quotations about acting
Acting is the least mysterious of all crafts. Whenever we want something from somebody or when we want to hide something or pretend, we're acting. Most people do it all day long.
MARLON BRANDO, New York Times, Jul. 2, 2004
I find that's one of the great things about acting--you have the opportunity to stand in somebody else's shoes, whether it's someone with mental health problems or someone who lives and works in a small town. Each character faces a dilemma in her life, and as an actor you're able to step into that character's skin, look through her eyes. You leave transformed, a different person, because once you live a little bit of someone's life, it changes you.
SALLY FIELD, Ability Magazine, Feb. 2009
For an actress to be a success she must have the face of Venus, the brains of Minerva, the grace of Terpsichore, the memory of Macaulay, the figure of Juno, and the hide of a rhinoceros.
ETHEL BARRYMORE, attributed, The Theatre in the Fifties
I love acting because it's this space where dreams can be realized, fantasy comes to life, and there are no limitations on what's possible.
JESSICA ALBA, The Honest Life
The actor is an athlete of the heart.
ANTONIN ARTAUD, The Theatre and Its Double
I give myself to my parts as to a lover.
VANESSA REDGRAVE, Time Magazine, vol. 89, 1967
The art of acting consists in keeping people from coughing.
RALPH RICHARDSON, The Observer
An actor can practice anywhere any time with anybody, and most of them do.
ARCHIE GOODWIN, Death of a Dude
Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made.
Film is a time capsule. If I have a lack of dedication or focus, it's permanently there as a negative reminder.
ADRIEN BRODY, Men's Health, Dec. 2005
Acting is a marvelous profession ... If you can spend enough time playing other people, you don't have to think too much about your own character and motivations.
DEAN KOONTZ, Odd Hours
There are always going to be more actors than anybody can ever use.
EDWARD ALBEE, WNBC TV interview, Jan. 9, 1966
A defective voice will always preclude an artist from achieving the complete development of his art, however intelligent he may be.... The voice is an instrument which the artist must learn to use with suppleness and sureness, as if it were a limb.
SARAH BERNHARDT, The Art of the Theatre
Life's what's important. Walking, houses, family. Birth and pain and joy. Acting's just waiting for the custard pie.
KATHARINE HEPBURN, attributed, The Book of Poisonous Quotes
Good actors, never use the script unless it's amazing writing. All the good actors I've worked with, they all say whatever they want to say.
JESSICA ALBA, Elle Magazine, Dec. 2010
Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It's a bum's life. Quitting acting, that's the sign of maturity.
MARLON BRANDO, attributed, Halliwell's Filmgoer's and Video Viewer's Companion
For the theatre one needs long arms; it is better to have them too long than too short. An artiste with short arms can never, never make a fine gesture.
SARAH BERNHARDT, Memories of My Life
An actor's a guy, who if you ain't talking about him, ain't listening.
MARLON BRANDO, The Observer
I used to have a certain dislike of the audience, not as individual people, but as a giant body who was judging me. Of course, it wasn't really them judging me. It was me judging me. Once I got past that fear, it freed me up, not just when I was performing but in other parts of my life.
JULIE ANDREWS, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 2000
I remember a long time ago, a theater professor said that the definition of acting is "living believably under an imaginary set of circumstances." Living, not acting. You have to live. You are that guy.
JOHN KRASINSKI, "An Interview With John Krasinski and Margo Martindale of 'The Hollars'", popmatters, September 7, 2016