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I worked with Lawrence Olivier some years ago. He was a great mentor.
I played Othello, but I didn't sit around thinking how Laurence Olivier did it when he played it. That wouldn't do me any good.
Laurence Olivier said in an interview once that when he plays a tragedy he always aims for the funny parts, and the other way around. Because in a comedy you look for what's serious. I think that's true. Sometimes things are really funny if you're absolutely earnest. If you're really serious, it's hilarious.
Don't you understand how dramatic it is to be a comic? To be a fool, to get people to laugh at this show-off? Milton Berle could take Laurence Olivier and stick him under the table if he wanted to. And so could I.
I'm better than Olivier.
But as I grew up as a child, falling in love with the theater and Shakespeare, my heroes were Sir Laurence Olivier and Sir John Gielgud.
I think my best work has been in France with great men. It's been my great fortune to work with really great men - with Olivier Assayas, Raoul Ruiz, Jacques Rivette. I am tutored by them.
I started being interested in acting when I heard the voices of Sir Laurence Olivier and Sir John Gielgud and Sir Alec Guinness. I've had the great privilege of working with Sir Derek Jacobi and Sir Anthony Hopkins. These are people who inspire the work that I do.
Acting is all about big hair and funny props... All the great actors knew it. Olivier knew it, Brando knew it.
Olivier was another case of a genius, who couldn't understand why anybody would have any trouble doing this, because for him it came so easily.
Yes, it's true, I've been called the Laurence Olivier of spoofs. I guess that would make Laurence Olivier the Leslie Nielsen of Shakespeare.
My dream as a youngster was to be like Olivier. To be a great stage actor. To be a great Shakespearean actor. To me that is the Olympics of acting.
I wanted to be Laurence Olivier, basically, to be a great classical actor, and also be able to do modern things.
If you watch Olivier's interviews, he has this reptilian tongue; it seems too big for his mouth. My pursuit of that became distracting, so I let it go. The thrill was finding the right pair of glasses.
I figure there are a few actors like Marlon Brando, George C. Scott and Laurence Olivier who have been touched by the hand of God. I'm in the next bunch.
Olivier said that drama is an affair of the heart, or it's nothing, and he was right.
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