I'm perfectly flawed... I've got tons of flaws.
I started out being a really, really liberal Democrat.
I'm a true centrist: my beliefs put me in the middle... You know what happens to people who drive in the middle of the road? They get run over.
There's this unbelievable bias and prejudice against quote-unquote good-looking people, that they can't be in pain or they can't have rough lives or be deep or interesting.
The challenge as a parent is letting your kids fail in the right ways because that's where we do most of our learning.
In my bachelor days, the priority wasn't learning to cook.
There is a movie called 'My Dog Skip,' starring my 'Outsiders' costar Diane Lane. I do not recommend it. If you have a child, particularly one about to leave home, watching this film is to be emotionally waterboarded.
I always like stories where the egg ends up on my face.
Sampling, statisticians have told us, is a much more effective way of getting a good census.
Sobriety was the greatest gift I ever gave myself. I don't put it on a platform. I don't campaign about it. It's just something that works for me. It enabled me to really connect with another human being - my wife, Sheryl - which I was never able to do before.
When you're writing personal stories, you have to be totally uncompromising - to the extent that you can be - about yourself. I know that if I am uber-uncompromising with myself, that gives me some latitude to write about others.
Show me someone who doesn't have some sort of experience that they would be uncomfortable for people to know about and I'll show you a dullard.
I never get bored talking about themes dealing with ambition, leadership and what it means to be an American. I love that stuff. I just love it. I've loved it ever since I was on 'The West Wing.'
I've said before that the common perception that all good actors should be good liars is exactly the opposite; only bad actors lie when they act.
JFK is a role I've always dreamt of playing.
I like all of John Carpenter's movies. 'The Thing' is my favorite.
I've never met a funny person who wasn't smart. I've met a lot of dramatic people who were stupid. But I've never met a funny person who wasn't smart.
I've been around for so long, people have their perceptions of me: good, bad or indifferent.
I liked being a teenager, but I would not go back for all the tea in China.
I think part of maturity is knowing who you are.
I was a child of the '80s.
Cannes is a little bit like French wine. There are certain years that people prefer over others.
I love anything by Joan Didion. Incidentally, she was one of the local moms when I was growing up in Point Dume. She always reminded me a little bit of my mother, so I feel a great affinity. I love the precision of Didion's writing. There's a construction and a craftsmanship to her sentences that's imbued with so much emotion.
My life and the lives of many across the world have been deeply affected by lymphoma.
I look at it like this: that if Shakespeare were alive today, he would have written two or three plays about the Kennedy family, and actors would traditionally play JFK like they Hamlet or King Lear. They just would. I mean, people have played JFK, and they'll play him long after I have.
For me, the battle is finding the balance between wanting to spend time with my boys and then having enough perspective to still be the disciplinarian and, like, not be in the best friend business.
If you treat China like a foe, surely she will become one.
I couldn't have gotten sober without rehab because I needed the science.
To go from playing Jack Startz in 'Behind the Candelabra' to playing JFK in the same year, I have now operated at the far ends of my range as an actor.
When I was filming 'The Outsiders,' my idea of success was getting the next Martin Scorsese movie.
I only pray when it suits my own needs. I'm not proud about that.
It's a little bit of a 'if you can't beat 'em - join 'em' mentality for me when I think about Twitter.
I had had some successes in the '90s, always made money, but the truth was I was like a man pushing a boulder up a hill. A huge, heavy, difficult boulder made up of some career mistakes, projects that didn't meet expectations, and twenty years of being a known quantity.
I don't flip. I don't even dive into a pool - straight cannonball for me. No, thanks.
Some actors specialize in shooting weapons and punching people. Some have the market on playing buffoons cornered, others specialize in roles that require heavy makeup or outrageous wardrobe. Some trade exclusively in a post-ironic blase attitude.
I learned to focus on what's real rather than imagined; on not letting feelings drive the bus; on being courageous and honest; on putting my total effort into something and not worrying about the result.
If I had been on 'Ally McBeal,' I would have been seen coming out of the shower on the first show.
Matthew Lowe is one of the great water men that I know. He's a surfer, a great water polo player. I think he's half fish.
I always wanted that house where everybody wants to go, full of energy, dogs, music, fun.
I have other obligations now - the show, my family, my life... though I know that without my sobriety I wouldn't have any of those things.
I don't like being taken for granted anywhere in life. I don't want my vote taken for granted.
I wouldn't be where I am today without my mistakes. Particularly my mistakes. Exclusively my mistakes.
If you are worried about what people think of you, you should go into politics. Real actors take chances.
I have, on the other hand, felt ill will from various people in the industry and the press.
Somewhere in my callow, misspent youth, I was smart enough to marry my best friend.
The '80s were about trying to establish myself as an actor with a career. And being a teenager enjoying the fruits of being successful with lots of what I think is appropriate for that age.
My deep dark secret is that I was a nerd in school. I liked the theater. I liked to study. I wasn't very good at sports.
The first shooter video game stuff which - look, admittedly, I missed that generationally, so it's not a thing for me. I've never played them. I don't really get it. My kids do.
As an actor and a fledgling director, I'm used to making snap decisions that I'll have to live with.
After my parents' divorce when I was 4, I spent weekends with my dad before we finally moved to California. By the time Sunday rolled around, I was incapable of enjoying the day's activities, of being in the moment, because I was already dreading the inevitable goodbye of Sunday evening.
I've always been involved in politics, since I was 8 or 9 years old. I sold Kool-Aid for McGovern - I could always pick a winner.
I am terrible with people's names.
I have a friend who is very successful in business, and his motto is, 'Don't do what you can do. Do what only you can do.' First of all, you have to know what your specific, unique gift is and then you do that... every actor does that but every once in a while an actor plays a part that only they can play.
I wish I was a more religious person. I really admire Martin Sheen for his Catholicism. It's such a bedrock. I wish I had that in my life.
The cast of 'Parks & Rec' is just a group of unbelievably nice, humble, down to earth, hilarious friends.
I would've loved Jack Kennedy. I would've loved to have campaigned for him and supported him. I wish there were more like him today.
Children change you. They really do.
I have had a lot of blessed, interesting things happen to me and have bumped up against some amazing people.
In spite of being professionally gregarious, in my nonpaid hours I'm a bit of a hermit. After being around a crew of fifty people for twelve hours a day on a film set, I really like my alone time, and as always, I abhor small talk.
I wouldn't go back on my old days, though; everybody needs to have their wild years. It's just a question of when and I'd rather have had them early than be doing it as a mid-life crisis type thing.
I'll never forget one of those things that my father said to me. My father said: 'You know what? We have had so many amazingly positive experiences that we would have never had because you're famous. We can stand to have a couple negatives ones, too.'
What's gratifying about West Wing is that everybody told us that it couldn't be done - that the man or woman on the street didn't care about politics. But if you set things up correctly, people don't have a problem with it.
A few years ago, I got to a point where I realised that the only way you can tell someone's age is how they live their life. The candles on the cake mean absolutely nothing.
I feel pressures to stay relevant. To stay interesting and interested. To stay at the top of my game and expand.
When I hear that I realize how quickly time passes and how everybody goes on their journeys and they're always unbelievable and they never go where you think they're going to take you and, quite frankly, it also makes me feel a little old.
I am the guy dressing up in, you know, the caveman outfit for the kids' birthday parties.
We always reminisce about how everyone tried to get Diane Lane's attention, to very little success.
Of the many horrors of divorce, the most egregious is that it robs a kid of the best of both worlds. Dads can do many things that even the best moms can't, and vice versa.
Eleven days before 9/11, I was on a plane with the 9/11 hijackers who were carrying out a dry run.
I've been lucky enough in 'The West Wing' and 'Brothers & Sisters' to talk about the issues that are important to me with none of the awful mud-slinging or public scrutiny you have in politics.
In acting, there's a type of courage you're recognized for all the time. You lose 100 pounds and play a guy with AIDS, and you get rewarded. But, in life, doing what is courageous is quiet, and no one knows about it. Courage is someone making sacrifices for their family or making selfless decisions for what they hope or feel.
I was smart and married somebody who could do for me what I couldn't do for myself.
Feng shui isn't open to interpretation.
I had long ago become a creation, a public image made to be consumed, piled on top of a precarious shell of a little boy wanting to be loved.
Malibu was a wellspring of counterculture group think.
I've come to really like Twitter. You really do get to see what I'm about, and I like sharing with my fans.
The highest levels of fame in the entertainment business are geared toward keeping the artist disconnected, disinterested and continuing to make product and not developing any sort of 'normal life.'
My son Matthew's beloved dog is a Jack Russell. His name is Buster. Matthew picked him as a puppy, when he was tiny himself.
Belonging to one party is acceptable. But my days of just ticking the party box are long over. I judge the candidates for who they are.
The Brat Pack is timeless.
I'm a Hollywood pinhead; I don't know about political labels.
I believe in ceremony. I think ceremony is important, pomp and circumstance, tradition. I'm into those things.
I like the way you can circumvent the media gatekeepers and go right to the people. That's my favorite thing about Twitter.
Temperamentally, Sam and I are very much alike. He's a lawyer, my father's a lawyer, and I always wanted to play one. On so many levels the role just felt right. I fell in love with it as I would a woman.
My two sons are the most important things in the world to my wife and I - they are what I build my world around.
My hopes and aspirations haven't changed since I started in this business. They've been to be able to play drama, to be able to play comedy, to be able to play leading men, and to be able to play character roles. I have no other aspirations in this regard.
I've had years of psychiatry, and I ask about every six months - it's sort of like getting your oil checked - I ask, 'I'm not an actual narcissist, am I?' The learned men of psychiatry assure me that I meet none of the medical criteria.
I've always written a little bit. I mean, I've written screenplays, and I've doctored my dialogue for years, and I've written speeches - I was a speechwriter on 'The West Wing,' so I like that kind of thing. But I never really thought I'd write a book.
Directors are not worried about casting beautiful women, but they are not sure that they want to cast great-looking men. My looks have prevented people from seeing my work.
I'm a sportsman, you know, and I shoot skeet, and I grew up in the Midwest, so that's a part of my culture.
I have never felt at any point in my life, good or bad, any ill will ever from the man or woman on the street.
It took being famous to make me cool, which, by the way, I never forgot.
I have been looking forward to this age of my life for a long time. In my twenties, I marked the days on the calendar - I was sick of playing high-school kids.
Fame is not a natural condition for human beings.
The Kennedys are our royals.
I like the tradition of ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances and how they react to events which force them to be heroic in a way that is not in their natures.
I have a lot of great memories, but I can't imagine anything more exciting than the life I have now.
I - you know, I loved politics more as a younger man.
I'll be sober ten years and married nine soon.
I sadly never got to my prom. I was shooting 'The Outsiders.'