Do all these incredibly tortured characters you play ever wear on you emotionally?
No, they don’t. I love what I do, and I am not a tortured artist. I didn’t necessarily start out that way, but I’ve kind of learned over the years the things that are important to me. I love my job but I also love my life. I started doing really good work that I was really happy with and not torturing myself and everyone around me. I became very disciplined about my work, and I think it made me a better actor. It’s exhausting to be depressed and f***ing heavy, and I find that when I’m exhausted, my work suffers. So I think I’m better when I don’t do that method stuff, and I get good sleep, and my boyfriend [actor Stuart Townsend] doesn’t hate my guts, and I can have a nice weekend or a nice evening and then go to work and really go to the dark place, switch it on and do it.
So it never gets to the point where you’re like, “Man, I need a romantic comedy with Matthew McConaughey”?
[Laughs] I would love to do comedy. But whether it’s comedy or another genre, [it’s about] just wanting to do work that really matters to me. I think there’s definitely a facet of that genre that I haven’t dove into, and there’s definitely a part of me that maybe wants to put a little bit more effort towards that. But at the same time, when you work on things that you like and you’re proud of, the creative experience is pretty good.
Is there ever any hesitation on your part to do nudity for a film?
I don’t really think about it that way. I … read it, and it makes sense or it doesn’t. That’s the end of the story. I treat it the same way as I would any other scene. “Would it make sense for me to do this moment?” is how I look at it, whether it’s a nude moment or sitting at a bar drinking. It’s all choices, so you have to make the choices. I don’t think about it as nudity, I think about it as, “Is this the right thing for the character? Is this the right choice?”