My dad was born in Chicago in 1908... his parents came from Russia. They settled in Chicago where they lived in a little tiny grocery store with eight or nine children - in the backroom all together - and my grandmother got the idea to go into the movie business.
My dad was the baby. When he was born they were already successful. They sent him to business school - he probably would have loved to have been a poet or a writer or something and he was very creative.
My dad has always been very proud of me but I think I have exceeded his expectations. When I told him I wanted to be an actor and moved to New York City I think he assumed I would be playing the guitar on the subway and collecting spare change in my guitar case. The fact that I'm not doing that means that I'm a huge success.
I had always loved music. I grew up listening to classic country Waylon Jennings Merle Haggard. My dad loved Vern Gosdin and Keith Whitley. So I kept going to class and started getting totally into playing guitar and teaching myself these songs.
I look at my little girl and I wonder what she's going to be and what she's going to do and what is it that leads girls certain directions in life. I think a lot of that goes back to what kind of father they had and so it makes me want to be the best dad I can possibly be.
The best thing I ever learned from my dad was he knew he wasn't the best of singers but he always knew he was a great entertainer and I always thought that was a good concept to bring along that ultimately acting is an entertainment art and you have to be aware of the fact that you want people to be excited to be watching you.
I was born and raised in the high desert of Nevada in a tiny town called Searchlight. My dad was a hard rock miner. My mom took in wash. I grew up around people of strong values - even if they rarely talked about them.
Indians mock their corrupt politicians relentlessly but they regard their honest politicians with silent suspicion. The first thing they do when they hear of a supposedly 'clean' politician is to grin. It is a cliche that honest politicians in India tend to have dishonest sons who collect money from people seeking an audience with Dad.