This month, he tells Company magazine how he threw steak knives around at school, had a crush on Raquel Welch as a teen and doesn't want to be a sex symbol.
Here are some titbits:
On how he got into acting:
"I was a lonely child, I didn't do well at school and TV was my only friend. Then, one day, I saw Raquel Welch on The Muppet Show. She was dancing with this big furry spider and I immediately fell in love. She was the first crush I ever had, and I thought, 'How do I get to meet this woman?' And then I thought, 'Well, she's on TV, so to meet her I have to get on TV myself.'"
On his heroes growing up:
"I wanted to be Billy Idol for a long time. I also wanted to be Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I really wanted to be Sylvester Stallone. When I first saw Rambo, that movie put a kind of spell on me and I actually thought I WAS Rambo. So much so, that one day, I took a bunch of steak knives to school and threw them around at recess time because I thought we were in the movie! I'm not proud of this but I did learn a lesson - I was suspended from school my mother said I couldn't watch R-rated movies anymore."
On knowing nothing about cars:
"I can't drive like my character in the film [Drive] does. I didn't know anything about cars till I did that movie. Obviously, in order to play the part, I had to grow some kind of appreciation, so I bought a car for $200 from a lot that was like a graveyard for dead cars. The car was a 1973 Chevy Malibu, which we actually used as my car in the film."
On falling in love with motorcycles after seeing an accident:
"When I was a kid, I was walking to school and I saw a guy on a motorcycle get hit. I walked up to where he was lying on the road, he looked up at me, and my first thought was, 'I got to get a motorcycle!' What can I say? Clearly there's something wrong with my brain!"
On being ok with not being a sex symbol:
"The director [of The Notebook], Nick Cassavetes, called me to meet him at his house. When I got there, he was standing in his back yard, and he looked at me and said, 'I want you to play this role because you're not like the other young actors out there in Hollywood. You're not handsome, you're not cool, you're just a regular guy who looks a bit nuts."
Company Magazine is on sale now.
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