In a recent article on Salon, the actor talks about what it was like playing a homeless man on the streets of New York.
We wanted to distill a human being into very simple drives. He’s able to articulate this, and he says it several times: “Look, I’m hungry and I’m tired. I don’t know what you’re asking for, with all these forms and things. It’s just that I’m hungry and I’m tired.” He’s aware of that. He’s not as aware of his central issue, which is the commonality we all have: the yearning to belong, the yearning for connection. We see him drawn to the apartment where his daughter [played by Jena Malone] is and the bar where she works, we have a couple of inarticulate scenes in the laundromat where neither of them really says what they’re feeling. They don’t really engage at the simplest and most direct level of yearning. There are layers of pain and mistrust and betrayal that keep all of us so far away from saying simple things of love and belonging. Tribal, family stuff. That to me is where the movie is. I’m happy if people forget that it’s homeless stuff at all by the end of the movie, and just connect to that simplest level of the yearning for connection.
Read the full interview for more on the film and the actor’s approach to playing a homeless man on the streets of New York.