De Niro was a hero of mine. And Sean Penn. But I've realized I can't operate at that level of intensity. That's okay for movies. On TV, when you live with horror day in and day out, you have to protect yourself.
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It ain't easy to break out of a mold, but if you do your work, people will ultimately see what you're capable of. Too often, people find it easier to make assumptions and stick with what they believe. They put you in a place and it makes their job easier. The good people constantly search for something different.
It's just nice to work hard and be rewarded, which is having lots of people watch. And the icing on the cake is for me is to be able to walk around with pride, feeling that the product you put out is worthy of being watched. But honestly, it's not a big deal. I don't put too much stock in fame or celebrity anyway. I don't put it in the 'important' box.