There’s a whole psychological reason for those cartoons about good against evil. We have "Superman" and all those other hero people, so that we can go out into life and try to be something. I’ve got most of Disney’s animated movies on video-tapes, and when we watch them. Oh, I could just eat it, eat it. […] Jimmy Cricket, Pinocchio, Mickey Mouse – these are world-known characters. Some of the greatest political figures have come to the United States to meet them.
I like as much time as I can get and I'll do whatever I think is helpful to prepare for a role. Sometimes it's practical research, meaning if I had to write shorthand, I'd learn how to write shorthand. Or if I have to know how to dance a certain way, I would learn that. And then there's just research of talking to people similar to the characters I'm playing. And there's stuff that I just feel is inspiring, whether it be music or a painting or a photograph. I've used a lot of Nan Goldin's photos in the past to inspire me. I use certain paintings and pieces of music.
I think the further away you get from completing a book, the more responses you see to it from readers, the more your own tastes and opinions shift and the more you start to see things you could have written differently in the detail, or done differently on the broader scale of plot and character.
Each character represents a different color on the big palette of what this ultimate painting is going to look like, who your guy is, and just try to be as honest and simple and real as you can possibly be. The outer trappings are incidental - costumes, period, makeup - all of that is rather insignificant at the end of the day.