When I'm writing a script, I don't worry about plot as much as I do about people. I get to know the main characters - what they need, what they want, what they should do. That's what gets the story going. You can't just have action, you've got to find out what the characters want. And then they must grow, they must go somewhere.
I started with [Leo] Tolstoy and I was overwhelmed. Tolstoy writes like an ocean, in huge, rolling waves, and it doesn't look like it was processed through his thinking. It feels very natural. You don't question whether Tolstoy's right or wrong. His philosophy is housed in interrelating characters, so it's not up for grabs.
Let's have a merry journey, and shout about how light is good and dark is not. What we should do is not future ourselves so much. We should now ourselves. "Now thyself" is more important than "know thyself." Reason is what tells us to ignore the present and live in the future. So all we do is make plans. We think that somewhere there are going to be green pastures. It's crazy. Heaven is nothing but a grand, monumental instance of future. Listen, now is good. Now is wonderful.
I try to give my work everything I've got, because when you're dead or you're out of the business or you're in an old actors' home somewhere, if you've done a good job, your work will still be 16 years old and dancing and healthy and pirouetting and arabesquing all over the place. And they'll say, "That's who he is! He's not this decaying skeleton."
Comedy is lively, comedy is joy, and that's what keeps us [people] going, we've got to look forward to little, little happiness's. Little, little joys, and comedy is very, very important, it's a vital. We underestimate its value, but we should see more comedies. Comedy is life giving, it's invigorating. I really believe it.
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