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I think you can tell when someone is being dishonest as an actor.
I was already devouring literature and I was the ripe old age of 15 when I decided to be an actor. I just thought plays were the most fantastic way of expressing life. I thought I'd discovered Shakespeare - 'hey, there's a new guy in town, don't know if anyone's read him.' I was just excited about the whole thing, from day one.
I try to steal from the best. Suck it all in. 'Taxi Driver' is really a bible for film actors, a master class. A lot of emotional power, a lot of emotional depth but it's contained and you just see the tip of the iceberg.
I love TV now, and 'Modern Family,' but what draws me back to theater is that initial instinct of wanting to be a theater actor. I love the challenge of starting a play and not stopping until you finish. I love the immediacy of trusting your instincts.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
A producer is always behind the scenes, even more in the movies - nobody sees you. I didn't even meet most of the actors. When I worked on 'Top Gun,' I never met Tom Cruise. You were always in the background.
The more I find out about the dynamic and how it works, the more I realize how lucky I am to have ever got anything. Like... there was no need to put me in 'Cinderella Man' - there was no need. Why? Just get an American actor - it would've been cheaper, probably.
So many actors are lively-minded, creative people who just tread water in this awful way, waiting for the phone to ring and doing their hair for auditions. It feels like a bit of a dreamer's life - as opposed to a sensible ventriloquist's life.
I think that of musicals - especially the big, splashy ones - require an actor that's also part cheerleader, too, and that's really tough to do if it's not something that really grabs you and your heart's not in it.
John Lloyd Young
A writer can write in an attic, or on top of a bus. Or with a sharp stick in some wet cement. To act, an actor has to have words. A stage. a camera turning.
I have to phrase this perfectly: I'm just not convinced that the attention we give to creating what we think of as a character isn't actually quite often the means by which an actor overcomes his own terror of standing there onstage and creating a mask to hide behind.
I've been having these dinner parties at my house in L.A. for years that turn into charades parties. I'm so good at breaking stuff down into syllables and sounds. If I were to be doing anything else besides being an actor, I would be a professional charades player. I'm not sure if it exists, but if it didn't, I'll create it.
Jerry Weintraub, the producer, might be a pain in the ass, but he really knows how to treat his actors.
There's nothing I dislike more than being in a photo shoot where they say, 'Be yourself.' That's not why I became an actress. That's what I find so funny: that you become an actor, and all of a sudden, everyone wants to know about you. But I didn't become an actor so I could show you me.
As an actor, you always have to reinvent yourself or you end up in the gutter somewhere. It's my job to always change people's minds. I've known that for a long time and I've had to do it.
The difference between a movie star and a movie actor is this - a movie star will say, 'How can I change the script to suit me?' and a movie actor will say. 'How can I change me to suit the script?'
Acting has been gentrified. It's become part of the bourgeoisie. But there was a time when it would be a great scandal if you announced you were going to be an actor.
For most artists, you take what you have and who you are, and then you expand on it to make it more entertaining. Everyone knows actors aren't the same people that they play in movies, but people somehow expect musicians to be a certain way all the time!
Studying cows, pigs and chickens can help an actor develop his character. There are a lot of things I learned from animals. One was that they couldn't hiss or boo me.
No actor wants to choose - they just want all of the options available to them all the time; we tend to be pretty greedy.
But so much of being an actor isn't so great - the auditioning, the rejection, the financial insecurity.
I didn't understand how you could be an actor if you didn't also study philosophy and study political science, astronomy. And also just go out and live life and have experiences.
If I audition for a job that I don't get, to be honest with you, I'd rather my friend get it. I think there also has to be an acknowledgement of the fact that, as an actor, being in employment is not the norm.
As a producer, sitting on the other side of the desk, I have never once had an agent go out on a limb for his client and fight for him. I've never heard one say, 'No, just a minute! This is the actor you should use.' They will always say, 'You don't like him? I've got somebody else.' They're totally spineless.
I think of Ray Harryhausen's work - I knew his name before I knew any actor or director's names. His films had an impact on me very early on, probably even more than Disney. I think that's what made me interested in animation: His work.
People say you should do it this way, someone else suggests that, yes, there's financing, but maybe you should use this actor. And there are the threats, at the end - if you don't do it this way, you'll lose your box office; if you don't do it that way, you'll never get financed again... 35, 40 years of this, you get beat up.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
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