I've always romanticized the late '40s and '50s - the cars, jazz, the open roads and lack of pollution. Now there are more vehicles, less hitchhikers, more billboards and power lines and stuff. People wrote wonderful long letters that took months to receive, and now everything is email.
It's funny that I got to do 'On the Road' because the thing that had the biggest impact on me growing up was reading books. I was very inspired by the book and this spirit of Dean Moriarty and how envious we all are of somebody who can be that carefree.
See, the 'On the Road' that came out in 1957 was censored. A lot of the honesty of it, the bitter honesty, is in the original scroll version that came out in 2007 on the 50-year anniversary. Back then, there was so much post-Second World War fear that was imposed on everybody - 'You must live life this way' - and these guys were bored.
I'm not good at chatting right away. Women have to be very patient with me, I suppose.
I had to jump on the tractor and do my chores. I would have just killed to be in town, to be able to Rollerblade hand-in-hand with somebody I had a crush on. I just wanted to get off the farm, to find my outlet.
Just personally, I've been attached to 'On the Road' since 2007 and it was the greatest thing in my life when I got cast in it. I couldn't believe it. When I was 17 and read the book, I looked it up on IMDb and it said that Francis Ford Coppola was going to direct it.
'Love Don't Let Me Down,' which is the original title of 'Country Strong,' was just as difficult emotionally as 'Tron' was physically. I play a country singer that basically gets on tour with Gwyneth Paltrow's character, who is one of the biggest country stars out there, and she's fallen down too many times and it's an intense emotional story.
I remember telling my creative writing teacher that you never want to have a journal, because if you lose it, then someone's going to know all your secrets. And then she stopped using a journal, but I always write everything down... Anytime I travel, I try and fill up notepads.
With 'Tron,' we had so many crew members around and a stage full of special effects people that know exactly what has to be done in the situations. You're on a stage in sets the whole time.
It's funny, though, speaking of fathers and sons, because me and John Goodman played father and son, like, five or six years ago in the film 'Death Sentence,' and I got back with him again in 'Inside Llewyn Davis.'
I actually signed on to do 'On the Road' before we started on 'Tron,' but we were in flux for a while, just sort of playing the waiting game, trying to get the right budget and the right cast.
It was close to like a 67- or 70-day shoot for 'Tron' on stage, in the suit. You can't even sit down during the day because of all the cables that divide the foam rubber and all the electrical circuits. We had these stools that were tall with a bicycle seat on them and you're just looking at a blue screen all day.
I remember driving the tractor on our farm, and Tim McGraw would be on the radio. I'd find myself walking out of class, singing his songs. And then Tim ended up playing my father in 'Friday Night Lights.' It was surreal.
I fantasised about F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' - I loved it, and then I read everything J. D. Salinger had to offer. Then I was turned on to Kerouac, and his spontaneous prose, his stream of consciousness way of writing. I admired him so much, and I romanticised so much about the '40s and '50s.
In the present time you don't really establish what you're going through, but after time it's declared something. Right now there could be some writers doing something expressing their thoughts in a whole different style that we're not aware of. This could be the 'in-between the notes generation.'
Anybody that wants to walk out that door and leave home for a few months and rely on themselves instead of fate might have some interesting stories to tell.
Growing up, I would watch a movie on video and would go to the back of the VHS and locate the address for Universal Pictures or MGM or whatever. I'd write to the studios asking them if I could be in a movie. They never wrote me back.
It's funny - I read that women look to chiseled-faced guys for one-night stands, and to round-faced guys for marriage. When I'm rounder in the face, I like to say, 'This is my long-term look.' Or 'This is my wife-and-kids look right here.'
When you come across someone colorful and vibrant maybe in the present it isn't so interesting, but, in the past, it sheds a wonderful light onto living life.
I spill it out as fast as I can. I don't really edit. In Brazil, recently, I wrote 70 pages. In London, 80 pages.