Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they've stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and commitments. -- Interview with David Giammarco, Cigar Aficionado Magazine, Nov/Dec 2000.
I'm happy about the things I've done. Not always happy about the results, but happy about the decisions, because I made them myself. And I think that's an important way to go through life. -- Interview with David Giammarco, Cigar Aficionado Magazine, Nov/Dec. 2000.
[on "Dances with Wolves"] "This is a bonding film for all. You could put it anywhere in history--the Berlin Wall, Kuwait".
My first introduction to English football was in 1990 when I was over here making Robin Hood and I got invited to an Arsenal game. Having watched sports all my life in America, there was no comparison in terms of the emotion that was in the stadium that day. And I really never forgot it. - on being an Arsenal fan.
I'm really aware of my disappointments, what movies I didn't like when I was done. I'm not so sure they line up with public or critical disappointments. But if I have to reduce my life to the box office, I can see what the up-and-down thing is. Popularity now is cultural achievement. If you can be popular, you actually can make a living out of being popular. It's not my way. Other actors might have made "Bull Durham 2","Tin Cup 2","Dances 2" and "Bodyguard 2". But I don't think repeating yourself is very good.
[on gaining weight for "The Upside of Anger"] I put on 20 pounds for the film. I drank whole milk with sugar, bananas and ice cream. And chocolate and cookies.
[on going bald] I'm not into plugs, rugs or drugs to correct this problem and would rather just shave it off.
I registered as a Republican when I was twenty-one. My parents were Republicans. But as I've gotten older I've questioned my whole conservative background... I think you should be fair about how you treat people.
[on the Iraq war] I don't want to turn my back on that [Bush] family. They've been gracious to me. We're supposed to evolve from frontier justice. I think that the old west mythology is a good thing to have in your spine. But it shouldn't operate your brain. It's nice to know that you are willing to fight, but it's good to know how smart you are about not fighting.
The fact that I was 5 foot 2 as a sophomore didn't help. I'm 6 foot 1 now but still relate to those feelings. I didn't date in high school and didn't get my growth until college. I never got over being short.
[on "Death of a President"] It's awfully hard if you're his children, his wife, his mother, his dad; there's a certain thing we can't lose as human beings, which is empathy for maybe the hardest job in the world. Whether we think it's being performed right or not we can't, like, wish... or think that's even cute.
I don't mind Hollywood. After all, I don't make movies that are like avant garde or not understandable. I just like to make a mainstream movie with all the edges that existed in the writing and I don't like to see it flattened out in order to cater to audiences. I don't really give a shit what people think about my movie after watching it and giving it a test score, but I really care about what you think about it when you see it in its purity, because I don't feel like I'm going to lose you. I don't feel like my movies are going to be for everyone because they're not, because sometimes they're more adult and that eliminates kids.
I'm a hunter, I hunt but I think there should be gun laws. I think there should be a lot of gun laws. I don't want to lose my shotgun but there's a real good reason why I use my shotgun. It came from my grandpa. His cheek was on it. My dad's cheek was on it and I go out and hunt with my dogs. My gun's an heirloom to me and my son, one day, when I'm gone, is gonna know, "Your dad hunted with that." But even though with the connection that I have to my gun, can I look at the NRA and say, "I think you're out of line?". I can say that.
I think you have to look at screenwriting as an art form because it's not all that easy to do. Not all that many people can do it. So you have to go out and find the material, or develop it from scratch, and I'm one of the handful or people who actually spends his own money on developing and producing projects I like.
Everyone feels like they could have done things differently in life. But I'm happy about the things I've done. Not always happy about the results, but happy about the decisions, because I made them myself. And I think that's an important way to go through life. -- Interview with David Giammarco, Cigar Aficionado Magazine, Nov/Dec. 2000.
You know, the Kennedys have endured such a large amount of tabloidism over the last twenty years. But my feeling is that no matter what anybody thinks about the Kennedys, in those thirteen days they were absolutely golden. And if other individuals had been in that position, I think the legacy we would have been sharing in the year 2000 - instead of all the bright lights and parties when we hit the Millennium - would be 150 million people dead. It would make the Vietnam War pale in comparison. And if other men had been in power, they would have swallowed hook, line and sinker the recommendations of the military. -- Interview with David Giammarco, Cigar Aficionado Magazine, Nov/Dec. 2000.
I can't say I really see much difference between my son and daughters except that my girls will occasionally make me a sandwich and my son won't.
I don't prefer to be known as a conservative. I'm not a Republican. I basically was raised in a house that was a Republican house. My politics came out my kitchen table, listening to my parents. I thought the people that protested against the Vietnam war were unpatriotic because my brother was fighting over in Vietnam. I was only 14 years old. As I got time and distance I realized it was just a difference of opinion and their opinion wasn't necessarily wrong. As a person evolves they begin to have their own voice and their own way of thinking. I wasn't ahead of my time.
You know, "Waterworld" could probably be re-released based on my travelling around the world, and could make a lot of money again, because it's a lot of people's favorite movie. That's not bullshit. That's real. It's a movie that people talk to me about around the world. There'll be a moment in time when people will maybe see what really happened with Waterworld, and maybe take a more thoughtful look at it and maybe see the heroism of everything. I know forensically everything about that movie, what happened. I know all of it and I've never seen anybody really get it right. But that's okay. I wouldn't write the book. But if somebody wrote a book, I would know if they got it right. It's an amazing movie. I'm proud of this movie for a variety of reasons. I like my performance in it. I thought that Kevin Reynolds has a great vision and some of the scenes he did are scenes that are really unforgettable. It's a flawed movie and almost every movie I've ever worked on is a flawed movie. I think it's a movie that really stands, myself.
I've always known what a good movie is. I've not often known what a hit is. I think "The War" is a good movie, but it's not a hit. I think "A Perfect World" is a good movie, but it's not a hit. And so what should I have done? Should I have turned my back on those movies? I can't do that, I just can't. If I can be in a good movie, then I can feel okay about it. I can feel okay about "The Upside of Anger", I can feel good about "Open Range", I can feel good about "Mr. Brooks". Is it a hit? It's not a hit, but it will make money. Am I proud of it? I am proud of it. "No Way Out" was a movie that was in turnaround. It was not going to be made. "Bull Durham" was not going to be made. We went to every studio twice. So when people want to look at my career in retrospect and go, "Hit, hit, those movies were hits..." Well those movies weren't going to be hits unless we forced them onto the screen.
I had to make a big decision to become an actor, and when you decide to become an actor, there's a huge amount of doubt about what it means to those around you. Stuff like "How's he going to do that?" and "What makes him think he can do that?". But I think doubt is not a bad thing to have, because it means you keep asking yourself questions. And if you're going to ask yourself questions, you have to come out swinging harder. You push harder. And everything that's happened to me in acting has been a fundamental of work and being associated with really good people. 
[on press criticism of him in the mid-1990s] I saw what was happening. I knew why. It was like the planets had lined up for me. I had gotten a divorce and maybe people thought that that was because my head was too big or something with all the success. That simply wasn't what it was. If I was going to go crazy, I'd have gone crazy with the first hit, the second hit, the third, the fourth. It was much more complicated than that. It wasn't about fame. It wasn't about that at all. And I think maybe people were disappointed because they had seen me have a life. Was I the last hope for men and women? "If they can't make it, no-one can!" But we never projected ourselves in the press as a perfect couple. I didn't want that mantle, but when people project it on you and see it all dissolve....You see it. I don't know if people beg for it and then they can't get rid of it. I don't know what it is. I didn't court it. I never courted the press on any level except to promote a movie. You never saw me do press outside the lines of a movie. Twice in my career - and people don't know this - I took a year off. If you look at my filmography, I probably have fewer movies than anybody else in my category. If you did the math on movies, I think you'd be shocked that mine might be a third of what other people do.
[on "A Perfect World"] I read it; I thought that the writer....the muse was working perfectly on his shoulder. I was really happy to be in that movie and play that character and say those words. I learned a lot from Clint and Clint was able to understand that I had some stuff to do, playing a very flawed character.
My movies are isolated. They all sit by themselves a little bit. I don't have three movies coming along behind each other just in case one of them doesn't work. I haven't tried to manipulate my career. I wouldn't really know how to do that. That doesn't seem very heroic to me! Meaning it feels kinda chicken. That's kinda chickenshit.
[at Whitney Houston's funeral] I urge us all, inside and outside, across the nation and around the world, to dry our tears, suspend our sorrow and perhaps our anger just long enough, just long enough to remember the sweet miracle of Whitney.
[on playing dress-up] I'm not a guy who likes Halloween. So I'm a little at odds with what I've chosen to do with my life. I never liked going to a party dressed as a pirate because when you get past that initial "Ooh, you're a pirate!", you feel a little silly for threat of the party. Putting on the guns, letting the beard go and getting a pipe? That is fun. You look at everybody and wink and say, "Man, I have one of the great jobs in the world.".
The opening weekend is a hard one for me. Especially when you take a lot of time with a movie. I don't know how it is with other people's movies. It's like, you don't know how other people make love because you've only made love yourself and so unless you've watched them, how do you know if you're doing it right? I know how I try to make a movie; I know how I lose sleep over it; I know how I deliberate for hours over the difference between saying 'She went over there' or saying 'She's gone'. And people will ask say, "What's the difference, Kevin?" Well, it's a big difference to me, to find that exactly right line. And when you work hard on things like that, it's frustrating to me that a movie can be dismissed so easily. These movies for me are like the same kind of pictures my Mom put up on the refrigerator. I'm really proud of them and if they get dismissed, and even though you're not eight years old anymore, it hurts.
[on funding "Black or White" himself] Mike Binder sent me Black or White, and it reminded me of everything that I like about screenplays. It was very similar to "Field of Dreams", it was very similar to "Silverado" - it was quality, just quality writing. To me, it's the same movie as "Dances with Wolves". I think it's a powerful movie, I think it's very commercial. I think it smells like everything that studios want, which is money - and that's not bad. I don't think artistic and financial things are mutually exclusive. I couldn't get anybody to see what I saw in it. I literally walked into my own den and looked at my wife and said, 'I think I'm gonna pay for this movie', and she said 'Really?' and then she said 'If you think that's what you should do, then that's what you should do'. And I do feel that it's a movie to be seen, and a movie to be talked about - without trying. It doesn't preach, but it's quite humorous and ultimately very poignant. The studios are making the kinds of movies they want to make. They understand their business, but I have to equally understand my business of what I choose to do, and this has as much value as anything that I could imagine doing. I couldn't minimize it, and I wouldn't allow it to be minimized. The studios didn't fail; I would have failed if I didn't toughen up and just figure out how to do it. I think it would've been a sad thing if people didn't get to see this movie. That's how much I actually believed in it.
There's so much about "The Postman" that I love. I probably made a mistake with Postman: I should've started it with, "Once upon a time," because it's a modern-day fairytale. It wraps itself up with a storybook ending with the statue. I liked it very much.