I am pretty agnostic. For the most part, when it comes to a life philosophy, I’d say, ‘Go with your gut.’ I know it’s pretty clichéd but whenever I have made choices that I don’t one hundred per cent feel are correct though you are taking a chance, I usually regret it. And when I try to do anything smart for myself, careerwise or otherwise, it usually doesn’t work out. For me, I should usually go with the slower and better roads.
BENICIO DEL TORO
I like the mantra of, ‘Innocent until proven guilty,’ when it comes to dealing with people. For me, it’s like, live like you are going to die today but also, live like you are going to live for 110 years. It depends on what time of day because I might just change my life philosophy at any given time.
There is one idea that I really like which is about wounds and gifts. I like the idea that next to our deepest wounds are our gifts. That makes sense to me and soothes me a lot, actually. I was told that I was too sensitive as a child and that was a wound that I got – you are too sensitive, you cry too much, you are too feeling, you are too vulnerable, your skin it too thin. And I got battered for that. But I am using it now in a way that is hopefully creating something meaningful. And living in someone else’s shoes maybe that sensitivity enables me to have empathy for other people and compassion for the struggle for someone else which enables me to be an actor in the deepest way I can be. So I really like that. I also like the idea that everyone is a genius. This word genius has been misinterpreted and only given to Albert Einstein, Carl Jung, Freud, Jay-Z, Beyonce, (laughs) and they are geniuses, but so is everyone that is being called to live. And I like that a lot as well.
I may have had greedy philosophies 20 years ago which was like, ‘I want to be a parent,’ or ‘I want to find love,’ or in a case of a great passion like, ‘I love being an actor’. But it gets so elusive this idea of what a philosophy is but now I’ve realised if you actually do what you want to do in life it comes back that you create the life you want to live. So my philosophy now is to truly live as I wish. That goes for love, in art and in joy and not worry about the rest.
I really being like present and in the moment, that’s really important to me. I feel that I’m very lucky with this job because when I’m not working, I’m working on being present with my relationships with people, and that’s more important than ever. I think a rich life leads to rich work and being present is really the most important thing in order for that to happen.
I’m not religious and I don’t know if I consciously have a specific philosophy, by any means. I think I live my life and do my best to grow and consciously try and work on myself to be as compassionate and as truthful as possible. I attempt to better myself potentially, be open to learning new things, be open to being wrong.
I have a few philosophies on stuff. When it comes to work, one of my philosophies is to strive for the challenge, strive for the thing that makes you fearful as long as it’s not going to kill you because I think that’s where the interesting work happens. I feel like if I just walk down a familiar path then I don’t really learn anything from it. My other philosophy about work is, never choose money first. One of the things that I strive for in life is to stay present to what I’m doing. It’s hard as an actor sometimes even while you’re in a job you’re thinking about what’s coming up next or you’re fretting about what you just did and I think that quite often I’m trying to remind myself to remain present to whatever experience I’m in because that’s when the real learning happens and that’s when the real listening happens.
My mantra for life is to aspire to be authentic and to be really comfortable in your skin. I am not sure that anyone truly gets there, but God, it’s worth aspiring to.