Jeffrey Dean Morgan is finally about to be honest.
"The word 'collaboration' is thrown around all the time," he says of Hollywood. "It's a lie. I lie all the time and say how collaborative people are when they're not."
Morgan's moment of truth during this interview comes because the actor wants to communicate just how much he enjoyed working with Bruce Beresford on his latest movie, "Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding."
"Bruce is awesome," Morgan says. The 71-year-old Australian director's impressive body of work includes 1983's "Tender Mercies," 1989's "Driving Miss Daisy" and 1999's "Double Jeopardy" -- and he's still going strong. "We've all grown up watching his very different movies," Morgan says.
It's what attracted both him and co-star Chace Crawford, who answer questions with Morgan, to the offbeat romantic comedy.
"He understands our job as actors and that, believe it or not, is a rare quality in a director. Most directors know the camera but don't know how to talk to actors," Morgan reveals.
It puts me in mind of Alfred Hitchcock's famous (alleged) statement -- "actors are cattle."
"We are," Morgan says with a laugh. "There's no doubt about it."
Both actors made their names on television -- and are quick to express their gratitude to the medium.
"I owe any career I have to television. 'Grey's Anatomy' put me on the map," the 46-year-old Morgan says. After spending time focusing on film, he's returned to television with the Starz series "Magic City."
Thinking about the differences between the big and small screens leads Morgan to get real once again.
"I think television now, to be honest with you, has better writing and storytelling than most films," he says. "Studios are only doing these huge tent-pole, Spider-Man, superhero movies now. There's a whole film world that's not there anymore. There are few movies being done like 'Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding.' It doesn't fit people's business plan anymore."
Morgan admits that "sometimes you get sick of playing a character" -- though he's courteous enough not to name names. He wonders if his young co-star might be feeling that sort of exhaustion: "Gossip Girl" premiered in 2007 but will soon see its sixth and final season.
And that leads the 26-year-old Crawford to an amusingly honest revelation about the salacious show.
"It's given me everything. It really has," he says. "We get to live in Manhattan [N.Y.] and New York City in our early 20s and have the keys to the city, in a sense." The insanely attractive stars of the show have enjoyed being based in the city that never sleeps. But he calls it a "double-edged sword."
"It becomes a bubble. I know for me, it's always good to keep moving and challenging myself," he says. And, he notes, it's hard to keep a long-running series fresh.
"You can sleep with them only so many times -- every single person and their mom."
Kelly Jane Torrance is The Washington Examiner movie critic. Her reviews appear weekly, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.