It is by a wise economy of nature that those who suffer without change, and whom no one can help, become uninteresting. Yet so it may happen that those who need sympathy the most often attract it the least.
When you’ve been raised in care, rap music isn’t just about guns and sexism. They’re talking about real things you can hang on to, problems of identity that you have sympathy with. It’s not just about the music, with rap: when I was in care, it meant a whole lot more than that.
I have to have a character worth caring about. I tend not to start writing books about people I don’t have a lot of sympathy for because I’m just going to be with them too long.
I’ve always thought of acting as more of an exercise in empathy, which is not to be confused with sympathy. You’re trying to get inside a certain emotional reality or motivational reality and try to figure out what that’s about so you can represent it.