[on We Need to Talk About Kevin] My agent sent me the script and I went into a sort of wrathful, thirsting pursuit. I immediately became ravenous, and I just started pursuing it like a stalker.
[on We Need to Talk About Kevin] If there’s one ambiguity that I feel comfortable clearing up, it’s that I never for a second was thinking about how to portray someone innately evil.
[discussing his sexuality in a 2012 “Out” Magazine interview] I’m queer. I have a lot of really wonderful friends who are of very different sexes and genders. I am very much in love with no one in particular. I’ve been trying to figure out relationships, you know? I don’t know if it’s responsible for kids of my age to be so aggressively pursuing monogamous binds, because I don’t think we’re ready for them. The romanticism within our culture dictates that that’s what you’re supposed to be looking for. Then [when] we find what we think is love–even if it is love–we do not yet have the tools. I do feel that it’s possible to be at this age unintentionally hurtful, just by being irresponsible–which is fine. I’m super down with being irresponsible. I’m just trying to make sure my lack of responsibility no longer hurts people. That’s where I’m at in the boyfriend/girlfriend/zefriend type of question.
[Interview Magazine, 2010] It’s good to be 18. For a long time I felt like I was fighting my age, like I was constantly trying to prove to people that I was a savvy peer, and I felt them viewing me as a kid. I was a cocky kid, and I felt like I was an adult at, like, 9, you know? I think that’s because my parents always treated me as an adult.
[The Cinema Source, September 8, 2011] I went to a school that was founded on a lot of very radical ideals of how education should be changed. But what’s happening to schools like that sort of all over the country is in economic pressure they’re becoming more and more preparatory because that’s what people will really pay the money for private schooling for now.
Artists walk alone.
Every teenager deals in his or her own sexuality and has to face it and figure out how it can coincide with the rest of their lives in a healthy manner. And try to navigate it in our modern society, which is wrought with stigma and taboo and repression, and sort of as a result, these inner monsters that some teenagers really struggle with.
Everybody feels like an outcast because the world is so large and every fingerprint is so vastly different from one another, and yet we have these standards and beliefs, and dogmatic systems of judgment and ranking, in almost all the societies of the world.
I think a lot of people are projecting their own troubles and fears concerning sexuality onto those around them, and it does result in the perpetuation of a lot of hateful notions. As long as I can remember, I’ve felt really horrified watching those dynamics play out.
Family is this very deep, complex thing that for most people becomes everything. It informs your entire life.
I don’t need my sexuality celebrated, and I certainly don’t need it to be criticized. I didn’t necessarily want it to be observed, but here we are.
I shop only at thrift stores and vintage stores. In New York, I like a place called Star Struck, and a place called The Family Jewels.
I think everybody’s crazy, and if I’m the one being a little direct about it, that’s fine by me.
I was a weird animal in high school, doing no work and getting straight A’s.
I think I enjoy playing human beings no matter the substance of their character.
I wouldn’t want to lose out on my macho action movie just because I told people I was queer.
I’m from the dirty depths of New Jersey.
I’d like to make as much art as I possibly can before I die, so I’m working on a few things.
Life is a grand party.
I’ve fallen prey to my fair share of moments of the phobias of others and the way that that can become an attack.
The No. 1 thing the people I have spent time with in my life have done for fun is playing music.
The token gay character is always so funny and so fantastic. That’s happened a lot. Or they’re often purely victims.
‘The Wizard of Oz’ is my favorite movie. It was the first movie I can ever remember watching.
Doing things like playing music, something that’s so natural and basic to human function, running around in nature, eating delicious food. These things are intrinsic in basic, primordial to human beings, so that’s sort of a way to return to a blank canvas, allowing my true personality to return.
Housing Works is the coolest thrift store in the world, because not only are they the best thrift store – they’re not the most thrifty thrift store – but they have amazing stuff and all of their proceeds go directly to kids, mostly homeless kids, living with AIDS and HIV in New York, in the metropolitan area.
I always was very interested in intellect and the massive world of knowledge out there, but in terms of being a kid who wanted to be treated as an equal, school is not the place.
I guess the big thing is that I don’t buy anything first-hand. It’s a personal policy I have for all sorts of reasons. If you research to the textile industry yourself, you’ll know why. I came to it personally.
I like a role that is challenging. That’s what I look for and I’m certainly always looking to move further and maybe push myself into a place that might be temporarily uncomfortable so that I might learn something.
I’d say I’m drawn to characters that ring true to me. Adolescence is a troubled time for everyone, so a lot of those characters have been troubled, tortured people. It’s been a great way to navigate my adolescence by having these more troubled kids as an outlet.
I love my family and I had a very wonderful, magical childhood. But New Jersey was actually a very cold place. There was such an intense concentration of wealth, and such a low concentration of any actual human happiness.
I read a lot of bad scripts and weird television shows. I don’t know. There’s a lot of work out there I was reading at 14 years old and noticing this lack of thought. And then, reading ‘Afterschool,’ that’s full of thought. It was bursting with ideas.
It makes sense that we came up with our public school system during the Industrial Revolution because it’s like everybody is a factory worker, eating their terrible food and going back to the room where you’re silent and listening to an idiot. That’s an epitomizing idea, getting called ‘Nothing’ for your whole high school experience.
I’m trying to grow more limbs in order to multitask at a greater rate and I’m also investigating the possibilities of cloning. Because nothing would be more useful than having multiples of me, and that way, I could do all of the things I’d like to do in the short amount of time we all have here.
It disturbs me when Obama says in the State of the Union address that he wants to make dropping out of school at 18 illegal, because people learn differently and before there are forms of learning for every type of person in the world, we shouldn’t be condemned for leaving.
The escape to an unchallenging fairy tale can be very nice and I’m all for that, but film can also challenge you to confront the realities of our world.
My first job was when I was eight. I did this opera, which was a Robert Wilson/Philip Glass opera, called ‘White Raven.’ That was a very confusing and trippy creation tale, and I was a kid who brought up the sun and rotated the earth. It was very empowering.
My mother took me to a lot of operas and when I was eight I got the opportunity to be in one and I realized that transformation into these make-believe situations was possible. I decided that was essentially what I wanted to do with my life.
When I was very little, I was sort of consumed by a love for opera. Weirdly enough, I went from being really enthusiastic about construction vehicles at the age of seven to being really passionate about ‘La Traviata’ by the time I was eight.
When I found film, it was like, ‘Of course!’ It was this very intense realization that this is perhaps the most powerful, honed context that I’ve found.
You know, I was really privileged to meet Woody Allen, who is now a filmmaker, let’s be honest. He’s also an actor. And he’s classic. And because I have no conception of what classic fashion is now, I respond to his slightly outdated sensibilities.