Good Will Hunting (1997)
I realised this was a turning point in my life when I was awarded the Oscar. Ben (Affleck) and I had no strategy in mind. The only rule we imposed on ourselves was that we had to love the film.
What happened in 1998 was life-changing. We were on the brink of leaving our crusty old apartment where Ben was sleeping on the sofa because he had just been dumped, when suddenly we were on the front cover of Variety. We took the magazine with us everywhere we went, saying: "Look, that's us on the cover, we have money, rent us your apartment!".
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
I choose all my parts based on the director. I was lucky enough to work with Steven Spielberg on Saving Private Ryan. He shot it with 10 cameras, and the level he was at was incredible. I remember telling myself I still had so much to learn. Steven had extremely high standards, you had to give it your all from the very first try, I really felt the pressure.
Gerry by Gus Van Sant (2002)
Maybe the most indie film I ever made. There were two of us acting, and six crew members in Argentina. That was it. It was amazing.
With Clint Eastwood, you do one take. No more. On set, I spent hours and hours working on my South African accent, and I asked him for a second take just to be sure, and he said: "Why? You want to waste everybody's time?".
After months of lockdown, his love of film was finally given an opportunity to shine through: "Although I've experienced the festival four or five times already, it was like my very first time. I love what I do. The first essay I ever wrote at school said: I want to be an actor."