I feel like network didn't want me. I was doing all these pilots, and it never worked out. I was like, network doesn't like me. I'm going to go to cable where I'm appreciated. Then it was funny; I think I had to go to cable for network to appreciate me.
I tested for a couple of pilots, but they said I was too tall.
In theater, you go in-depth with your character, so coming to the States, it was inevitable to dig into the pilots I liked. I knew what characters I was going to be reading for, so I would dissect them and really get involved with them.
Many pilots of the time were the opinion that a fighter pilot in a closed cockpit was an impossible thing, because you should smell the enemy. You could smell them because of the oil they were burning.
And most of these pilots were lost during the first five flights.
One year, I did 10 or 11 pilots of TV shows that never went anywhere.
The only mystery in life is why the kamikaze pilots wore helmets.
Then there was the challenge to keep doing better and better, to fly the best test flight that anybody had ever flown. That led to my being recognized as one of the more experienced test pilots, and that led to the astronaut business.
Learning to fly an airplane taught me a way of thinking, an approach to problem-solving that was applicable and effective. Pilots are very methodical and meticulous, and artists tend not to be.
Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, and Silverchair are taking the simplest elements of Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam and melding them into one homogenous thing.