I don't know Ralph Nader as a person but I think him running for president is brilliant, because a 2-party state doesn't make any sense. During the most recent election people always said "I don't really like either of them so really it's the lesser of 2 evils"... Well, not if Ralph Nader's there and you've got a third choice. I don't believe that you should be limited to 1 or 2 people running for presidency, you should have 50 if it's enough. Look at the Palestinian elections that are coming up, there are about 140 people who want to take over [Ed. note: the interview took place only a few days after Yasser Arafat's death]. I love Ralph Nader, he's great and he's against corporate big business, which is always good.
Q: And he's the only candidate who was against the death penalty...
Yeah... well... Was he really the only one against the death penalty ? Is John Kerry really against gay marriage ? Politicians have to say things to get them into position so I don't necessarily believe them. The fact that Nader was there is a good thing, but I don't believe that he is any better or worse than John Kerry or George Bush to be perfectly honest. He's just as much of a liar and a cheater as the rest of them, it's just good that he has the right to be there.
Q: What is your own position on the death penalty ?
I don't believe in the death penalty, but there are so many reasons why people would support it. I always come back to the death penalty as being something that someone has to choose. The last person to be executed in Great Britain was later found to be innocent, I mean, that says it all really... He didn't do it but he's dead now, by the state, they killed him and they were wrong. Now if the state is in a position to tell me or us that one should not make mistakes then they really shouldn't make them either, but they do because we're all human beings. What happens if let's say a husband and a wife are having an argument, he hits her in the face and she falls, cracks her head on the fireplace and dies... He never meant to kill her, does he deserve the death penalty ? There are so many questions about capital punishment that I don't believe that any one human being has the right to take that into their own hands and decide. If I kill you, that gives them the right to kill me ? That to me is moralistically incorrect.
Q: What do you think of gay marriage ?
Gay marriage has become a by-word in this country [Ed. note: the USA] during this recent election but I personally believe it is a completely pointless argument. I understand the Christian right of protecting their ideas, but traditional marriage has been so bastardized and twisted in the Western world that protecting it requires us to not allow Britney Spears to get married in Vegas for 55 minutes and then get divorced ! Every time you switch on CBS television channel there is the divorce lawyer, 1-800 divorce... Traditional marriage has been dead in this country and in the Western world for years, and just because a bunch of faggots want to get married doesn't change the fact that marriage sucks as an institution. It's got nothing to do with being gay, it's to do with the fact that it's been abused and misplaced in the last 20 or 30 years if not longer. Why the hell would gay people want to get married ? I mean, marriage is a joke ! This is a country that has a separation of Church and State, so the fact is, that every couple, heterosexual or homosexual should be offered civil union. This is all the state should be able to offer. And if you wish to then solidify your vows in the eyes of God then go to church and do so. Marriage to me is a pointless question, I don't see why the state has any involvement in it, that's a religious thing.
Q: You mentioned the separation of Church and State...
It's a bloody joke, isn't it ?
Q: Who are your favourite novelists ?
I really love Irvine Welsh and the fact that he's Scottish of course is brilliant. Actually I worked with Harry Gibson who interpreted Trainspotting for the stage. I did his debut own play, The Sexual Life Of The Camel. Novelists...? I love Noam Chomsky but he doesn't write novels, it's all fact. I read many people... Anthony Godby Johnson, the book A Rock And A Hard Place comes highly recommended. In fact it's out of print now, I discovered it in an airport. I was going to Stockholm, I was filming an advert for cell phones there I think and I was like "oh fucking hell I need something to read, it's like a 4-hour flight". So I picked up this book written by a 16-year-old boy who'd been abused by his parents sexually, they were part of a paedophile ring and he was dying of HIV... I think that when people ask me what my favourite book is I always say that one because it changed my life, the fact that this 16-year-old boy could write so succintly about what he'd been through and make it mean something to me. Armistead Maupin wrote the foreword and it was such a wonderful story... I don't go for novelists as much as the novel itself.
Q: Who is your favourite film director ?
Pedro Almodóvar ! And it's a major part of me learning Spanish. I want to work with him, I think he's just done his first English language film recently, or is about to do one. I love Almodóvar, I think his vision of this world and of us as human beings is so remarkably twisted, but so true... He captures the darknesses that we go to like no one else does and it would be an honour to work with him. And if that means I've got to go to Spanish class 4 hours a day for the rest of my life I will do that to work with Almodóvar, I LOVE Pedro Almodóvar !
Q: Which film in particular ?
All About My Mother. Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown was the first Almodóvar film I'd ever seen but I was a bit young then and I wasn't quite sure that I got it. It kind of passed me by to be honest, that film. And so when my friend said to me "I'm off to see Todo Sobre Mi Madre" I said "Oh is that Almodóvar ? I saw a film of his years ago... Well I'll give it a go". So I went to see All About My Mother and I was devastated when I left the theatre... I was moved, I'd loved it and hated it and was everything I should have been after that film. And so I went back and watched Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown ... and between those 2 films... I bought Almodóvar's ticket and now I've got books on film writing. He really did wake something that I never thought existed in me. Now I want to write a film, and it's all because of Almodóvar. I've been talking about it for ages with Jeffrey Carlson actually, we're going to write a film like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck did.
Q: So it's not just a dream, it's going to happen ?
Yeah, why not ? If it goes nowhere it goes nowhere, but it's worth trying, right ?
Q: Who are your favourite painters ?
It's funny, art for me personally — and when I say art I mean those who sculpt, paint, design... — art is so subjective. There are people out there who don't enjoy my singing voice, and people who love it, and people who think I'm a fucking fantastic actor, and others who think "How the fucking hell did Euan Morton get there ?" because that's what it's all about. It's all about opinion.
I went to the Peggy Guggenheim when I was in Venice for my 26th and we kind of wandered through the museum and bounced around a few nice pictures... Jackson Pollock may be an absolute genius by all accounts, but I don't understand it... It doesn't affect me in the way it affects a huge amount of the population...
There's a huge picture in the Guggenheim of a house at night with all its lights on, the trees are dark but the sky is broad daylight... I don't remember the title, but it's a Magritte picture, it's one of many. He does one with 2 kind of alien spheres over a big field.
Every time I've gone to an art gallery, when I see something and I'll go "I love that picture" it always ends up being a Magritte. I'm already a bit of a sci-fi buff and a bit of an out-of-this-world buff, and I love all that kind of weird shit, and Magritte does something with the world that's so, so surreal... So I would say that Magritte would be my favourite artist, but that comes from someone who's very naive about art.
END OF PART 2