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I don't make much distinction between being a stand-up comic and acting Shakespeare - in fact, unless you're a good comedian, you're never going to be able to play Hamlet properly.
Most actors are either a shower of bloody scruffs or think they should dress like Hamlet off stage.
Every time one can write a self-deluded song, you are way ahead of the game, way ahead. Self-delusion is the basis of nearly all the great scenes in all the great plays, from 'Oedipus' to 'Hamlet.'
The trap in Hamlet is he's the most passive of Shakespeare's characters. He's not a Richard III, not out there taking a lot of action. It's a lot of asides and soliloquies where he's wrapped in angst, and that's not a very interesting character.
Hamlet is a little daunting.
Five billion people have played Hamlet. 'To be or not to be.' And how do you do that and find your way into your own journey, your own way of telling it?
Shakespeare is in many ways an African writer and 'Hamlet' would be seen as a very accurate historical saga about an African kingdom.
'Hamlet' is the best description of grief I've read because it dramatizes grief rather than merely describing it.
If I ever play Hamlet, it'll be in a dress!
Hamlet is an astonishing intelligence.
'Born to play? Hmmm. Probably Romeo... or Hamlet, I guess. Also, I'd be a great Alexander the Great.
What if Shakespeare had had a test audience for Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet?
I have an aunt who believed strongly that teaching kids that Shakespeare is 'hard' is wrong, so she handed me 'Hamlet' when I was in kindergarten to see what would happen. What happened was I did a book report on 'Hamlet' and caused quite a lot of trouble!
I'm just an entertainer. All I want to be is funny. I never aspired to play Hamlet.
Richard III is not likeable. Macbeth is not likeable. Hamlet is not likeable. And yet you can't take your eyes off them. I'm far more interested in that than I am in any sort of likeability.
I played Hamlet, I played Chekhov and Ibsen and all the classics.
Like, that was weird in 'Hamlet 2,' because I played myself there, fully myself, but then I realized, 'Oh, I'm not playing myself. I'm some weird version of myself.' So as an actress, you're always playing something, I don't even know who I am, how could I become me? I don't know what that is.
We want to do for 'Hamlet' what Baz Luhrmann did for 'Romeo and Juliet' in terms of like a really cool kind of re-imagining.
At the close of the day when the hamlet is still, and mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove, when naught but the torrent is heard on the hill, and naught but the nightingale's song in the grove.
I started to realise that it wasn't for me. Perhaps I didn't have to give my Hamlet before I died, that the world might be an OK place without my Hamlet, in fact.
I look forward to the day when indigenous actors can play Hamlet and Ophelia and not just Othello and Desdemona.
I'm not in the advertising business, but I think it would be very nice if people went to see the film Hamlet, because it was made with love and integrity.
I've played Hamlet and Coriolanus, Orlando in 'As You like It' and Ariel in 'Tempest,' among others.
Perhaps because my background is theatrical, I have a great affinity with the classics. Hamlet has always been a character of great interest to me and a character I would really love to play. Or a character in a Tennessee Williams play, maybe Tom in 'The Glass Menagerie.'
I could make thousands of dollars in Broadway musicals, but among the best experiences I had was doing 'Hamlet' in Milwaukee and a version of 'Cyrano' that my wife wrote for me on a bus-and-truck tour.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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