In Europe an actor is an artist. In Hollywood, if he isn’t working, he’s a bum.
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- A true priest is aware of the presence of the altar during every moment that he is conducting a service. It is exactly the same way that a true artist should react to the stage all the time he is in the theater. An actor who is incapable of this feeling will never be a true artist.
- Actors are loved because they are unoriginal. Actors stick to their script. The unoriginal man is loved by the mediocrity because this kind of artistic expression is something to which the merest five-eighth can climb.
- The actor searches vainly for the sound of a vanished tradition, and critic and audience follow suit. We have lost all sense of ritual and ceremony — whether it be connected with Christmas, birthdays or funerals — but the words remain with us and old impulses stir in the marrow. We feel we should have rituals, we should do something about getting them and we blame the artists for not finding them for us. So the artist sometimes attempts to find new rituals with only his imagination as his source: he imitates the outer form of ceremonies, pagan or baroque, unfortunately adding his own trapping — the result is rarely convincing. And after the years and years of weaker and waterier imitations we now find ourselves rejecting the very notion of a holy stage. It is not the fault of the holy that it has become a middle-class weapon to keep the children good.
- Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It’s a bum’s life. The principal benefit acting has afforded me is the money to pay for my psychoanalysis.
- The mug is a tool. My ace in the hole. To have looks is the bonus on top of what motivates me to be an actor. Not to realize they’re an asset would be counterproductive to the cause; they serve the common good.
- If I wasn’t an actor, I’d be a secret agent.