There’s no way that I could be the president. You can’t have a pacifist in the White House… I’m an actor. This is what I do for a living.
I’ve been on jobs where there’s that one actor who is just a miserable, miserable no-good, dirty bastard, and it just turns the whole process sour.
A great actor is independent of the poet, because the supreme essence of feeling does not reside in prose or in verse, but in the accent with which it is delivered.
I never consciously said, ‘I want to be an actor.’ It sounds stupid, but it’s kind of like being a painter or something. You don’t say, ‘From today on I’m going to be a painter.’ It’s not something conscious – you’ve just been painting pictures all your life.
I was not able to understand how it could be right to pay an actor, or a singer, or an instrumentalist for entertaining the public and wrong to pay a ball player for doing exactly the same thing.
While we look to the dramatist to give romance to realism, we ask of the actor to give realism to romance.
I was a writer. I just wasn’t a very good one. I was lucky enough to have a playwriting teacher who told me that I’d be a better actor than I would a playwright.
There is less pressure as a character actor. It generally means that you will be acting for all of your life, which is my intention. It is not my intention to just be a rich and famous person, that would be pretty boring.
But I’m very happy to work within tight parameters, and when you know you have an actor for two days, and you have to get that work done in two days, that focuses the mind wonderfully.
I’m foremost an actor. I feel embarrassed being compared to the guys who really work at it. I fake it, I make believe I know all about it, which is what you’re supposed to do as an actor.
I care more about telly because it made me an actor and there’s a much more immediate response to TV. You can address the political or cultural fabric of your country.
I love working with children and this young boy, Thomas Sangster, is quite a remarkable young actor. He raises your game, you know. He certainly raised mine.
To be a good actor you have to be something like a criminal, to be willing to break the rules to strive for something new.
Some of these things I saw in foreign films – African films, Cuban films – long before I decided to really go on this course as an actor. I started to think about what values I saw in those films that I wanted to bring to my projects.
I find that the majority of the actors I’ve worked with are extremely sensitive people and very spontaneous people. That’s why I always say I’ll never date an actor, because they’re in love with you one day and the next day they’re not.
In my career as an actor, there is a catchphrase that Scofield always says often in regards to his brother, ‘Have a little faith.’ In my own career as an actor, there were times when I was the only one who believed in myself in the face of the odds.
I like working with an actor who doesn’t do the oneupmanship. One who has no trick and gives a true, honest performance.
From 1980 to 1990, I shot more films than any other actor in the Screen Actors Guild, apart from Gene Hackman.
I go to the movies a lot, and I regret when I see some actor that I used to like, to find them offering no more surprises.
All the dialogue on tape, and we’d play the tape in performance. Then I thought it’d be interesting if the actor’s repeated what they heard on the tape, but at a slower speed, so we’d get a web of language.
But really, for the most part – doing a prequel is great because you do have room to kind of free this character and how they got to where they are instead of being a slave to exactly what the previous actor did.
The worst thing that an actor can do is go into any project with a lack of respect for the material. You can have an opinion about it, but you have to respect yourself in doing it.
A good actor is someone who knows how to take the part and make it real and make it honest and be effective in it. If it’s in a funny movie and, as long as they are cast in an appropriate way, humor will come from it.
You can’t get an actor to do something that is beyond his range, so you have to be aware of the range of the actor and, if necessary, alter the part to suit the actor.
When an actor asks you to read his script, your heart sinks. The number of scripts I’ve been given by actors that are so unbelievably terrible!
When you’re a young actor you like to go for characters with a bit of flair, so in many films I ended up playing the weirdos. I can assure you I’m not a psycho or a criminal or a bully.
It makes me proud, and it makes me scared. More than anything, I want to be an actor and I want to keep working, and I think there’s a danger in being perceived as a poster boy for something.
I didn’t set out to make this kind of picture. It just came my way. But its been going on for me for 16 years now and its wonderful for an actor to work consistently. There seems to be an insatiable audience for this type of film.
My only job as an actor is to try and understand the character and, to the best of my ability, bring this character to life.
As I was coming up on the stage, there was one source that could make or break you, the New York Times. Inevitably there would be one actor singled out for a better review, or worse, than somebody else. The effect of that was cancerous, divisive.
Since it was too difficult to get into the Screen Actor’s Guild in New York, I moved to Miami in 1982 and started a successful career as a television commercial actress, obtaining my SAG card there.
That’s the only way to do it. Just like an actor. You can get a great performance if you do a bunch of takes and edit it. You find the moments and string them together.
I just did something on a show on UPN called “Girlfriends” that will be on television in February. I am actually a much better actor today than I was in 1996, believe it or not.
We had a very energetic floor manager and he was always jumping around all over the place. The director would send down messages like, Can you tell that actor to calm down?