Billy Crudup

When you get many opportunities early on, and you have people who have been working for a while counting on you, you have to at least pretend that you know what you’re doing. So any actor that’s pretending, you start to develop philosophies. Without years and years of experience, you kind of go with an attitude that you know what you’re doing. And so I think right around that time, I was kind of at the peak of rigidly thinking that I knew how to work in film in a way that I wanted to. Cameron was extremely patient and generous with me.

When somebody on a professional scale says “you did it wrong,” it has a pretty intense impact. If you don’t have some kind of opposing force to say, “that’s all right, that’s their opinion,” or, “I may have screwed that one up but I’ll do better the next time,” then you’re screwed.

Performing as a musician is a lot different than performing as an actor. As an actor, you can hide behind the character in the play, and there’s a director and other actors. When you’re a musician, you’re right there. It’s sort of like being a comedian. You’re giving the audience in real time something authentic from yourself. As an actor, my bullshit meter was going off like crazy at my first attempts to find my own rock star.

When you’re in pajamas that are sagging in the ass because you’ve got a battery pack that’s weighing them down, and covered in 2,000 LEDs, and your face has 150 black dots on it, and you’re probably standing in six-inch heels, it is a big challenge to imagine that you’re the master of the universe when the rest of your cast members are laughing their ass off at you. So there’s no question that there was a very difficult task that I had, but it wasn’t living up to somebody else’s expectations of the story. I was just trying to do the screenplay that was written.

You have to let go of stuff when you act for a while. You stay too attached to things that have worked or haven’t worked, it kind of makes it harder for you to move forward. So I try to concentrate on the experience that I have and then let the public expression of it be its own deal.