part?,” and if that doesn’t feel right to me, then I don’t even go audition for it.

A great deal of my battle, as an actor, is to whittle away the things that make me self-conscious and try to trick myself into not being self-conscious. So, it’s always a challenge, whether I’m lying in a hospital bed or flying around with a rocket pack on my back, or what have you. On the best of days, it’s a challenge for me.

Some of the best auditions I’ve ever had have been when my agent called and said, ‘They want you 20 minutes ago, in an office in Century City, to see you for something.’ I’m not sitting there thinking for a week and a half, before I’m supposed to go in front of a network president to do something. That just gives you time to be nervous.