"It's quite hard to have your mom as a teacher - it's like, she's not necessarily a 'real teacher' for me. But she'd always teach me to really hear the music, and develop my ear, and to try and hear the harmonics of the piano."
"I hate politics. I like to write about it, but to get involved in it, to try and make a lot of ignorant people do what you want them to do, waste of time. Go and write a book. It's more important and it'll last longer."
"Baalbek is so beautiful. It is the heart of beauty in the Middle East - I want to embrace these people with my music. I will try so hard for them. Their president is a Christian, their prime minister is a Muslim. Music is for everyone."
"I look at American movies, the big muscles, and try to apply that to Chinese film-making."
"Despite the demands of this job, one of the things my wife and I try to do is to spend time together alone. And one of the things we really enjoy doing together is seeing a good movie."
"My childhood was influenced by the roles my father played in his movies. Whether Abraham Lincoln or Tom Joad in the 'Grapes of Wrath,' his characters communicated certain values which I try to carry with me to this day."
"I try to give people a different way of looking at their surroundings. That's art to me."
"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space."
"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up."
"Performers are so vulnerable. They're frightened of humiliation, sure their work will be crap. I try to make an environment where it's warm, where it's OK to fail - a kind of home, I suppose."