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Stephen Dorff : Life in the Fast Lane

Do you think there is a trend for violent movies such as SFW and Pulp Fiction?

I don't know about a trend. This film says something about my generation and it's for everybody to sit up and watch. I just did this movie because I liked the script and loved the role. It cuts deep. I wouldn't like to see it roped with Quentin Taratino's films. His movies and scripts are a very similar set. It feels great to have been a part of SFW. For me it was the best role I've worked on yet - a real once-in-a-lifetime chance!

You have a reputation for being outspoken. Is that a polite way of saying you're arrogant?

It's just how I am. I'm to be me as honestly as possible. People sometimes keep things to themselves in order to be polite but that's a form of lying. If something comes into my head I'll say it. That means people think I'm the most arrogant actor around. I don't care as long as I'm saying what I truly feel and believe.

You've said that you're the best actor of your generation. Is that true?

There is talent out there but there's only a few of us who can really pull it off. You get by easily with no talent at all if you want to. You can be lazy and not bother. But I'm aware of trying to do the best I can. I work hard at being disciplined and I'm confident in my abilities. So what else should I say about lazy actors? That they're as good as me? I'm good. I can't help it.

Is it important for you to project an attitude?

Well, all I want is to enjoy my work and to be able to look back and say that I've got one of the coolest filmographies going. I'm proud of the films I've made. I'm proud that I turned down some because the scripts weren't right, even if everything else was. I don't want to waste me time producing something that's crap.

Last year, you starred in Judgment Night, which was something of a turkey. Are you still pleased with that?

I was advised by my agent to do a major film because it would help my career. I hadn't found a script I was interested in doing at the same time, so I took the part because I wanted to work. I also needed some money! OK, it wasn't challenging, but it paid the bills! It wasn't hard work either. I hardly had to try because it wasn't expected.

You always manage to look cool in photos. Is that a conscious thing?

I care very much about how I present myself visually. I'm really into photographs and I've made my own films. In photo's I'd hate to do something boring like actors do. The shots have to reflect my personality.

Do you think you are handsome?

I don't think about it like that. There have been times when I have not been happy about the way I look, but that's only human. I used to hate my lips for example. I thought they were pretty unattractive! Then people started telling me I had a good pout. So I don't feel so bad about it now.

So you're not completely confident. There is a softer side to Stephen Dorff...

I like to think so. Deep down, I'm a very sensitive guy. I don't mean to project a tough exterior all the time. I think you have to get very close to me before you start to seeing my vulnerable side.

Is there anyone special who has seen your soft side?

Yeah, there was someone very close, Courtney (Wagner). She will always be a part of my life, even though we're not as intimate as we used to be. You never forget what love is like. Doing the most trivial thing takes on a new meaning when you are doing it with your girlfriend. Even going shopping!

Are you happy being single?

Yeah, it's fine. I'm very busy - I wouldn't be able to devote myself to a relationship. If Courtney and I had to met later in life, we may have even married. But the times wasn't right. Who knows what the future holds?

Are you good at chatting up girls?

I'm usually confident but now and again I get thrown - it makes you realize you have to make some effort. I have been called "charming" a few times. I suppose I can be quite gentlemanly. That's not to say I don't try and flirt!

Isn't publicity hard on relationship?

Sometimes that made me angry. Courtney means a lot to me and a hell of a lot when we dated. Older people wrote that it was just puppy love, but it was more than that. Just because we were both 18 years old.

Do you do your own housework?

If I have to! One of the worst parts of this job is having to look smart in photo shoots all the time. I have to have my clothes looking good. I try to avoid my own ironing and get hotel staff to do it for me if I'm away from home. Otherwise, I have to do it myself and I'm too impatient and clumsy!