"That's the way you should
do it. Take a garbage role for the money, like Lethal Weapon 4, and
then do what you want to do. He's a cool fella." - Peter Stormare
"I like directing much better. It's more fun, that's all there is to
it. It's essentially the same job, which is storytelling, but you
have more control over the way you want to tell the story. It's a
high. I love it."
'My fears: everything from being afraid that I'm going to run out of
cream for my cornflakes right up to someone chopping my privates
On his involvement in Braveheart (1995) as actor, director and
producer: "If you're going to wear three hats, you'd better grow two
"There is no salvation for those outside the Church...I believe it.
Put it this way. My wife is a saint. She's a much better person than
I am. Honestly. She's like, Episcopalian, Church of England. She
prays, she believes in God, she knows Jesus, she believes in that
stuff. And it's just not fair if she doesn't make it, she's better
than I am. But that is a pronouncement from the chair. I go with
On his religious beliefs: "I'm not a done deal. I'm a work in
progress. I'm still extremely flawed."
"You can't live up to what people expect. Nobody can. But I guess
that's my problem, not theirs."
About the Passion of the Christ "This movie is about Faith, Hope,
Love and Forgivness. Themes that are as important now as they were
in Jesus' time."
"I wasn't exactly the most zealous keeper-of-the-flame, you know? I
was a pretty wild boy quite frankly. Even now when I'm trying more
than I was before, I still fail every day at some level, but that's
"I'd like to be able to wake up early every morning, but I don't.
I'd like to quit smoking. I'd like to never lose my temper. The list
goes on and on. I'd even like to get dressed by myself, and not have
other people watching me."
"I did a lot of crazy things so I'm surprised to be alive."
On human embryonic stem cell research: "I found that the cloning of
human embryos will be used in the process and that, for me, I have
an ethical problem with that. Why do I, as a taxpayer, have to fund
something I believe is unethical?"
"The fear mongering we depict in this film reminds me a little of
President Bush and his guys." [On Apocalypto (2006)]
"I feel a strange kinship with Michael [Moore]. They're trying to
pit us against each other in the press, but it's a hologram. They
really have got nothing to do with one another. It's just some kind
of device, some left-right. He makes some salient points. There was
some very expert, elliptical editing going on. However, what the
hell are we doing in Iraq? No one can explain to me in a reasonable
manner that I can accept why we're there, why we went there, and why
we're still there."
On his decision to cut a scene in which Caiaphas says "his blood be
on us and on our children" soon Pontius Pilate washes his hands of
Jesus: "I wanted it in. My brother said I was wimping out if I
didn't include it. But, man, if I included that in there, they'd be
coming after me at my house. They'd come to kill me."
Asked whether The Passion of the Christ (2004) would be offensive to
Jews today: "It's not meant to. I think it's meant to just tell the
truth. I want to be as truthful as possible. But when you look at
the reasons Christ came, he was crucified - he died for all mankind
and he suffered for all mankind. So that, really, anyone who
transgresses has to look at their own part or look at their own
"Vatican II corrupted the institution of the church. Look at the
main fruits: dwindling numbers and pedophilia." - Time, January 27,
"I might go and go somewhere no-one can find me. You know where that
is? You know where the place is no-one can find you? I was thinking
of pitching my tent right next to the weapons of mass destruction.
Then no-one would find me."
"I got to a very desperate place. Very desperate. Kind of
jump-out-of-a-window kind of desperate. And I didn't want to hang
around here, but I didn't want to check out. The other side was kind
of scary. And I don't like heights, anyway. But when you get to that
point where you don't want to live, and you don't want to die, it's
a desperate, horrible place to be. And I just hit my knees. And I
had to use The Passion of the Christ (2004) to heal my wounds."
Asked whether his opposition to abortion and support for capital
punishment makes him feel isolated in Hollywood: "Some kind of a
dinosaur? No, you know you have to have these opinions about these
things. I'm pretty firm on stuff like that. I don't feel like I'm
howling in a hurricane. I just try to do my bit the way I think it
should be done."
"I probably sound like some egotist, you know, saying that the Roman
Church is wrong, but I believe it is at the moment, since Vatican
"Opposition to The Passion of the Christ (2004) kind of put me back
on my heels a little bit ... I expected some level of turbulence
because when one delves into religion and politics - people's deeply
held beliefs -- you're going to stir things up ... But it was a
surprise to have shots being fired over the bow while I was still
filming, and then to have various loud voices in the press - people
who hadn't seen the work - really slinging mud."
Asked if he felt besieged by the opposition to _Passion of the
Christ, The (2004)_ : "Beseiged? No, not really. They're pretty
pathetic actually. I sort of look at them now and feel sorry for
them. They've given their best shot, they kind of came out with this
mantra again and again and again, 'He's an anti-Semite, he's an
anti- Semite, he's an anti-Semite, he's an anti-Semite.' I'm not.
But they like to say that in newspapers. So it's kind of how those,
anything repeated often enough slowly amalgamates into some sort of
"My dad taught me my faith, and I believe what he taught me. The man
never lied to me in his life."
"Obviously, nobody wants to touch something filmed in two dead
languages. They think I'm crazy, and maybe I am. But maybe I'm a
"There's something to do with the Federal Reserve that Lincoln did,
Kennedy did and Reagan tried. I can't remember what it was. My dad
told me about it. Everyone who did this particular thing that would
have fixed the economy got undone. Anyway, I'll end up dead if I
"My biggest weakness is that I'm excessive. Fortunately for everyone
concerned, I'm not as excessive as I used to be."
"I think the Lethal Weapon movies contain my favorite performances.
It sounds really crummy, I know, but although the work doesn't look
hard, it's difficult to create effortless on screen."
"What worries me is that people will take this as fact. I'm not
angry, per se, that it refutes everything I hold sacred, the
foundations of my beliefs. The Da Vinci Code (2006) is an admitted
work of fiction but it cleverly weaves fact into maverick theories
in a way that will appear plausible to some."
"To be certain, neither I nor my film is anti-Semitic. The Passion
is a movie meant to inspire, not offend. My intention in bringing it
to the screen is to create a lasting work of art and engender
serious thought among audiences of diverse faith backgrounds, or
none, who have varying familiarity with this story. If the intense
scrutiny during my twenty-five years in public life revealed I had
ever persecuted or discriminated against anyone based on race or
creed, I would be all too willing to make amends. But there is no
such record. Nor do I hate anybody - certainly not the Jews ... They
are my friends and associates, both in my work and social life.
Thankfully, treasured friendships forged over decades are not easily
shaken by nasty innuendo. Anti-Semitism is not only contrary to my
personal beliefs, it is also contrary to the core message of my
movie ... For those concerned about the content of this film, know
that it conforms to the narratives of Christ's passion and death
found in the four Gospels of the New Testament ... This is a movie
about faith, hope, love and forgiveness - something sorely needed in
these turbulent times."
"I'm not a preacher, and I'm not a pastor. But I really feel my
career was leading me to make The Passion of the Christ (2004). The
Holy Ghost was working through me on this film, and I was just
directing traffic. I hope the film has the power to evangelize."
[on his drunk driving relapse]: "I acted like a person completely
out of control when I was arrested and said things that I do not
believe to be true and which are despicable. The arresting officer
was just doing his job and I feel fortunate that I was apprehended
before I caused injury to any other person. I disgraced myself and
my family with my behavior and for that I am truly sorry. I have
battled with the disease of alcoholism for all of my adult life and
profoundly regret my horrific relapse."
"Hollywood is a factory. You have to realize that you are working in
a factory and you're part of the mechanism. If you break down,
you'll be replaced."
"The precursors to a civilization that's going under are the same,
time and time again. What's human sacrifice if not sending guys off
to Iraq for no reason?"
"I'll always continue to work. I've never much depended on anyone
but myself, as far as that goes. And, hey, I'm not under the
illusion that everything's just going to be hunky-dory work-wise
forever. I've never been under that illusion. Things could go away
"I was subjected to a pretty brutal public beating. The film came
out and, you could have heard a pin drop. Not even the crickets
weren't chirping. But the other thing I never heard was one single
word of apology. I thought I dealt with that stuff. But the human
heart can bear the scars of resentment, and it will come out when
you're overwrought and you take a few drinks." - On the hostile
critical response to The Passion of the Christ (2004)
"My dad taught me my faith. I believe what he taught me. The man
never lied to me in his life. People said, 'Well, he's just an old
kook.' He's not an old kook. He's very intelligent. He's in complete
possession of all his mental faculties. And if he says something he
has a reason why he says it and he can back it up. Mensa wanted this
guy, okay? He's very intelligent."
"They're not blameless in the Mideast conflict. Now when you're
loaded the balance of how you see things comes out the wrong way.
Let me be real clear, here. In sobriety here, in front of you,
national television ... that I don't believe that Jews are
responsible for all the wars in the world. I mean, that's an
outrageous, drunken statement."