01/20/2005 AT 06:00 AM EST
There are about a dozen deadlock moments in this movie. How do you think you'd do in a real-life standoff?
Terrible, I'm sure. How many real Mexican standoffs do you think that there've been in the world? Usually someone pulls the trigger and the other people run.
You've taken some hits for being such a renaissance man. Does that fuel your creativity?
Real renaissance people are people who are into the sciences and also are an athlete and are also in the arts. Those are people like Benjamin Franklin and Da Vinci. These are truly great men. I operate in the small area of the arts.
Where you've been a writer, a stage actor, a director ...
I think that anyone who has a notoriety or a certain celebrity at the age of eighteen, you're going to watch that human being try different things. I mean, I couldn't just do the same thing for my whole life. ... I've had to mature as a human being while people were watching me.
Are you writing anything at the moment?
I'm trying to write a third book. ... It'll probably be years before I'm done with it.
Why do you think you've succeeded at making the transition from teen actor to serious contender?
Part of it is good fortune. ... And, you know, I think that a lot of young actors get in trouble because they're in a hurry and they end up burning themselves out. And maybe because I've saved my money well. I mean, something as little as that means something. A lot of young actors end up having to do a lot of jobs that they don't like because they owe someone a lot of money or something.