I was proud my father spoke Arabic fluently - his father sent him to learn Arabic from a sheikh - and we had Arab friends. His task of understanding the Arabs - not only politics but poetry - was very important; he took it as a vocation.
Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has, it may be inadvisable to draw it out... Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.
As an actor, the best way I can hope to promote greater social understanding is through my work. If I can communicate with people and touch their hearts through 'Dangal,' perhaps, eventually, I can help change their minds.
A visual understanding of great composition and how to use a camera and expensive lenses can be learned, but drive and a real hunger for making photos and telling stories... I don't think that part can be learned. You either have that inside, or you don't.
This field is not necessarily glamorous, nor does it often produce immediate results, but it seeks to increase our basic understanding of living processes.
I consider myself an inventor first and an entrepreneur second. In real life, my hero is Thomas Edison. He was a great inventor, but also an outstanding entrepreneur who was able to sell his inventions to the masses. He didn't just develop the light bulb; he invented the entire electric grid and power distribution system.
So I went in front of the judge, and I had my St. Jude prayer book in my pocket and my St. Jude medal. And I'm standing there and that judge said I was found guilty, so he sentenced me to what the law prescribed: one to 14 years.
Being an actor really, really strengthens me as a director. There's just a certain type of understanding that comes from having been there and knowing how much is really being asked of actors that helps me.
Marcus Samuelsson is a chef who inspires me everyday. He has such a deep understanding of flavors and techniques. His food is representative of the diverse world that we live in. What he has done in Harlem with Red Rooster is very special. Marcus is not just a chef, he's a food activist.
I hope I'm building a record of being a good team player and not just standing for my principles but being willing to work for them. I think when you do that and you work really hard, people take notice.