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In Shakespeare's world, characters cannot trust their senses. Is the ghost in Hamlet true and truthful, or is it a demon, tempting young Hamlet into murderous sin? Is Juliet dead or merely sleeping? Does Lear really stand at the edge of a great cliff? Or has the Fool deceived him to save his life?
I think you have to find the humanity in the character and then the deterioration is a part of the process - the journey of the character. It's like playing King Lear. You can start off as a nice old man who finishes up crazy.
I don't think of 'Macbeth' as the villain. I don't think of 'King Lear' as the villain. I don't think of 'Hamlet' as the villain. I don't think of 'Travis Bickle' as the villain.
Whenever I say I made a record in the garage, people just assume that I have, like, a Lear jet parked in there or something. But really there's old luggage, a couple of bikes. It's big enough to put one minivan in. That's it. No dartboard. I'm so not macho.
The good parts are the people who don't make do. They're the interesting people. Lear doesn't make do.
The actor is too prone to exaggerate his powers; he wants to play Hamlet when his appearance is more suitable to King Lear.
I used to think 'King Lear' was an analysis of insanity, but I don't really think it is. When Lear is supposed to be at his most insane, he is actually understanding the world for the first time.
I never understand when people say, 'Do you do comedy or tragedy?' I don't think they're very much different. They both have to be true, and there isn't a great play in the world that doesn't have funny parts to it - as 'Salesman' does, as 'King Lear' does. The whole idea is to reflect life in some way, which means surely you have to have both.
I guess if they ever do a remake of 'Sophie's Choice,' I could play the Meryl Streep part. I've got to work on my Polish accent. Maybe I'll be the definitive King Lear one day. You know, if they ever feel that King Lear should be more Jewy.
I've made a dog's breakfast of English history, geography, 'King Lear,' and the English language in general.
You have to get through the Hamlet hoop as a young actor. Your classical qualifications are based on the quality of your Hamlet. And then, as an older actor, you have to get through the Lear hoop. And I'm approaching the Lear hoop.
People talk about the difference between radio acting, TV acting and stage acting, but I think it's all the same. For instance, when I played Vultan in 'Flash Gordon,' I put as much energy into it as I would with 'King Lear' - it's all part of the same thing.
I think that if Shakespeare had had access to CGI, he would have used it. Imagine Lear conjuring the storm and the lightning.
We might not object to the statement that Lear deserved to suffer for his folly, selfishness and tyranny; but to assert that he deserved to suffer what he did suffer is to do violence not merely to language but to any healthy moral sense.
Andrew Coyle Bradley
I have three daughters and I find as a result I played King Lear almost without rehearsal.
There isn't a King Lear for women, or a Henry V, or a Richard III. You reach a level where you can handle that stuff technically and mentally, and it's not there.
As I get older and I get a few more years experience I become more like Dad, you know, King Lear.
Shakespeare wrote all there is that we need to know about dementia in 'King Lear.'
I've never been that guy who says, 'Ooh, I have to play King Lear'. First off, that'd be a disaster anyway. I tend to read something and see who's involved, and then know I want to be part of it. But I don't think I'm through with comedy. I still love to make people laugh.
When I turned 18, was the first time that I really started concentrating on politics. And I started doing so because I realized that in order to really create and generate change, it has to come from changing laws... so I started campaigning for Norman Lear's foundation, which was Declare Yourself.
I've played Lear three times, I would love to do it again.
David Ogden Stiers
I have no desire to play King Lear or Hamlet. I never had a grand ambition. I just followed my nose.
If you are playing King Lear you are the centre of attention anyway. You don't need to draw attention to yourself. It's all laid out for you.
'King Lear,' I've been seeing all my life. I mean, the great actors of my lifetime... to join their company, as it were, by playing a part that's challenged them, is one of the great joys of being an actor who does the classics.
I look at it like this: that if Shakespeare were alive today, he would have written two or three plays about the Kennedy family, and actors would traditionally play JFK like they Hamlet or King Lear. They just would. I mean, people have played JFK, and they'll play him long after I have.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leonardo da Vinci
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