It's a rough and tumble game whenever power is involved - people's ambitions, their desires, their competitive spirit will often push them to play outside the rules. It's dramatic, it's interesting, and I think it's something we can all identify with to a degree.
Is self-interest a bad thing? We want our leaders to be pure and good, but at the same time we want them to be effective, and to be effective you often have to be ruthless and not bound by ideology or the same morals that we pretend to hold ourselves to.
We all experience power struggles in our lives - at the workplace, with our friends, in our love lives. In a way, we're all politicians.
If you work hard and play by the rules, you'll have a better life than your parents did, and your children will have a better life than you did.
In politics, it's very theatrical. There’s a lot of stage craft. The campaign is trying to tell a story that they want people to believe in, and candidates are playing the role, like actors, by a creative personae that people will be attracted to.
My jobs on campaigns were pretty low on the totem pole - I was an advance man.
I don't think that Washington is a fundamentally bad or corrupt place.
When you're creating new roles out of scratch in my opinion working with the actors is a great asset. You can learn a lot from that.
In the best possible scenario, whenever you get notes from people, they're good notes, and they see things that you wouldn't have seen otherwise, and they make you a better writer.
At home I mostly stick to online Scrabble, or chess or Risk - games I find far less addictive than the spectacular games created for consoles these days. But, whenever I get the chance I head over to my friend Kyri’s house to play his PS3.
You just have to re-wire your brain when you’re shifting from the stage to the screen, or the silver screen or the HD flat screen.
Every director is different. One of the great things about getting to work with so many directors in one TV series is collaborating with different artistic visions and voices. And they all have something to offer and making the story better and bringing their vision to what you see in the frame.
When you have both parties who will not find ways to compromise, who won't meet in the middle, you have paralysis. It's the perversion of idealism.
In Washington, if you're a congressman or a senator or the President, you make much more money than the average American, but you'd think that if you were the leader of the free world you'd be making major bank, and you don't.
I refuse to buy a PS3 or Xbox for my home for fear that it might ruin my life. I think I would cease to accomplish anything productive, would quickly dispense with all human contact, and would very well end up with a nasty case of arthritis in my over-used digits from constant gameplay.
The checks and balances is a way to prevent government from either devolving into an autocratic tyranny or an autocratic mob mentality.
The fact that slavery is written into the Constitution is about as entrenched a form of classism as you could possibly imagine.
Film is much more visual, a scene is typically a lot shorter, you’re dealing with a lot more characters, a lot more locations and you’re able to rely on things that you just can never do on the stage.
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