Quotes By Hugh

• “Acting is something I love. It’s a great craft that I have a lot of respect for. But I don’t think it’s any greater challenge than teaching 8-year-olds or any other career. In my life, I try not to make it more important than it is and I just hope that rubs off on the people around me.”

• “Sometimes you have to go places with characters and emotions within yourself you don’t want to do, but you have a duty to the story and as a storyteller to do it.”

• “I have a terrific marriage, but unlike a lot of relationships where they ebb and flow, no matter what happens you fall deeper and deeper in love every day. It’s kind of the best thing that can happen to you. It’s thrilling.”

• “My father is a real idealist, and he’s all about learning. If I asked for a pair of Nikes growing up, it was just a resounding ‘No.’ But if I asked for a saxophone, one would appear and next day and I’d be signed up for lessons. So anything to do with education or learning, my father would spare no expense.”

• “I have a wife and a son, but the gay rumors have started. I guess it’s a sign that I’m moving up the ladder.”

• On Chicago: “I thought I was too young for the role. You have some 34-year-old guy up against Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger and it becomes a different movie. At one point, Harvey was telling me they were thinking of Kevin Spacey, and I told him, ‘That’s exactly right. You should hire him.’ Then I was in New York when the movie opened and the queue was around the block. I sat down and thought that I had probably made the biggest mistake. But I still honestly think that it was the right thing to do. I still think I was too young for that part.”

• “I’ve always felt that if you back down from a fear, the ghost of that fear never goes away. It diminishes people. So I’ve always said ‘yes’ to the thing I’m most scared about. The fear of letting myself down — of saying ‘no’ to something that I was afraid of and then sitting in my room later going, ‘I wish I’d had the guts to say this or that’ — that galvanizes me more than anything.”

• “Being on Broadway is the modern equivalent of being a monk. I sleep a lot, eat a lot, and rest a lot.”

• “I just love making a fool out of myself. I made my living as a clown at kids’ parties for about three years.”

• “I don’t set goals in life. In this country, people are all about goal setting. And I concede, to a point, how it can help you get going. But we limit ourselves with goals. We have far more ability than we give ourselves credit for. You see that in people under pressure. How does someone run a 100-meter race at the Olympics? When it’s once every four years, with everything they’ve done leading to that? It can’t just be adrenaline. Maybe it’s just the mind getting out of the way.”

• “That fear [of failure] holds all of us back, and that’s the toughest thing about aging. With age, you see people fail more. You see yourself fail more.”

• “How do you keep that fearlessness of a kid? You keep going. Luckily, I’m not afraid to make a fool of myself.”

• “My [philosophy] studies have helped me to see the rollercoaster quality [of fame]. I mean, success in this business is very much determined by public opinion, and we all know how fickle that can be.”

• “I suppose what God is, for me, is my idea of a consciousness. God is not a thing. I was brought up with a very strict Protestant view of what God is and our place next to God, and that consisted of some deity telling us what to do, marking us on our behavior and, hopefully, granting us entrance into heaven. I fully bought it… But around the age of 14 or 15, I just thought my father’s idea and this church’s idea of what God is just didn’t make sense. How can only five percent of the world be admitted into heaven under these laws? Why aren’t Buddhists going…? As a child, God was very much wrapped up in good and evil, God and the devil. And, for many years, I thought everything that was good was God and everything that was bad was the devil. Now my understanding of it is that it’s neither and both at the same time. There is something beyond that; there is something linking all of us. To me that is God… The Aboriginal people, they see what they call ‘The Magic.’ They see it in everything. And I suppose that’s what I mean by saying God is us: you, me, the land, the creek, the interplay of so many different things that have to make this creation work. It’s kind of magical. It’s wondrous.”