Acting Quotes

I would be the worst acting coach ever, because I have no idea what I’m doing.

— Aaron Douglas

I think by eighth grade I knew I wanted to be an actor. I’d done church plays and stuff, but my first actual acting class was in eighth grade. I was obsessed with it.

— Aaron Paul

Every couple of years – no, that’s every couple of weeks – I think I’m going to give up acting.

— Aidan Gillen

The advice that I was always given when asking for advice about acting was that if I could imagine myself doing anything else, anything else at all, then go do that.

— Aja Naomi King

Over the years, I played with a couple of spectacular guitar players, and playing with them has made me play better than I knew how to play. I hope the same thing is true with acting.

— Alan Arkin

When I went to acting school, the kids that got the best grades were the kids that could cry on cue. But it didn’t really translate into careers for any of them, because the external is the easy part.

— Albert Brooks

I’ve always been in the middle of making my own movies, so taking acting jobs that take me away from that has been impossible.

— Albert Brooks

When I audition, I understand what it takes and the insecurities that come with it. If I do anything, I put actors at ease. I used to tell directors who weren’t actors, the best thing they could do was take an acting class for a couple of months. Just to understand.

— Albert Brooks

Steven Spielberg seems to have wanted to be a director from 13. He put his dog in a certain position and made him eat at four o’clock. He liked to direct it. But, to me, directing is tedious. Especially if you’re acting in it. And I’m inherently lazy.

— Albert Brooks

I like the acting. It’s how I started, and I sort of feel that if I don’t give it a little shot now, and I go back, then I’m pretty much done with it. I mean, at what age am I going to do it at? Although, when you see Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow doing it, I guess the answer is 80.

— Albert Brooks

For my first acting gig, I was a hand model for a Barbie commercial that was only going to air in Asia. And I was constantly trying to get my face in the shot.

— Alexandra Daddario

Singing is a way of releasing an emotion that you sometimes can’t portray when you’re acting. And music moves your soul, so music is the source of the most intense emotions you can feel. When you hear a song and you’re acting it’s incredible. But when you’re singing a song and you’re acting it’s even more incredible.

— Amanda Seyfried

I probably never would have been hired on Broadway had I not moved out to L.A. and pursued acting and film, which is sad, really.

— Amy Adams

Acting is my passion, but I like hosting shows, too.

— Amy Jackson

My take is that acting is acting. A performance is a performance. With performance capture, if you don’t get the performance on the day, you can’t enhance the performance.

— Andy Serkis

My first job when I got my equity card was acting in 14 plays back-to-back. Playing that many roles, you look for ways of differentiating the characters physically, which goes hand in hand with understanding them psychologically.

— Andy Serkis

When I first did ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ I was acting on the set with the other actors, but then I had to go back and repeat the process on my own to do the physical capture on a motion capture stage.

— Andy Serkis

A lot of actors on film sets… very often they’re not paying attention to the physical world around them. I think through studying art, I’ve always had that awareness and that’s something that I’ve wanted to bring in to go beyond acting… As a form of expression, they are intrinsically linked.

— Andy Serkis

I love acting and certainly won’t give it up, but it’s part of a bigger canvas for me now.

— Andy Serkis

I think acting really helps as a director. It’s just no question, because you totally understand the acting process.

— Andy Serkis

For me, I’ve never drawn a distinction between live-action acting and performance-capture acting. It is purely a technology.

— Andy Serkis

As long as you have the acting chops and the desire to get inside a character, you can play anything.

— Andy Serkis

You don’t really think about 3D when you’re acting. As a director, you do.

— Andy Serkis

I talk about race a lot. It’s been my work ever since I came out of acting school. But it’s true that in a way talking about race is a taboo. Because so many of our debates about race have to do not with race but with what we are willing to see, what we will not see and what we don’t want to see.

— Anna Deavere Smith

Acting is not about being famous, it’s about exploring the human soul.

— Annette Bening

Getting all dressed up and putting on fancy clothes – all of that’s a great thing, but oddly, it doesn’t really have a lot to do with acting most of the time.

— Annette Bening

I never felt fanboyish about acting, about actors, about movies. I’m a fanboy with music.

— Ansel Elgort

Though I’m getting a lot of acting offers, I’d like to enter only when I’m ready. My first love will always be music.

— Armaan Malik

Acting is the most demanding, painful job in the world.

— Arthur Smith

Because I came out as a singer, I took the time to get an acting coach.

— Aaliyah

Juilliard definitely emphasizes the theater. They don’t train – at all really – for film acting. It’s mostly process-oriented, pretty much for the stage.

— Adam Driver

I’m not an acting monk or anything. I’m not, like, the most well-adjusted actor.

— Adam Driver

Something I learned in the Marine Corps that I’ve applied to acting is, one, taking direction, and then working with a group of people to accomplish a mission and knowing your role within that team.

— Adam Driver

Through theater and acting school, I found a way to articulate myself.

— Adam Driver

I was studying to be an architect, I wasn’t plotting to join the movies. Films were just another career option. I took acting up with the same schoolgirl enthusiasm I had for examinations. Acting is a job and I take it very seriously.

— Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

What I always wanted to get seen as was as a good actor, when it was the acting I was doing. When I’m writing, I want to try to be seen as a good writer.

— Alan Alda

Hypocrisy is not a way of getting back to the moral high ground. Pretending you’re moral, saying your moral is not the same as acting morally.

— Alan Dershowitz

I’m very aware that when one is acting in the theater, you do become kind of animal about it. And you’re reliant on instincts rather than tact a lot of the time.

— Alan Rickman

On a television show, precise acting isn’t the order of the day.

— Alec Baldwin

I want the Israeli government to be made accountable for its behaviour to the Palestinians, and I want the people of the U.S. to cease acting as if they don’t understand what is going on.

— Alice Walker

In modeling, because you’re the center of attention, it builds up people’s egos. Sometimes people lose touch with reality. But that happens with acting, too.

— Andie MacDowell

Every time I try to retire, or even think of retiring from acting, my agent comes up with a script.

— Anthony Hopkins

I don’t know what acting is, but I enjoy it.

— Anthony Hopkins

The art of acting is not to act. Once you show them more, what you show them, in fact is bad acting.

— Anthony Hopkins

I always feel that art in general and acting in particular should make the audience a little uncomfortable, to slap them and wake them up.

— Antonio Banderas

All I have to say is basically if performing, singing, acting, and dancing is what you want to do, then you just have to do it – no matter where it is.

— Ariana Grande

Once I came to acting, it was almost a thing where there weren’t enough hours in the day to work on stuff because I was so passionate about it.

— Aaron Tveit

I never consciously got into comedy. It was sort of one of those things where I was a theater student, I was acting, I was doing comedy, I was doing dramatic stuff, so it’s been something that I’ve always done and enjoyed doing and had an instinct to be relatively good at.

— Aasif Mandvi

I got a little house in East L.A. and did the gardening. I was doing some acting here and there, doing my own thing… getting back to reality.

— Adam Ant

When I initially started acting, all I wanted to do was to be in one movie. That’s it. That was my goal.

— Adam Beach

I moved to Chicago and I did theater, and then I started writing and I stop acting and I did sketch. You know, I did all of the things that, if you were serious about doing television, don’t do.

— Allison Tolman

Most of the time you spend filming a show is time you spend without the cameras on, when you’re not acting.

— Allison Tolman

My whole background is character acting: weird costumes, fat suits, playing men, playing animals – I’ve never played anyone with whom there’s any overlapping Venn diagram.

— Allison Williams

One of my favourite parts of acting is the clothes that you get to wear, because it’s very important.

— Andrew Scott

Drama school, you know, I own an acting school, Actor Prepares.

— Anupam Kher

Every time I’ve crossed to a new level of film acting, the film has been a breakthrough project.

— Anupam Kher

I like acting, but I like filmmaking better. I went to film school. I want to make films.

— Art Alexakis

There’s not a day that I don’t work on vocals, have vocal coaches, go to acting classes, read books.

— Aaron Carter

My mom didn’t ever think I would take to acting because I was a very shy, very reserved kind of child. But obviously, something changed!

— Abigail Breslin

Well, my brother started acting before I did.

— Abigail Breslin

For modelling, you have to be such a strong person in a way – or seen to be a strong person, do you know what I mean? But in acting you have to get in touch with all the vulnerability that you carry.

— Agyness Deyn

Modelling is only about the look. In acting, it’s the feel that matters.

— Agyness Deyn

Earlier, I used to charge territories instead of my fees as an actor, but I realised it was better to keep the two apart. Now, I take my fees in cash, for acting, and keep the distribution thing separate.

— Ajay Devgan

Acting is what I love. I love being the chameleon, and you can’t do that if you have just one physical type.

— Alexander Ludwig

I’ve been acting for 25 years, living out of suitcases on theater tours or film locations.

— Alfred Molina

When I was a little kid, my parents would show me Marx Brothers’ films and westerns and stuff like that. That’s where all my desire to be an actor comes from and probably most of my understanding of acting comes from for sure.

— Alden Ehrenreich

I think I read films having grown up around the pre-production and post-production aspect of the filmmaking medium, a lot more than most young people who are in acting would have experienced. I do think about scripts in a different way. I can’t just read a script as an actor. I don’t know how to do that.

— Alice Englert

I was able to actually combine dance and acting, which was a dream come true.

— Alicia Vikander

Actors look for characters. If they read a well-written character, and if they think the director’s not an idiot, they’re going to sign up and do some acting.

— Andrew Dominik

I went to Brunel University and very much wanted to go on to do a PhD in management, but then my acting career started to take off. In those days when you switched on the box there were hardly any brown or black faces.

— Archie Panjabi

I was lucky enough, when I was younger, to have the chance to do as much as possible, and I found what I wanted to do. I did swimming, gymnastics, kickboxing and the one that took off more than the others was acting.

— Aaron Johnson

I mean, the acting school I went to, we did have a social experience, but you know, when it’s a bunch of actors, it’s everyone self-consciously having a social experience rather than just having a social experience.

— Adam Scott

Auditioning and actually acting on a set are two different things. When you audition, you’re in a room and you don’t have anything to play with and you don’t have anything physically in the room. Whereas on set, you have direction, you have costumes, and you have other actors to work with. It’s a completely different thing.

— Adelaide Kane

I was really into films when I was younger, but I feel like a bit of a phony sometimes – I started acting because I didn’t know what else to do. I filled in all these university application forms and honestly didn’t want to do any of the courses.

— Aidan Turner

I left the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin in 2004, and I did five years of theater after that.

— Aidan Turner

Knock wood, but I started acting professionally when I was 16, and I’ve always been able to support myself since then.

— Anthony Edwards

Well, what is acting but the study of human behavior? And that’s so fascinating to me.

— Amy Smart

I did my undergrad at Florida State, got a Bachelor’s, and then I got my Masters in Acting at NYU. So I’ve spent a lot of time in the classroom.

— Andre Holland

I studied acting in NYU’s graduate program, in which we covered everything from Ibsen and Chekov to August Wilson and David Mamet.

— Andre Holland

It’s just the acting side of things. It’s not like music, where you can go out there and be independent. It’s a bit more difficult to get out there on your own and be an actor. It takes time.

— Ashley Thomas

I started out doing the acting, and there was always an interest in music, and then the music just took off.

— Ashley Thomas

I had a chance to do acting again, and, I don’t know, this has always been my plan of what I wanted to do.

— Ashley Thomas

I don’t think I’d want to concentrate on just acting because I love music, and things are going really well, so I think I will always continue to make music.

— Ashley Thomas

I’m in a happier place because my dreams are coming true. I’m acting in feature films, and I’m travelling the world. Before, I was just broke.

— Ashley Thomas

I’m acting! And doing it for income! But it’s for something that I love, and that’s super rare.

— Ashton Sanders

I was so naive when I began acting, professionally.

— Alanna Ubach

Yes, I was actually an acting teacher for a while.

— Alanna Ubach

I’ve been acting since I was 7, and I always knew it was what I wanted to go into.

— Autumn Reeser

I had to get out of the Boston area, so I flipped a coin and said, ‘Heads – Miami, tails – California. I was in my mid-20s and came out here with no training. Acting wasn’t even in my mind.

— Alex Rocco

Acting was important, but it was not as important as getting an education, and I credit my parents with a lot of that.

— Alexander Gould

For me writing and acting all comes out of the same place, a compulsion to review and connect to something. For me they are more similar than different.

— Aleksa Palladino

I studied at Guildhall and did the acting course, but because I could sing a bit, I kept being cast in musicals.

— Alexander Hanson

For me, acting is play. It’s just play and it’s playing make believe really, really well.

— Anson Mount

I enjoyed acting growing up I did musical theater. I had a secret desire to be a television and movie actress, but it wasn’t something I admitted to myself that I wanted to do, I guess.

— Amanda Schull

A lot of girls ask for advice on how to get into acting, and I’m kind of the worst person to ask, because it just kind of fell in my lap… I was just in the right place at the right time.

— Alexis Bledel

Acting is magical. Change your look and your attitude, and you can be anyone.

— Alicia Witt

I’d love to do acting, but it’d definitely have to be comedy. I can’t do serious. It’s completely beyond me.

— Allan Carr

Using clothes to transform was a huge part of my childhood. But also, I’ve been acting forever, and wardrobe changes the way you feel, so it totally indicates the character you’re going to play.

— Allison Mack

When you’re acting, you’re a person. When you’re modeling, you’re a hanger.

— Analeigh Tipton

Initially, it was my dream to get into RADA. Then I got in. So it became my dream to show them I wasn’t half bad at acting.

— Andrew Buchan

I always used to pretend to be different characters – cowboys, that sort of thing. I used to think that the Indians lived over the mountains that I could see out of my bedroom. As I grew up, I started to understand that acting was actually a craft, and there was no question about it, that was exactly what I was going to do.

— Aneurin Barnard

I am acting at university, and I have really enjoyed doing student drama.

— Anna Popplewell

What I love is acting, and the technical stuff does tend to slow things down.

— Anna Popplewell

Acting is a total physical, emotional sensation.

— Armand Assante

It’s a blessing and a curse. But it’s not always the best situation to be in. As a profession, I don’t recommend acting at all.

— Armand Assante

I was acting for years before the band, so I would like to get into that again.

— Ashton Irwin

I do tend to like movies that challenge me professionally. That’s mostly on a smaller scale, when you have one or two or five actors, and it’s all about the acting and not the camera.

— Ayelet Zurer

I’m a geeky actor, in the way that I like the craft of acting.

— Alan Tudyk

Acting has always been a way for me to express myself, and show all my vulnerabilities and flaws through my characters.

— Alexia Fast

If you want to be an actor, you have to do it because you love acting, not because you want to be a celebrity.

— Alfonso Ribeiro

You know, I love acting.

— Anne Archer

I love acting… I really do. I love crawling into another character’s skin. That’s something that I’ve always, always, always, always wanted.

— Amanda Tapping

I wasn’t even going to do acting. I don’t know how it even happened, to be honest. I was going to go into psychology or something like that. Or business. And then some moment of madness took over and I decided, ‘Oh, I’m gonna go to London and try to be an actor.’

— Amrita Acharia

You can’t generalise, of course, but there is a school of American acting where there is a kind of pride in the number of takes you can do.

— Antonia Bird

In terms of acting, I’ve been acting from a very young age. I’ve always loved it and wanted to have a career in acting or something to do with it.

— April Pearson

Oh, yes – being interested in acting never changes. Acting is in your blood, and of course I’ll always be interested in it.

— Ariana Richards

I believe, and this is perhaps too nationalistic a view, that the American style of acting puts actors quickly in touch with each other, so that their continuous presence in a company, as in England, is not absolutely necessary.

— Arthur Penn

I’m no relation to Lillian or Dorothy Gish. Not even way back. But when I first became interested in acting, I wrote a letter to Lillian Gish. She wrote back, discouraging me from entering the business.

— Annabeth Gish

I’d started going to acting classes at 14, played ‘Medea’ at 15 and really wanted to be a classical actress.

— Barbra Streisand

I started going to acting school when I was 14, and I would always have my own take on things.

— Barbra Streisand

On March 12, 2004, acting attorney general James B. Comey and the Justice Department’s top leadership reached the brink of resignation over electronic surveillance orders that they believed to be illegal.

— Barton Gellman

The crisis in Europe has affected the U.S. economy by acting as a drag on our exports, weighing on business and consumer confidence, and pressuring U.S. financial markets and institutions.

— Ben Bernanke

I’ve always wanted to play a spy, because it is the ultimate acting exercise. You are never what you seem.

— Benedict Cumberbatch

Someone will always hate what I say. There’s always going to be somebody spitting blood about my wooden-faced, toffee-named, crappy acting.

— Benedict Cumberbatch

I did a lot of acting at school and university, then I went to drama school. It was quite a normal route.

— Benedict Cumberbatch

I can act. I’ve been acting for a long time, but like anything else, don’t nobody owe you nothing. You’ve go to pay your dues. You go from A to Z you don’t go from M to Z.

— Bernie Mac

You can survive tough situations and even turn them to your advantage by acting as if you are the person you want to be. When you act like that person, you can become that person. The hard parts are deciding whom you want to become, being willing to rehearse until you become that person, and forgiving yourself until you do.

— Bernie Siegel

What I loved about the acting class was that you got to think all day long about a person that wasn’t you, and figure out why they were sad and what they wanted, what they dreamed.

— Beth Henley

Without wonder and insight, acting is just a trade. With it, it becomes creation.

— Bette Davis

Being a professional wrestler surely prepares you for any acting role in that we have to act on live television, so there’s a lot of pressure put there.

— Bill Goldberg

I moved out to L.A. to be a filmmaker or director. I didn’t even think about doing comedy or even acting. I wanted to be like Paul Thomas Anderson or Wes Anderson, but I wasn’t going to a lot of comedy.

— Bill Hader

When you’re performing, you’re playing to the back row. With acting, you have to be more nuanced.

— Bill Hader

When you saw Jon Lovitz or Dana Carvey or Phil Hartman doing something, they were acting. It was real acting. Like, they were acting like that person. They weren’t like – it wasn’t even like they were really trying to go for a laugh, especially in Phil Hartman’s case.

— Bill Hader

I’m really not interested in acting as a facade, I’m interested in it as an emotional expression and as a transcendent experience for an individual. I find that a lot of people, a lot of young actors, haven’t gotten to the point where they’re comfortable being stripped down. They’re still interested in ornate jackets.

— Brie Larson

As much as I love acting, I just want to be a healthy person.

— Brie Larson

My first acting gig was a skit for Jay Leno on ‘The Tonight Show.’ It was this Barbie commercial where I got to pour mud all over Barbie dolls and watch the heads pop off. It was so exciting, a lot of fun.

— Brie Larson

There’s so much more to life than that, though I think that acting is fascinating because you can forget your own sorrow as you act and become somebody else.

— Beatrice Wood

You know, acting is very fascinating. But being an actress is not, because you become so concentrated on yourself.

— Beatrice Wood

After 2000 or so, I started to realize I wanted to be doing something else. I didn’t want to be in front of a camera. I was frustrated. I didn’t think I would stop acting, but I didn’t want to be seen.

— Ben Affleck

A friend of my mom’s was a casting director so, really as kind of a lark, I had a couple of acting jobs that had just enough exposure to give me the option to continue if I wanted to. I followed through with it.

— Ben Affleck

My movies are unadorned, they’re not particularly fancy, I think they’re kind of workmanlike in some ways, focusing on the writing and the acting.

— Ben Affleck

The camera does not like acting. The camera is only interested in filming behaviour. So you damn well learn your lines until you know them inside out, while standing on your head!

— Ben Kingsley

When you drop your guard in films, the acting process compensates. You get lazy and you start acting.

— Ben Kingsley

Fifteen years old, out in the world, acting was all I had.

— Ben Mendelsohn

Sean Penn, for his acting as well as his writing and directing. There are so many actors I respect, but his reach is so wide.

— Boyd Holbrook

I think they can co-exist. You don’t have to put one down for another. I’ve been bitten by the acting bug, and where it takes me, it won’t take away from the music.

— Brian McKnight

The hardest achievement in acting – in my opinion, anyway – is nailing a role that absolutely nobody else could have played. Pacino owned Michael Corleone… but DeNiro could have owned it as well. Who else, though, but Val Kilmer could have nailed Jim Morrison? Does anyone besides Will Ferrell pull off Ron Burgundy?

— Bill Simmons

I’ve never formally trained in acting, so I’m very instinctual and visceral with decisions.

— Brittany Murphy

Acting, I started when I was six and a half years-old, on Broadway with Kurt Weill.

— Billy Dee Williams

What I do is not go outside. My hobby is that I write, so if I’m not acting or being a mom, I’m writing.

— Bryce Dallas Howard

I’ve always been, with acting, very hesitant to get myself into situations where I would be accused of nepotism.

— Bryce Dallas Howard

I started as an actor, then became a theater director. I loved acting but didn’t feel as confident as I needed to be, so I started directing theater then I played in some movies, and then I felt the need to do my own stuff.

— Baltasar Kormakur

I don’t see my dancing or acting as two separate things. I don’t define them separately, so I can’t say one has helped the other, It’s all the same thing. More than anything I love being on stage and performing.

— Bebe Neuwirth

For me personally, I’m mostly focused on writing and acting right now.

— Ben Savage

All those little acting rules you get, one of the interesting ones is, ‘Play the opposite. Don’t play ‘victim.’

— Ben Schnetzer

I can’t say that I haven’t done some bad acting in my time. I have. Usually that involves what we actors call ‘indicating,’ when you twirl your mustache.

— Billy Campbell

That’s what I always enjoyed about acting, the real adrenalin rush. My heart – still before I go on stage – crashing out of my chest. That’s thrilling to me.

— Billy Crudup

I always think that a director who knows about the technical side, but cares about the acting performances and casting as well, is ahead of the game.

— Bob Balaban

So I think it was to Bryan’s credit that he was able to let go of some of those things because you create these scenes and you think you become creative, even I, acting things, you become very creatively taken by it.

— Brandon Routh

I loved teaching. And I always used to say that acting was just something I did purely on my own terms, and that if I had to make a living from it there would be too much pressure.

— Brendan Gleeson

Every year I try and challenge myself more and more, whether it be acting or everything I do. I just want to try and be better than the year before.

— Brett Dier

I recommend doing some sort of acting class, something that can eventually get you in front of an agent or a manager, and practice is very important.

— Bridgit Mendler

I did this class when I first moved to California. It was a ‘Kids on Camera’ class up in the Bay Area. That was good for just getting me excited in acting and everything. Then once I started working down L.A., I just stuck to my acting coach, and she helps me prepare with auditions and that sort of thing.

— Bridgit Mendler

Did Anthony Hopkins really have to be a serial killer to be in ‘Silence of the Lambs?,’ I don’t think so, no. It’s called acting, people.

— Bryan Batt

What do I love about acting? I love traveling, meeting new people, exploring and just doing what I love.

— Bailee Madison

When I was probably 5 or 6, my mother put me into an acting, singing, and dancing class.

— Beau Mirchoff

I don’t feel like I properly started acting until I did my first play, ‘Tusk, Tusk.’

— Bel Powley

The difference between the extras here and in France is the French extras read books. Actually, they hide the book and pretend that they’re acting. Here, you can see everybody wants his break.

— Berenice Bejo

I came to musical theatre from straight acting, and a lot of my friends have a real prejudice about musical theatre – one I probably shared.

— Bertie Carvel

Still, it’s tough trying to combine my acting career with my college career.

— Beverley Mitchell

Acting was always there, it’s true. But for a long time, in my teenage years, I wasn’t sure about it – not because I didn’t like it, but I didn’t want people to think I hadn’t earned it.

— Bill Skarsgard

I went to NYU, and my parents had a rule that I needed to major in something other than acting if I wanted to pursue acting after college.

— Billie Lourd

When I first started acting, everyone in my family did not want me to act.

— Billie Lourd

I really like acting but, just now, the more I read a script I find myself thinking I’d like to direct rather than act.

— Billy Boyd

I’ve never won an award for anything, and I think it’s weird. I mean, that’s really cool but it’s strange to think you could get an award for acting. I always thought that was strange.

— Bobby Cannavale

In acting, you can always grow and get better – even if you think you’re at your limit.

— Benjamin Stockham

My theory is that everything an actor does, from the way he looks at his watch to the way he moves across the stage, is in the service of advancing a story, and in that sense, it’s all writing. In that sense we, while acting, write.

— Bernard Sahlins

I still don’t know what I’m going to be. I love acting. I would love to be an English teacher. I would love to be a housewife and have a chateau in the South of France, I would love to be a singer that travels to cafes around different towns.

— Bethany Joy Lenz

I’m not an outstanding personality, and I’m certainly no beauty. Acting ability is all I’ve got to trade on.

— Betty Field

Fortunately, I never had to do the waiter thing. When I got out of college, I immediately started to teach acting. One of the first jobs I had was in a federally-funded program where I taught drama to young people.

— Bill Nunn

In Miami, I was studying improv as well as acting. Improv is a great tool to have, just for the comedic timing that you get. When I moved to L.A., I started taking classes with The Groundlings, and I loved it. I’m definitely in love with improv and comedy.

— Blake Jenner

I grew up in Bellport, Long Island where I attended Gateway Acting School and met Robin Allan. She was the school’s director who took me under her wing and was the one who told me that I could do this for real.

— Brendan Dooling

I was studying acting, going to UCLA, selling real estate on the weekends.

— Burt Ward

Acting is something different to everybody. I just know that if you watch an actor or actress getting better and better, I think that’s them just understanding themselves better and better.

— Cameron Diaz

You’re much better off creating positive rewards, complimenting people for acting correctly, rather than punishing them when they act incorrectly.

— Charles Duhigg

Being at the mercy of the acting profession, in the early days of one’s career, is really brutal and feels like you have no control over your life, at all.

— Charlie Hunnam

You can act, or you can’t. I’m sure a lot of people who are serious about acting would disagree, but I’m not really worried about them.

— Chelsea Handler

If I’m acting at all, it’s going to be under Marvel contract, or I’m going to be directing. I can’t see myself pursuing acting strictly outside of what I’m contractually obligated to do.

— Chris Evans

As an actor, acting is like playing a sport. You do this thing that’s intangible, and while it’s happening, it’s great. But then when it’s done, there’s really no tangible product. Someone else is capturing it and turning it into something tangible.

— Chris Evans

If I wasn’t acting or doing stand-up, I would be in animation. Or if I had the discipline I might studies physics.

— Chris Hardwick

I still assume that, any day, I’m going to be exposed as a fraud. That, like I once heard Gene Hackman say, the acting police are going to burst in and take away my card.

— Chris Pine

I will always do stand-up, even if my acting career takes off. Stand-up is my life.

— Chris Tucker

Georgia was a great place to live, but I wanted to get out because I knew the opportunities for what I was doing – stand-up comedy and eventually acting – were in Los Angeles.

— Chris Tucker

I was in musical theater when I first started, so there was always both acting and singing. But as far as getting a record deal, that took time. The majority of that time, I was acting.

— Christina Milian

I make preparations both to live and to die every day, but with the emphasis on not dying, and on acting as if I was going to carry on living.

— Christopher Hitchens

The minute I start to talk about acting, I realize that I can’t. You know, it’s an abstract thing, a little bit mysterious even if you do it for a living.

— Christopher Walken

Acting is a humiliating job, from start to finish.

— Claire Danes

When you really get it right in acting, it’s an act of empathy. You feel less distant from others, and that is really exciting.

— Claire Danes

I guess I stopped acting when I was 18 and didn’t pick it up again until I was 21. That wasn’t the plan, though. When I first started at Yale, the plan was to do a movie each summer.

— Claire Danes

The reason I got into acting was not to explore myself. I was a reader, I didn’t care about acting. I got into it in college, but I had no interest really in that, in getting up in front of anybody.

— Campbell Scott

I have done so much: modeling, acting, singing, the calendar, the lingerie line, and there have been times where I have wanted to give up but I went for it.

— Caprice Bourret

When I started acting, there were parts in English that I thought I just had to try it out and go to another country. I did a film in Ireland. It was my first film abroad.

— Carice van Houten

I don’t do method acting. If I play a farmer, I’m not gonna spend 3 weeks on a chicken farm. That’s a bit too much for me.

— Carice van Houten

I think substitution is a huge part of acting, but I don’t personalise my work that much.

— Charlize Theron

I get asked all the time if I want to do more dramatic acting, and I really doubt that dramatic actors get asked if they want to do more comedies. I don’t really know why that is.

— Chris O’Dowd

Everything, I think, about acting is based on imagination.

— Christina Ricci

When I’m acting in a film that I’m not producing, I stay to myself.

— Christina Ricci

I don’t think I would ever quit acting, but there are other things I am interested in. I wanted to be an architect, and I wish I knew more about landscaping.

— Courteney Cox

You know, I don’t support esoteric approaches to acting.

— Christoph Waltz

For a while, I couldn’t decide whether or not I should pursue singing in the opera or acting. And I’m glad that I chose the latter because I wasn’t a very good singer.

— Christoph Waltz

My passion is more specific, in the sense that I’ve always liked doing comedy. I’ve always liked doing music. I like acting. And apparently, you need those things in movies.

— Christopher Guest

Acting is still, of course, what I love to do most. The beauty of it is that by changing characters, it never gets boring.

— Christopher Lambert

I didn’t get into acting to be a public service announcer or an advocate and yet, by virtue of this show and how we handle the subject matter that we’ve been given, that’s kind of how it’s evolved in certain ways.

— Christopher Meloni

I took acting classes in college, and once I graduated, I decided to give acting a shot when I couldn’t really think of anything else to do. It took me a couple of years to get an agent, and my first big break was The Fanelli Boys, which was a sitcom on NBC. Then I did a few television movies.

— Christopher Meloni

Heading out to L.A., doing this acting thing. You can’t rest on your laurels out there. You finish a film, you don’t know how it’s going to do. You’re talking about that next job, usually.

— Corey Hawkins

I’m attached to my land in Pantelleria as if I’d inherited it. Acting is my job, Pantelleria is my home.

— Carole Bouquet

I’ve never felt terribly attached to acting because I always feel like the world is really big and really interesting, and there are a lot of places that I can put my energy and be fulfilled.

— Carrie Coon

I grew up in Georgia, and I started acting in plays when I was like eight years old, and I always memorized everyone’s parts, not just my own, and I always memorized everyone’s blocking. Whenever anyone wasn’t there, I would always jump in. I was very hands-on.

— Carrie Preston

Acting’s all about stepping out of the box, so I don’t want to go to work every day and play Cassie Scerbo at all.

— Cassie Scerbo

I’m a bit of a fraud, really, as I didn’t study acting at a drama school.

— Celia Imrie

Sometimes when you’re acting, you only need a little bit of something to sort of channel or, you know, transport into a place.

— Chadwick Boseman

I started out as a writer and a director. I started acting because I wanted to know how to relate to the actors. When people ask me what I do, I don’t really say that I’m an actor, because actors often wait for someone to give them roles.

— Chadwick Boseman

If acting doesn’t work out I’d love to produce, direct, or write.

— Chloe Grace Moretz

A live performance is the same no matter what genre it is. Wrestling, rock ‘n roll, hosting, acting – it’s the same thing.

— Chris Jericho

I owe my whole acting career to the fact that I’m a singer. I went out to Los Angeles and auditioned for a TV show called ‘Fame L.A.’ The original role was for a comedian, but they said I wasn’t very funny, so they asked me, ‘What else can you do?’ So I played a singer.

— Christian Kane

I didn’t go to film school, I went to acting school.

— Charles S. Dutton

Acting is the easiest money you’ll ever make in your life, and directing is probably the hardest money.

— Charles S. Dutton

But ‘Hey Dude’ was shot in Arizona, and that took me to the West Coast. We did 65 episodes. It was not a show that a ton of people saw, so it was like doing acting classes and getting paid for it. At that point I had the acting bug. So I went to L.A. to give it a try and never left.

— Christine Taylor

Hey Dude’ was shot in Arizona, and that took me to the West Coast. We did 65 episodes. It was not a show that a ton of people saw, so it was like doing acting classes and getting paid for it. At that point I had the acting bug. So I went to L.A. to give it a try and never left.

— Christine Taylor

For all the acting you can do, the actual soul of someone does somehow permeate through their work.

— Ciaran Hinds

When you’re modeling you’re actually acting for the camera and the photographer. It’s more fun, too because there are no lines to memorize.

— Cindy Margolis

Well, acting was just in me and I tried to avoid it. I didn’t want to do what my parents did, you know?

— Corbin Bernsen

Acting is all about timing. I mean, who has better timing than the MCs?

— Coolio

Hollywood was a detour, although my mother was an aristocrat from Tokyo who ran away to join the theatre, so acting is in my genes.

— Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

In LA, too many people want to go the quickest route from A to B. Method acting offers them that.

— Corin Nemec

I started improvisation at age nine, and I loved it so much I stuck with it. As a by-product, acting was just something I was lucky enough to fall into.

— Cassie Steele

You have to learn to draw the same emotion you had when you wrote a song every time you perform it. Acting is the same way: You have to find those emotions and bring them to the surface, and then put them back when you’re done.

— Crystal Bowersox

Acting is very personal. I don’t want to be like anybody else. There are positions I would like to be in – like Meryl Streep’s, for instance.

— Catherine Mary Stewart

I love acting, and ultimately all my characters are very different, and each character I love in a different way.

— Catherine Mary Stewart

I would rather do a play because it’s instantaneous. You go on the stage, and you know whether it’s happening or not. Somebody asked me ‘What is acting?’ And I said, ‘Acting is listening.’ And if you ain’t listening, nobody’s listening.

— Charles Durning

Acting is ephemeral. You can’t hang it on a wall. You can’t throw it off. And you can’t bring it out of a closet. It’s there one night and it’s gone the next, at least with stage acting anyhow.

— Charles Durning

I think I’ve done 200 plays and 125 movies, so I’ve been very lucky to have made a living at acting.

— Charles Durning

I think with acting, since I became an actor… I, as a person, have become more confident and I have really come out of my shell somewhat… and back to myself, you know.

— Charlie Bewley

For lack of a better word, acting is therapeutic. You really are breaking down barriers, exorcising demons and finding more out about yourself.

— Charlie Bewley

I want to direct films, ultimately. Hopefully I’ll have a fantastic career in acting and then go on to do that. That’s my dream that’s the ultimate goal.

— Charlie Rowe

After the ‘Golden Compass,’ I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get another acting job.

— Charlie Rowe

I did do a local musical, ‘Bubblin’ Brown Sugar.’ I played the young Sweet Georgia Brown. I was 13 years old. After that, I just decided that I had to pick one thing, acting or singing, and concentrate on that.

— CeCe Peniston

I am greatly impressed with the BBC’s TV adaption of Charles Dickens’ ‘Bleak House.’ The costumes, the sets, the acting and the screenplay are all superb. Every episode is riveting.

— Cecilia Dart-Thornton

I was going to be in an acting school in London, and then I promptly got thrown out of an acting school in London. Well, it wasn’t that I got thrown out as much as I was not invited back, which is the same thing, just more polite.

— Chris Eigeman

After my first movie was released, my wife and I went Bouley. A fantastic meal. The whole thing, getting dressed up, acting very adult-y, a lot of fun.

— Chris Eigeman

When I was first starting out, if you were acting on television, it was a real stigma.

— Christine Lahti

I sang a lot in college – I was in a choral group in college. But, then, when I moved to New York, I really just concentrated on acting.

— Callie Thorne

Actually ninety-nine percent of my acting has nothing to do sci-fi or fantasy, I consider it a good part of my acting, and enjoy the roles I play.

— Claudia Christian

I do create songs and play the guitar. But my focus is definitely on acting. I think, if there’s going to be singing involved in my career, it would probably be in musical theater.

— Condola Rashad

It is precisely as though I were possessed by some other spirit when I enter on a new task of acting, as though something within me presses a switch and my own consciousness merges into some other, greater, more vital being.

— Conrad Veidt

I started working on stage as a dancer when I was four by 14 or 15, I knew I wanted to study the craft of acting.

— Cush Jumbo

Before I became an actress, I was a cellist. I’ve been playing since I was 14, was in a lot of bands, and acting was more of a hobby.

— Callie Hernandez

Acting and recording an album at the same time, that’s not my sport. I could write a movie when my attention was paid to that. But I’m good at one thing at a time.

— Chuck Inglish

What I learned about acting is that you become the character, like I became ‘Timothy Green.’

— CJ Adams

When I was in college, the first thing we did in acting class was to observe an animal at the zoo and become that animal. So I picked a wallaby.

— Claire Coffee

Acting is a whole boatload of fun, but I prefer to do it on my own terms.

— Clara Mamet

I had worked in this New York theatre company for my first eight or nine years out of college, acting and directing there, and I’d begun to write a little bit.

— Clark Gregg

We made one film called Thy Neighbor’s Wife in which I got flogged at the public whipping post for adultery. I did my best acting in that film, I guess.

— Cleo Moore

Well, acting has been a dream of mine since I can remember being in the movies and acting, having those experiences.

— Chris Klein

Through acting and film, I felt that my life had a sense to it. I felt I had a mission.

— Cecilia Roth

My sights have always been on acting, on the creative process, never the lifestyle. Growing up in Northern Ireland when I did, everything was against you if you wanted to do something like that. But I was determined.

— Colin Morgan

It’s weird to be recognised anywhere. The cost of living your dream, acting, is being recognised.

— Colin Morgan

I was singing before I started acting. As a kid, I would always perform at the big family parties.

— Chrissie Fit

I sang throughout school, and it was always my passion. For whatever reason, acting took the front seat, but all of the projects that I’ve been doing seem to have some sort of musical element to them.

— Chrissie Fit

Originally I studied as a musician, a classical pianist. That was my career before I took up acting in my late 20s.

— Christian McKay

When I was younger, all I wanted to do was be a singer, and then I got into a great acting class in New York and became obsessed with that.

— Chaley Rose

In acting, you can’t do things for the money. You’ve got to do a project because you like it.

— Charity Shea

I don’t know if I’m going to do any more acting. It’s a great job, you know? Make a movie? Why not?

— Colleen Haskell

There’s a Zen to acting, by being in the moment. That’s where the power is.

— Christine Ebersole

In 1998, the acting roles suddenly bottomed out. I was no longer getting scripts even my agent stopped calling. When I finally got him on the phone to ask him what was going on, he paused, then said: ‘Well, Christine, you’re 45.’ I got rid of him.

— Christine Ebersole

Since I also act, sometimes I get over my resentment and commit to the pitch as an acting job.

— Christopher Durang

I love acting and really taking on another person, another life.

— Christopher Gorham

I’m not done with acting but do find my hands full with my current responsibilities. Soon, sometime soon.

— Christopher Knight

In Asia, I didn’t feel like I was Chloe. I felt like I was acting like someone in Asia. I was acting like Chloe Wang, a pop star, that was like a character for me, if anything.

— Chloe Bennet

For basically two years, I took acting classes and found my own stride in L.A.

— Chloe Bennet

Once I started doing stand-up, everything fell into place. That was when I started acting more I felt like I’d found my place in the business.

— Chris D’Elia

Angus’ was my first real film, but I had been acting for about 3 threes before that as well.

— Chris Owen

One of the first exercises we did in acting class my freshman year was to stand in two rows, two lines facing each other as a class, and just make sounds and move in some completely nonsensical way out into the center of the room. Sort of make an idiot out of yourself, essentially, but to be okay with that.

— Chris Parnell

Musical theater is often seen as a lesser form of acting, although I don’t see it that way.

— Christian Borle

The thing that attracted me to acting the most was I always felt quite unsure or insecure as a kid, and for some reason, when I got to perform these lines and characters, I felt safe. There was this confidence and excitement from performing that I loved.

— Christie Laing

Of course, when I say that human nature is gentleness, it is not 100 percent so. Every human being has that nature, but there are many people acting against their nature, being false.

— Dalai Lama

When I’m not acting, I’m writing, building an inventory of scripts. Even if they sit on the shelf, I just keep stacking them up.

— Dan Aykroyd

Dane DeHaan, certainly, is kind of the best friend I’ve made through acting, in terms of another actor. He’s fantastic.

— Daniel Radcliffe

I mean, there’s chemistry in life and there’s acting chemistry. I’m not saying they’re the same thing, but they’re as mysterious.

— David Duchovny

I think people are always trying to demystify whatever acting is, so they want to know what your method is.

— David Duchovny

You don’t know when you’re being watched. That’s one of the weird things about celebrity. It’s my least favorite part of acting, celebrity.

— Denzel Washington

I like acting. I really like acting. The career, it can keep you interested. With ‘Entourage,’ the characters are living a lifestyle that is kind of troubling. But the challenge is to make Shauna a person.

— Debi Mazar

I studied acting in school and then, of course, couldn’t get an acting job.

— Denis Leary

If a critic doesn’t think I can act, it’s because I’m not acting. That’s me – and that’s the way I act.

— Donna Brazile

I enjoy politics, but if I had a third career – and I’ve had multiple careers – my third act would be acting.

— Donna Brazile

When I’m onstage, I’m acting.

— Don Rickles

When I’m acting, I just come up with people I’ve known, and I stick with it.

— Dove Cameron

Going back to Georgiana Drew and John Drew, and my great-grandfather Maurice Barrymore, and it was such a sort of circus of odd, interesting people that loved acting.

— Drew Barrymore

Growing up, I was on film sets occasionally, when my dad was acting, so I got to run around and do odd jobs on films like ‘Labyrinth’ and others… I seemed destined to make films.

— Duncan Jones

I have an immense amount of respect for acting. I’ve always loved movies and was always fascinated by movie-making. But to become an actor, I wanted to commit myself.

— Dwayne Johnson

Acting is a talent, but I like to see the whole picture.

— D’Brickashaw Ferguson

Acting can be a narrow and isolated experience, because you only examine your particular part.

— Damian Lewis

Just because we’re on schedule is no reason to shoot bad acting. Someone once said to me, ‘You’re inconsiderate.’ And I said, ‘Inconsiderate? Bad acting is the ultimate inconsideration.’ It’s a collective slap to a million faces at the same time.

— Debra Winger

I’ve been acting for 27 years, and anonymity has always been a part of what I do. Of course you get recognised every now and again, but ‘Homeland’ pushed me into a completely different strata, and that took me by surprise.

— David Harewood

I’ve done a little directing, but I love acting more.

— Danica McKellar

Acting is my first love, and that’s my main career, it really is.

— Danica McKellar

I do enjoy acting, but it is such a game. So for that reason, I don’t think I’ll ever leave London.

— David Harewood

When I first started out acting, I didn’t have anything to lose. I had another career. If I fell on my face, I could say, ‘I’ll see ya,’ and go back to working.

— Dennis Farina

By the end of an intense four years at UCLA, I had co-authored a new math proof, which the media, in fact, loved. As it turned out, math itself blazed my entry back into the spotlight and consequently into wonderful acting jobs like ‘The West Wing’ and others. You just never know, do you?

— Danica McKellar

I’m one of a generation brought up on television whose acting is more ‘naturalistic’, whereas with some of the older generation it’s more heightened. But I think there’s room for both styles.

— David Oyelowo

I was going to say that writing is about disclosure and acting is about obfuscation, but that’s such a little lie. Both of them are about obfuscation and masking oneself.

— David Rakoff

With modeling, you pose. You want to look your best all the time. With acting, you have to be aware of the camera, but the more you show your imperfections, the better you’re going to be.

— Diane Kruger

Yeah, to me, acting is very therapeutic. I get out a lot of anger and frustration.

— Diane Kruger

Yeah, I’ve only been acting since I was 18 out of high school.

— Dylan O’Brien

I have a theory about that, if you have to say something, if you have encourage for one second a prospective acting student – he should not go in to acting.

— Dabney Coleman

The next night I got on an airplane, and flew to New York and looked into acting schools. Four or five acting schools. One of which was the Neighborhood Playhouse, which I started at six months there after.

— Dabney Coleman

But it is a hard, it’s a hard profession teaching acting.

— Dabney Coleman

But no, I love acting, it’s a wonderful job.

— Donald Sutherland

I’ve made a kind of pact with myself where I said, It doesn’t matter what it is as long as I’m acting.

— Dan Castellaneta

I always tell younger filmmakers, it’s not just about the acting or the art itself. It’s about how big of an audience watches your film.

— Donnie Yen

A lot of people don’t realize, when you are acting in a martial arts film, you’re not just performing martial arts. You’re not just performing martial arts. You’re actually acting as much as any other actor.

— Donnie Yen

Comedy is far more difficult, as it involves improvisation and impromptu acting, and as an actor, that came as a welcome break for me.

— Divyanka Tripathi

It feels like as you get a bit older, you’ve worked out the things that are good for your life apart from with acting.

— Dolly Wells

Television is face acting, and film is eye acting.

— Dominic Monaghan

You’re in this constant state of flux and transition, as if you had jet lag all the time. The acting part of it is easy. It’s all the other things that come with it that are a bit difficult.

— Don Johnson

It’s the weirdest thing. When you go into acting, you expect to be a huge star and to be recognized… It did happen, but not in the way you expect it to… In L.A., I’m just another character actor.

— Dan Castellaneta

I love acting, but music is so much more rewarding because it’s more personal.

— Drake Bell

I think people are always like, ‘She’s a model-turned-actress.’ And I don’t want to turn actress. I want to do both. I wouldn’t have built the confidence to do acting if I didn’t model.

— Dree Hemingway

Yes, I did try acting when I was in high school and I was terrible at it. So I definitely have had the experience of being bad at artistic endeavor.

— Dana Spiotta

Also, in my acting, I feel very much like a storyteller, exploring the flaws of the characters that I interpret. I look for the imperfections, and I love a character that is just so flawed.

— Danny Huston

You know, the great thing about acting or, indeed, filmmaking in general, is that we’re all given a reason to do research. You kind of have to, really, if you want to know what you’re doing, but it opens up this whole new understanding.

— Danny Huston

If I could make millions of dollars being a softball player, I would quit acting in a second.

— Danny Masterson

My first acting lessons were Shakespeare. The first time I ever started working with a coach was doing scenes from ‘Measure for Measure,’ which were tough dramatic scenes. And then ‘Taming of the Shrew,’ which required comedic timing. And that’s the kind of stuff I love.

— Dave Bautista

Honestly, I don’t aspire to be a huge movie star. I really just fell in love with acting… Everything I do on-screen is very subtle.

— Dave Bautista

Evening Shade’ was such an eye-opening experience. I was 19 when I went on that show. I had barely had an acting class. So as Burt Reynolds continued to bring me back for the next three years, I learned so much from him and all the other legends that were on the show.

— David A. R. White

In England, I’ve had a more balanced career directing and acting. It can be quite difficult to juggle the two careers.

— Douglas Hodge

Method acting is a label I don’t really understand, because there’s a method to everybody’s acting.

— Dougray Scott

You couldn’t take football away from me, you couldn’t take acting away from me.

— Dougray Scott

I’ve been acting for a long time, and I’ve done a lot of things, and I’ve been maintaining my anonymity pretty well. I get recognized once a week, at most, here and there, so I’m reluctant to give that up.

— Denis O’Hare

I’d always keep going back to the acting. Once the rent was paid, and the phone bill, the next money you had was for acting classes.

— Dennis Christopher

Most actors are starving. Most of us are walking around with a flashlight and tweezers looking for evidence. When you have someone that actually writes an acting role, it’s rare.

— Dylan McDermott

Coming back to a television series puts you back in the limelight and gives you a platform for your ideas. If you’re not acting on a series, you don’t get the ability to communicate to people.

— Dennis Weaver

I make two movies a year to take care of the butcher and the baker and the school fees. Then I try to write, but it’s not that easy. Acting is what’s easy.

— David Niven

I believe acting to be my own journey through connection more than anything else, but that’s only my take on it.

— Dawn Olivieri

While making Genevieve, I learned there could be a lot more to a film than just acting in it.

— Dinah Sheridan

As an actor, if you were to simplify what acting really is, it’s about letting go.

— Derek Magyar

My first trip abroad was to do a TV version of ‘Les Miserables’ in France with Anthony Perkins. There I was at 12 acting with the guy from ‘Psycho.’ My parents were teachers, and it was hard for them to relate to that world.

— Dexter Fletcher

Now supposing I had the part of a young woman to give out, one that wanted some excellent acting. If I were to go to the stage for my actress I would have to take a matured woman, one who would act splendidly, but who would look too old for the requirements.

— D. W. Griffith

The hardest part of acting is not when I’m acting, It’s when I’m not.

— Dakota Goyo

I actually had a job while I was acting and was a nursing student, which I had to drop due to my 9-5 job at the time. I managed an instrument room at a hospital in the Bronx.

— Dascha Polanco

I fell in love with acting. I thought, ‘This is what I want to do.’

— Daniel Breaker

I’m suspicious of the idea of architects acting like business executives, brand managers, or purveyors of luxury goods.

— David Chipperfield

I have recently started acting lessons in south France, and I intend to commence acting lessons at Rada.

— David Ginola

My main goal, when I started acting, was to show as much versatility as possible because I like playing diverse roles.

— Daniela Ruah

Growing up, I wasn’t sure about acting, but I knew I wanted to be part of the movie industry.

— Daniella Alonso

Kylie and I were both taking piano lessons at the time and didn’t think of acting. A friend rang mum up and said, ‘How about bringing Kylie and Danielle in because they might be right for the part?’

— Dannii Minogue

By the time I could have played football, I was already into acting and that’s what I wanted to do.

— David Morse

With Sean Penn, he wants to be surprised. He doesn’t necessarily want what he’s written, although we’ll do what he’s written. He likes the danger of acting.

— David Morse

That’s the thing about film acting and television acting. You just release yourself and do what is true for the moment, and ignore everybody and everything and all the technical razzmatazz that goes on.

— David Suchet

Listening and hearing are two different things, and acting is comprehending what the person is saying, thinking how it makes you feel and responding. That’s the key to really honest, truthful, compelling performance.

— David Wenham

I never had trouble getting an agent. I went out and got my first couple roles, and literally within six months I never had to have another job other than acting.

— Dean Norris

If there is any sense of order to the universe, acting is what I am meant to do. I’m not manufactured. I know acting isn’t real, that it’s temporary. If there is any theme to the roles I play, it is emotional vulnerability and availability.

— DJ Qualls

I haven’t given up on acting, but I’ve gone away from it for a while to concentrate on myself and the fans of ‘Star Wars.’

— Daniel Logan

Smallville’ gig was another one of those things I got through WWE. At that point, I had absolutely no aspirations to pursue acting.

— David Bautista

I wanted to give my actor a break. I wanted to live and to learn English. I wanted to be anything, a cabdriver, a busboy, anything to keep me away from acting for a while.

— Demian Bichir

I quite like being mobbed. After all, it is extremely nice to be recognised. That’s what acting is all about – being recognised.

— David Hemmings

I got a chance to act, and I have to say that acting is extremely fun and vital.

— David Labrava

I always try to stay in the moment, in real life and in acting.

— David Mazouz

I think I’m kind of attracted to the material more than the medium. I’m not opposed to doing a television show, though. I actually think there are a couple of good ones. And there is some terrible theater. Film is a very different kind of acting.

— Dan Futterman

I took up acting upon the insistence of my filmmaker father, Kasthuri Raja. But I am glad for it: sometimes one identifies one’s calling sometimes it singles one out.

— Dhanush

I don’t mind acting in Hindi films, but the script has to suit me. It has to be a boy-next-door role because that’s the image I have in Tamil cinema.

— Dhanush

My father said, If you want to do acting, you have to be successful, which is a silly thing to say.

— Diane Cilento

I do paint, and I wanted to actually be a painter. Sometimes I’ll whip out paints. It’s tough to find the motivation, but it’s also a solitary, lonely occupation. What I like about acting is that it is such a collaborative thing.

— Dichen Lachman

It is indeed hard for the strong to be just to the weak, but acting justly always has its rewards.

— Eamon de Valera

I went into acting as psychotherapy, and it’s still a work in progress.

— Ed Asner

They say making laws is like making sausages. You shouldn’t watch. It’s the same for acting, especially for the actor who works unconsciously.

— Ed Asner

If you can’t get an acting job, then go backstage. Or take tickets.

— Ed Asner

I mean, sometimes… a comedian becomes an actor, and they just don’t deliver, because the bottom line of comedy is to be funny, and the bottom line of acting is to be truthful, and they get that mixed up sometimes, or don’t even notice that that’s the thing.

— Eddie Izzard

If I do a film and have to get naked, that tends to dictate how often I go to the gym. Acting in ‘Richard II’ on stage was a huge physical workout, so I ended up more toned than I normally am.

— Eddie Redmayne

On so many levels, acting in film and TV is so much the sum of its parts, and somewhere in there, there’s an alchemical thing that makes something happen or not – that makes something connect or not. Now, of course you want to make work that people see, but the enjoyment I get out of acting is playing characters.

— Eddie Redmayne

My first film, ‘Like Minds,’ was with Toni Colette, who was extraordinary. I mean it was basically a mini-masterclass for acting on film at a time when all you could probably see were my eyebrows bouncing up and down on screen.

— Eddie Redmayne

Making a film or doing a play are completely different experiences and entirely fulfilling, but completely unique. I also think one complements the other. People often say that theater is about flexing your muscles, and is actually real acting, whereas I sort of disagree.

— Eddie Redmayne

There’s something scary about acting always, because basically you do all this work in a vacuum, and then suddenly there’s a lot of money spent making a film, and there’s suddenly a camera here, going, ‘Right? What are you gonna do?’

— Eddie Redmayne

I find in film acting that however many years you have done it for, you can feel totally relaxed and at ease with the people around you, absolutely wonderful, then roll camera and a little part of you goes, ‘Ugh’. It is learning how to manage that.

— Eddie Redmayne

I’m a good acting partner for me… when I don’t have anyone else, I do really well!

— Elaine Stritch

I enjoy modeling. I feel that acting is more fulfilling for me, and you definitely have a lot more to contribute as an actress than you do as a model, but that being said, when I shoot with a really incredible photographer, it’s exciting and inspiring.

— Emily Ratajkowski

I signed with an acting agent first I wasn’t really interested in signing with a modeling agent. But that same day, they said, ‘You should go over to Ford.’

— Emily Ratajkowski

I was real into theater, and then I tried soccer, acting and ballet. Both my parents didn’t want a child-star model, so I didn’t get into modeling until I was 14.

— Emily Ratajkowski

Would you just strap some toe shoes on and dance ‘Swan Lake?’ No. Would you just put a violin in your hand and – ? No. I felt that way about acting, and I was taught to feel that way. I didn’t come to it on my own.

— Ellen Barkin

I was trained by Method acting teachers and we were taught that aside from whatever gift you may or may not have or the level of that gift, that you were obliged to know how to build a table. It’s a craft. It’s like being a ballerina or a violinist.

— Ellen Barkin

I always loved acting and improv and sketch comedy and theater, which I did at a local youth theater.

— Emma Stone

Comedy’s my first love. I love that so much. You play comedy in drama, too. The difference between genres doesn’t really change the method of acting.

— Emma Stone

I want a TV series, I’m gonna do some acting jobs, I’m gonna do some Broadway jobs, everything!

— Estelle

If I do three movies in a year, I don’t feel like acting ever again.

— Ethan Hawke

From there I did a one year theatre acting course in Fife, and then three years of drama school in London.

— Ewan McGregor

I find that the acting’s getting easier – with experience, everything is more instinctual.

— Ewan McGregor

There are so many reasons why, for me, writing is superior to acting. One of them is anonymity. Writers can live relatively normal lives.

— Evangeline Lilly

One of the first things I learned about acting was, the only person you compete against is yourself.

— Ed Harris

The trick to acting is not to show off, it’s to think the thoughts of the character.

— Eddie Marsan

I wasn’t one of the ones voted most likely to succeed when I was at drama school, but I persevered and concentrated on the acting rather than going to the right parties and getting the right agent. Eventually, after ten years, it paid off.

— Eddie Marsan

Acting was a way of me finding myself, which I think is the case of a lot of actors, regardless of where they come from.

— Eddie Marsan

My wife says that stage acting is like being on a tightrope with no net, and being in the movies, there is a net – because you stop and go over it again. It’s very technical and mechanical. On stage you’re on your own.

— Eli Wallach

Israel is much more effective when the Israelis are convinced that we are on the moral high ground: that we are acting not just out of might, but also out of right.

— Ehud Barak

It’s easy to play a bad girl: You just do everything you’ve been told not to do, and you don’t have to deal with the consequences, because it’s only acting.

— Eliza Dushku

Drama school is fundamentally practical. I didn’t write any essays, so I came out with a BA honors degree in acting.

— Emilia Clarke

I grew up around horses, but acting and riding on camera is a whole different thing.

— Emilia Clarke

I’ve only half-admitted I’m a professional. I know I am, I’ve paid my dues, but one of the things I could do better when I’m acting is to really be rigorous and to think I know how to do it. To use my brain.

— Emily Mortimer

I’ve always wanted to get into acting, ever since I was younger. I’d put on shows for my family and run around play dress-up all the time. I think I was 4 when I told them I wanted to do movies.

— Emma Roberts

Sometimes, I feel promoting a film is a more difficult task than acting!

— Emraan Hashmi

I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. I lived in Grand Blanc, Michigan for a year and that’s when I got involved in acting and took classes there. A manager who saw me at the agency I was at in Michigan wanted me to come out to L.A.

— Evan Peters

Acting doesn’t bring anything to a text. On the contrary, it detracts from it.

— Elaine Dundy

I’m shy, and I can hide behind my acting and discover the truth about myself because it’s cathartic in that way. But I tend not to read reviews.

— Eamonn Walker

Don’t stink up the place with bad acting, if an opportunity comes your way.

— Edie McClurg

Acting isn’t a singular profession, it is a collaborate profession.

— Edie McClurg

I know that if I’d had to go and take an exam for acting, I wouldn’t have got anywhere. You don’t take exams for acting, you take your courage.

— Edith Evans

When I first started acting, I had all these ideals about the kinds of roles I wanted to play, but the reality is that when you do television – and I do a lot of television – you get cast for qualities that you have as a person. So I look for qualities that I like to portray.

— Erin Gray

Once I committed to acting, this has been it.

— Ernie Hudson

I think acting is definitely the most fulfilling, because it’s the most challenging in my mind.

— Estella Warren

I don’t like, and I’ve never been very good at, close-up shots. As soon as you have the camera right there in front of you, it feels like you’re in a different reality from the person you are acting with you lose any real connection with them.

— Eve Best

When I was a kid, the idea of why I wanted acting to be the thing I do for the rest of my life was different. It was, Oh yeah, I’ll get girls and be famous.

— Edward Furlong

I started out pursuing an acting career out of college when I lived in Los Angeles. When I got an entry into broadcasting, I preferred it. I liked being me, rather than dressing up to be someone else. Now I’m 30 and doing a career of my own and have been in this career for eight years.

— Eleanor Mondale

At the age of 15 I began my singing lessons, and once I became a professional performer, I dove into acting.

— Elena Roger

My sister Mathilde is an actress, but more like a French Jennifer Aniston. She’s famous just in France. She’s very commercial and does big comedies. So, acting was part of my family, and that’s how I was raised.

— Emmanuelle Seigner

Acting in another language is great, and I’ve done that. But you can’t do it as well as you can do it in your own language.

— Emmanuelle Seigner

I try to be the best version of me that I can be, whether it’s acting or on a personal level.

— Emeraude Toubia

With acting, you might have a month of very intense work, but you’ve got a lot of downtime as well.

— Elize Du Toit

I just want to keep being creative, and I want to feel inspired by a role, and I want to keep acting.

— Ellen Wong

In an ideal world, I’d like to carry on acting, but I don’t want it to interfere with my studies.

— Ellie Kendrick

Acting is so much about waiting… waiting for an audition, waiting for the right part to come along. It’s nice to write your own thing, write about what you’re feeling and then go out and perform them. It’s a nice thing to have and not get bored.

— Emily Kinney

Sometimes when you’re starting out with acting, you have to take what you can get to get experience and meet people.

— Emily Kinney

Balancing school, acting, and a social life can be difficult.

— Emily Osment

In acting, you draw so much on your private life.

— Emmanuelle Riva

I was mainly a stage actor. I found film acting mechanical, because it was so technical – there was so much technique with the lamps and the movements of the camera.

— Erland Josephson

My mom was a huge fan of ‘Dirty Dancing.’ I couldn’t quite get a break, and she was like, ‘Patrick Swayze was a dancer!’ And Fred Astaire. I started dancing, and it led me to acting. It helps with fighting or whatever choreography in general.

— Falk Hentschel

I grew up in Vancouver and my father drove me to every single one of my acting lessons, auditions, and jobs.

— Erica Cerra

I liked acting early on, and I really liked roles that were meaningful to me, and ‘Baywatch’ was.

— Erika Eleniak

I went to UCLA as pre-med. When I was there my freshman year, I auditioned for a play and got it, and I was so passionate. I just loved acting so much that I decided to switch majors and pursue acting.

— Fiona Gubelmann

The image of Ireland is projected as a male image in the acting world, similar to the way that the word of Ireland is male dominated.

— Fionnula Flanagan

I’m one of relatively few stage-trained actors who doesn’t much like acting on stage. It feels kind of like riding the Cyclone at Coney Island, which I did when I was eight. When it was all over, I was glad I had done it, but most of the time when it was actually happening, I was just kind of hanging on for dear life.

— Fred Melamed

I went to a very academic school that actually – when I got to the point of wanting to pursue acting, they just had no idea how to do that, because all of their contacts were very academic.

— Freema Agyeman

I had given up on acting because I would go for auditions every day, but nothing would happen.

— Fatima Sana Shaikh

When I was a kid, I didn’t know how I got into acting.

— Fatima Sana Shaikh

When I was growing up, I thought I was getting bored of acting, so I left that. Then after a few years, I started missing it. I left my studies mid-way, and I used to give lots of auditions.

— Fatima Sana Shaikh

After so many years of rejection, I felt acting would have to become a hobby rather than a full-time profession.

— Fatima Sana Shaikh

I love just about every aspect of the filmmaking except acting. I would never be able to do that, but the rest I really enjoy.

— Fede Alvarez

I like to jump into different worlds. I’m attracted to the emotional rollercoaster of acting. Now I’ve been doing it for so many years, I must rather enjoy it.

— Felicity Jones

Emotional messiness is my reason for life. In acting, it’s so important.

— Felicity Jones

I did think that acting would be much more like being a pop star. Now I’m here, I can’t think of anything more different.

— Felicity Jones

I think in the acting world you either manage that transition to older roles, or you stick with what you’ve always done and then discover nobody can bear you doing it as an older person.

— Felicity Kendal

Our Revolution emerged where it was least expected by the empire, in a hemisphere where it was used to acting like an all-powerful master.

— Fidel Castro

I like the idea of acting. Of all these things I’ve done, sometimes I think I’ve done well, and sometimes I think I didn’t do well, but they are more cameos, and I come in and be crazy.

— Flea

With acting, I always feel conscious of what I’m doing.

— Flea

There’s only two givens with choosing acting as a profession: one is you will always be unemployed, always, and it doesn’t matter how much money you make, you’re still always going to be unemployed and that you have no power.

— Frances McDormand

The wonderful thing about acting is you move along with your decade. The older you get, the more interesting the parts you get to play and you bring more of your personal experience to the part.

— Francesca Annis

Perhaps being old is having lighted rooms inside your head, and people in them, acting. People you know, yet can’t quite name.

— Francois de La Rochefoucauld

But when I was seven or eight, I did my first little piece of acting.

— Frank Langella

I’m so different from the egotistical, self-centred person I was when I did those things. And to watch someone acting out your memories on the screen is like reliving it. Like someone taking you back and showing you what you did.

— Frank Abagnale

And then, I suppose, there’s also a cinematic reality on top of that. Because it was extremely difficult to keep tabs on, it was quite confusing acting that.

— Gabriel Byrne

Going into my 20s, I was uncertain, trying to figure out what my relationship to acting is.

— Gaby Hoffmann

I started missing acting when I was in school, and I realized after being in the business after however many years that I was really interested in film.

— Gaby Hoffmann

I love acting, and I have no desire to direct.

— Gina Bellman

Over the years, I’ve gotten a little bit thick-skinned when it comes to the acting thing.

— George Eads

Never in my short career, I’ve never had that experience where I wasn’t sure if I was acting or if it was real.

— Gemma Arterton

If this acting thing doesn’t work, I’d just put in my resume for NBA.com. I’m a really huge basketball fan… I’ll talk all sorts of trash.

— Genesis Rodriguez

Well, playing a guy who writes songs and busks on Grafton Street in Dublin and falls in love with Marketa Irglova wasn’t very difficult for me. There was very little acting going on.

— Glen Hansard

In 2012, Hillary Clinton’s State Department, acting through its ambassador, Mari Carmen Aponte, threatened to withhold critical development aid unless El Salvador passed a major privatization law.

— Greg Grandin

I have to own something before I can say it, and I have to own it before I can sing it as well, emotionally. I only enjoy acting and singing if I am believing what I am doing.

— Gregory Harrison

That’s the wonderful thing about acting – you play a role. It’s about humanity, rather than labeling.

— Gugu Mbatha-Raw

I didn’t want to be an actress at all, or famous even. I certainly enjoy acting now, absolutely. Time will tell whether or not I enjoy fame.

— Gabourey Sidibe

You’ve got to keep taking certain risks, because my priority is in acting, it’s not in movie stardom.

— Gary Sinise

The nature of the human mind is such that unless it is stimulated by images of things acting upon it from without, all remembrance of them passes easily away.

— Galileo Galilei

Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.

— George Burns

I love the interplay between words and pictures. I love the fact that in comics, your pictures are acting like words, presenting themselves to be read.

— Gene Luen Yang

At 23 it was all about acting. Today it’s getting my kids to school, making sure that they’ve done their homework. I’m in my fifties, and I’m turning into a square.

— Gary Oldman

I love acting, especially if it’s a fantasy of some kind, where it’s not just realistic, it’s not naturalism.

— Gene Wilder

Too many talented and supremely calculating politicians, including Nixon and Clinton, have destroyed their careers, or come close, by acting in ways that were obviously against their own interests.

— George Packer

Politics demands certain skills honed by experience, just as journalism does, just as acting does.

— George Packer

When it comes to social consequences, they’ve got all different people acting in different ways, very difficult to even have a proper criterion of success. So, it’s a difficult task.

— George Soros

You know, everyone says, ‘Modeling and acting are so similar’… they say, ‘It’s so natural for models to become actresses because they use the camera.’ I don’t think of it in that way.

— Gisele Bundchen

I was pursuing my acting career, but I was silent on the LGBT issue, the issue that was closest to me. I knew if I came out then, I’d have had to change careers.

— George Takei

I never pursued anything but acting. But as a kid, I was really interested in the Supreme Court. I wanted to to be a Supreme Court justice, but didn’t want to be a lawyer. I just wanted to go straight to being a justice.

— Gillian Jacobs

Acting by yourself is pretty darn hard, especially having to do physical comedy.

— Gillian Jacobs

When you’re shooting at 9 A.M. at a club, you have to use all of your acting skills.

— Gillian Jacobs

I’ve had weird, weird acting jobs. Low-budget filmmaking where you find yourself in really bizarre places.

— Gillian Jacobs

Maybe I’ll go to acting school. Acting is like boxing, you know.

— Gerry Cooney

I went to college at NYU for acting, since acting was my dream from very young. I did a lot of hip-hop courses while I was there. I helped co-write a hip-hop production for the main stage of NYU, but I never touched rap.

— Gina Rodriguez

What do you call an electorate that seems prone to acting out irrationally, is full of inchoate rage, and is constantly throwing fits and tantrums? You call it teenaged.

— Graydon Carter

I started studying at 26. Before that, I never thought of acting as something that I would ever try.

— Gale Harold

I’m not an actor. Lord knows, I’d be acting if I were an actor. What you see is what you get.

— Guy Fieri

I love sports – if I’m not acting, I’m probably doing sports.

— Gabriel Basso

I was an acting opera singer, and that’s one of the reasons I left opera.

— George Gaynes

I have enjoyed acting very much, because I know it’s not for real!

— Gloria Stuart

Acting in ‘Command & Conquer 3’ called for me to interact with the player and to look directly into the camera, which is a big no no when filming for TV or film.

— Grace Park

Acting is not my primary drive in life, although I’d be a very unhealthy person without it.

— Greg Wise

Even though Rush is not me and the situations were very different, I think, in the Rush Limbaugh thing, ESPN was criticized for not acting, and you remember that after a couple days of controversy over Rush.

— Gregg Easterbrook

Making a pretty picture, an image, is a completely different thing from acting to camera.

— Gemma Chan

For me, acting was something I fell into.

— Georg Stanford Brown

I’ve been acting professionally since I was 24, and it’s the only job I’ve ever done.

— Grant Show

I created, wrote, produced, and starred in my first-ever acting gig!

— Greg Poehler

The thing I learned about being in this industry is the core of hosting and the core of acting is authenticity. So if you’re just real in those moments, no matter what you’re doing, that’s what translates and makes you successful.

— Hannah Simone

I wrote ‘The Room’, ‘The Birthday Party’, and ‘The Dumb Waiter’ in 1957, I was acting all the time in a repertory company, doing all kinds of jobs, traveling to Bournemouth and Torquay and Birmingham.

— Harold Pinter

One of the things I find about acting is that the less the audience knows about the actor, the more they’re able to believe in him in the role.

— Hayden Christensen

I never took an acting class, so I’ve made all my mistakes on film.

— Heath Ledger

When I’m acting, I’m in a different place, singing is the last thing on my mind, and when I’m on stage, there’s no acting at all involved, not even presentation, it’s just who I am.

— Harry Connick, Jr.

I always wanted to be the pretty girl, but I thought I wasn’t. When I started acting and getting pretty girl roles, I felt like I was just pretending, and nobody saw I was just this big nerd.

— Heather Graham

I’ve been working every year since I started acting, and I got many awards before I won the Oscar for ‘The Queen.’

— Helen Mirren

When I came into the acting profession, it was quite hierarchical. You didn’t sit at the same table as the leading actor. Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud… these were very, very intimidating and powerful people.

— Helen Mirren

For me, acting is about getting away from myself. So to look at myself is the last thing I want.

— Helena Bonham Carter

I had never done any serious acting before, but I decided that it was a chance that I should take.

— Helena Christensen

I studied theater in college, and I absolutely knew that I loved acting, and I knew that I loved theater.

— Hill Harper

When I’m acting, that’s all I’m doing. When I’m not acting, I’m not thinking about acting. If I’m writing, I’m just writing.

— Hill Harper

In acting class, teachers talk about how the ‘givens’ of a situation help define a character.

— Hill Harper

Most actors really love it, that’s what they want to do. They burn to do it. And so they’ll read a script and think, that’s an interesting part. And because they love acting, that blinds them to the fact that the rest of it is pretentious nonsense, which it very often is.

— Hugh Grant

And film acting is incredibly tedious, just by its nature. It’s incredibly, mind numbingly slow.

— Hugh Grant

I’m quite proud of some of the films I’ve done, but less for the acting than for the fact that they’re unpretentious and entertaining. I’m proud of having made unpretentious choices.

— Hugh Grant

After I found that I had become an actor, slightly to my surprise, I did have some insecurity, and I did take some rather strange acting classes at a place called The Actor’s Studio in London. I don’t think they did me any good at all.

— Hugh Grant

If you do too much acting in a lead part in a feature film where you’re 40 ft. high, it’s rather unattractive. You can see the acting. And it’s actually the right thing to do to bring as much of yourself, I believe, to the part as you possibly can – to minimize the amount of theatrical stuff that you need to do.

— Hugh Grant

I don’t do much acting anymore anyway, and not to work for 20th Century Fox is really the least of my worries.

— Hugh Grant

I slightly lost my enthusiasm for most acting, but I’ve done some little bits and pieces – curiosities.

— Hugh Grant

Frankly, I think I’m marvelous in rehearsal! Then you turn the camera on, and it gets stiff and tight. And then you trudge back to your trailer feeling sad. That’s been my experience of film acting.

— Hugh Grant

Acting is largely about putting on masks, and music is about removing them.

— Hugh Laurie

I love acting, but I want to explore other things.

— Hank Azaria

I think all girls secretly want to be actresses because acting seems so glamorous. But as a child, I was always the villager who had one line in the school play. I was shy and I had a bit of a lisp.

— Hannah Ware

I was 26 when I went to my first acting class. I’m naturally quite shy. I’m a quite private person. There’s this really strange acting class in New York called Black Nexxus. For someone who’s slightly shy or self-conscious, it’s the most frightening thing you can do.

— Hannah Ware

Acting is like roller skating. Once you know how to do it, it is neither stimulating nor exciting.

— George Sanders

I need good grades because I want to go on to do A-Levels. I’m just not sure yet about whether I will go to university, because I really want to see what happens with the acting.

— Georgia Groome

I have done hard jobs in the past, and acting isn’t one of them.

— Graham McTavish

The only reason why you should do a film is because it creatively carbonates you and gets you going. If you’re doing it for any other reason, you’ve lost sight of why you’re acting in the first place.

— Graham Phillips

I really love school, but I’d love to continue acting jobs if I can.

— Georgie Henley

I didn’t fall in love with acting until I did a few films. Now, I couldn’t live without it.

— Geraldine Chaplin

If I’m honest, the reason I got into acting is not the reason I’m still doing it, and if I’m still doing it in ten years’ time, I’m sure I’ll find something else.

— Harry Lloyd

I went to my mum at about seven or eight and said I want to start acting, but the week before, I had said I wanted to do ballet. She said if I took acting classes for a full year, she would look further into it, and that’s how it started.

— Hailee Steinfeld

You have to do real acting, not just do a voice.

— Harry Shearer

I try to keep away from being big-headed. That’s what causes people to lose the acting thing. They start being commercial, and then they stink for the rest of their lives.

— Haley Joel Osment

When it comes to acting, you really have to create movement which in some ways is dancing. And dancing, I feel is very important to act as well. I wouldn’t put one over the other.

— Harry Shum, Jr.

Acting on stage is a living organism you can never pin down, and I believe the audience feeds off that, too.

— Hattie Morahan

From a very young age, I was singing and acting and performing for my family.

— Heather Dubrow

Initially I probably didn’t even call it acting, but dressing up or something. As a kid I think you fully imagine the world in which you want to inhabit, so you put some clothes on and just kind of freely imagine this world, and it’s a total imaginary world.

— Hugo Weaving

I never pursued acting with, like, auditions. If anything, I was given roles by people who knew me and liked what I did.

— H. Jon Benjamin

I moved when I was 16. I had no clue what to expect in moving to L.A. I had no clue, really, about what acting was. I just knew that I wanted to do it.

— Haley Lu Richardson

There’s something about being any kind of entertainer that is acting. You have to put on a show. Things you wouldn’t do in your life, you do on stage. You have to let go. And that’s extra hard for rappers. We have a tendency to, quote unquote, keep it real. As an actor, you have to be able to humiliate yourself. Do whatever it takes.

— Heavy D

Growing up in Sweden, I decided pretty early on that I wanted to go to acting school.

— Helena Mattsson

Whatever it takes’ is my opinion of method acting and, indeed, any other kind of acting. Look at Brando and De Niro. But it’s not my cup of tea.

— Ian Holm

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.

— Ian Mckellen

The most likely explanation is the most practical. ‘Macbeth’ is a very popular play with audiences. If you want to sell out a theater, just mount a production of ‘Macbeth’. It’s a short play, it’s an exciting play, it’s easy to understand, and it attracts great acting.

— Ian Mckellen

Until I came out, my acting was all about disguise, and thereafter it became about telling the truth.

— Ian Mckellen

I think the point to be understood is that we’re all different. I’ve never been a fan of theories of acting. I didn’t go to drama school, so I was never put through a training that was limited by someone saying, ‘This is the way you should act.’

— Ian Mckellen

Macbeth is a very popular play with audiences. If you want to sell out a theater, just mount a production of Macbeth. It’s a short play, it’s an exciting play, it’s easy to understand, and it attracts great acting.

— Ian Mckellen

I came rather late to film. I’ve done an awful lot of theater before – before I discovered the camera, you know, seeing everything, requiring much less acting and – and much less presentation, much less projecting, more just being.

— Ian Mckellen

As long as the cheques carry on coming in, and I’m enjoying my work, I shall continue acting.

— Ian McShane

We all go to the theater and cinema to be inspired and moved on an emotional level, sometimes to laughter, sometimes to tears. Once I discovered that acting could have such an effect, I was sold. It has been one of the most rewarding discoveries I have ever made.

— Ian Anthony Dale

I definitely support cop acting more than cops, but all of them ain’t bad, just some of them.

— Ice Cube

So from an actor’s perspective, you really have no idea how you’re acting.

— Ice T

Whether it’s music or acting, that creativity all comes from the same source.

— Idris Elba

I can do everything with ease on the stage, whereas in real life I feel too big and clumsy. So I didn’t choose acting. It chose me.

— Ingrid Bergman

If you took acting away from me, I’d stop breathing.

— Ingrid Bergman

In captivity, one loses every way of acting over little details which satisfy the essentials of life. Everything has to be asked for: permission to go to the toilet, permission to ask a guard something, permission to talk to another hostage – to brush your teeth, use toilet paper, everything is a negotiation.

— Ingrid Betancourt

If you can read, then you can recite Shakespeare. But that’s not acting.

— Itzhak Perlman

It’s sort of the most important thing for acting, is to listen to the person you’re dealing with.

— Ivan Reitman

I don’t really get nervous for auditions, because I just see them as mini acting classes. There’s no need to have an attachment to the outcome because it’s out of your hands after that.

— Isabel Lucas

Maybe there’s some kind of modeling that can be tedious, like catalogue modeling, but there’s a kind of modeling, with runways or working with Richard Avedon, that’s not very far from acting. Besides the fact that you don’t have a partner to react to, the body language is the same.

— Isabella Rossellini

To be an icon is a big job – it’s beyond acting. And sometimes it pays, and sometimes it doesn’t.

— Isabella Rossellini

I became an actress way into my 30s because I thought that I had to find my own way, and that’s why I worked so much in modelling, until I realised that the differences between acting and modelling weren’t that great. I always say that modelling is a little bit like being a silent actress.

— Isabella Rossellini

I’ve been acting since 2002, around about there.

— Isaiah Mustafa

You know, I didn’t get to go to university because I’ve been acting since I was a kid.

— Isla Fisher

When an actor plays a scene exactly the way a director orders, it isn’t acting. It’s following instructions. Anyone with the physical qualifications can do that.

— James Dean

I used to read a lot about myself and the projects I was doing. When I was only acting, I wouldn’t read any reviews because I didn’t find them to be very helpful.

— James Franco

School allowed me to have outlets so that some of the pressure was taken off the acting. Every role in every movie, I used to live or die by. Once I had these new outlets, I relaxed a lot more.

— James Franco

I’m going to try to not let anyone put me in a box, and that certainly applies to the things I do outside of acting.

— James Franco

Because acting was my only professional outlet, I put a ton of pressure on the roles that I did. I overstepped my bounds, I tried to control things that were out of my purview as an actor and in some cases even tried to direct my scenes because I felt I knew how they should run rather than trust the director.

— James Franco

I guess what I enjoy most is directing, because it incorporates all aspects of filmmaking. Directing is in the same line as acting – both are popularity contests, and in both you’re trying to tell a story through the film as a medium.

— James Franco

I always have a rule that acting is acting and truth is truth and you just go out there and you do it. But what happens in each medium is that you have other responsibilities. The acting remains the same, but each medium dictates assuming other halves to make the acting work.

— James Woods

If you’re blindly loyal to me, then you’re just acting like a crony of mine. If you say you admire me because of the principles for which I stand, I understand that, but then you also have the right to call me to the carpet when you think I’m falling short.

— Jamie Dimon

I was very interested in theatre, mostly in stage design. I did a little bit of acting.

— Jim Henson

I pick up a lot of stuff from them, but I don’t think there’s any great trick to acting.

— Jason Statham

One of the things I love about acting is that it reveals a certain something about yourself, but it doesn’t reveal your own personal story.

— Jessica Lange

To stay interested in acting, I have to keep trying stuff I’ve never done before.

— Jessica Lange

If I didn’t have children I’d be a much better actress. I wouldn’t be so distracted. I could pour 100 percent of my energies into it, to promote the investigation which acting is.

— Jessica Lange

If I had to start over, I’d pursue photography – probably to the exclusion of acting.

— Jessica Lange

For me, acting was always a way to explore emotions – to dip into the well and really try to reach rock bottom down there. That was the most exciting part of it. I hadn’t found anything that really allowed me to do that until I came upon acting.

— Jessica Lange

I love acting, but being an actor for hire only serves so much, and then you want to fill your well up again and be charged by something else.

— Jennifer Aniston

Realistically speaking, I don’t know how many more years I will want to be acting or will be invited to be.

— Jennifer Aniston

I’ve done some acting and a lot of different things, but mostly it’s the music.

— Joan Jett

If you’re saying the same line 10 times and making it look like you just came up with it, that’s acting.

— Joan Rivers

After this whole acting thing is over and done, you eventually have to be human. Some people are never human. It’s very weird.

— Joe Rogan

With any part you play, there is a certain amount of yourself in it. There has to be, otherwise it’s just not acting. It’s lying.

— Johnny Depp

You need to become a good listener. As you’re working, you hear someone else’s lines and how you absorb them becomes your acting.

— Jacqueline Bisset

With the acting, it’s somebody else’s brainchild, and I’m just sort of helping flesh it out. There’s a special satisfaction to being the brains behind the operation.

— Jack Black

Frustration is a sign I am acting independently. The more you try your own way, the tighter the doors will stay closed.

— Joyce Meyer

Acting is not about anything romantic, not even fantasy, although you do create fantasy.

— James Earl Jones

When I was in New York after I left the Army, I studied for two years at the American Theater Wing, studied acting, which involved dance and fencing and speech classes and history of theater, all that.

— James Earl Jones

I’ve never felt that acting was my vocation – never had that tortured thing. I love acting, but it doesn’t feed my soul.

— James Nesbitt

About 10,000 years ago, males and females were acting equitably and were treating one another as equals, and then males took over the power, because they have physical power and physical strength.

— Jane Elliot

Twenty years ago, you might have been pessimistic and said there’s no hope. But these days, some of our very biggest companies are acting remarkably cleanly. And in some cases, although not all cases, the CEOs are the driving forces behind that.

— Jared Diamond

I’m trying to get an acting gig on ‘CSI’ or something like that, so we’ll see how that works out. I’m a singer, definitely not an actor, so I just follow directions.

— Jason Aldean

Even when I was an actor in training, one criticism my teachers had was that I should think about directing instead of acting, because the best actors see the material they’re working on through blinders. They can’t see anything but their role. I could never really do that.

— Jason Alexander

Making films is no longer a way of acting, it is a way of life.

— Jeanne Moreau

I remember when I was a kid, with the acting thing, I resented it because, you know, you don’t want to do what your parents want you to do.

— Jeff Bridges

Unlike Texas Rangers, we actors don’t have a stop date, so I don’t know about retiring. Sometimes I want to stop acting, but then you get a good script!

— Jeff Bridges

Even as far back as when I started acting at 14, I know I’ve never considered failure.

— Jennifer Lawrence

I don’t know if this is why everything has worked so well and I’m not sure I’d recommend this kind of thinking to anyone else, but I’ve always known I’d be successful in acting. I have certainly worked for it.

— Jennifer Lawrence

When I was trying to get into acting, to have been a model was about as low as you could get in the acting profession. But that wasn’t sexism, it was snobbery, which I knew and took very humbly.

— Joanna Lumley

Acting can be pretty challenging. I can’t say making a romantic comedy is challenging, but to do anything well, you have to put yourself into it.

— John Cusack

With acting, you wanna see if you can get into trouble without knowing how you’re gonna get out of it. It’s like the exact opposite of war, where you need an exit strategy. When you’re acting, you should get all the way into trouble with no exit strategy, and have the cameras rolling.

— John Cusack

Acting just happens to be my skill, but I think I would probably be just as happy being a technician or entering into the film business in some other way.

— Jodie Foster

Well, acting itself is a form of rebellion, always. Getting up there in front of people, telling stories – you’re kind of going against the grain to begin with, wanting to do that, don’t you think? Why else would you do it? Except maybe as kind of a way to affirm your very existence.

— John Cusack

I learned so much by being an actor, and part of my sort-of development as a writer is big thanks to the scripts I read in my acting life.

— Joel Edgerton

I don’t call acting a real job, and writing is a hobby.

— Joel Edgerton

Sigmund Freud said we act out our own dreams, but if you are only an actor you are not acting out your own dream. You are simply participating in someone else’s dream.

— John Malkovich

With some actors, you can tell when they’re acting all by themselves, no matter who else is in the screen.

— John Travolta

When I arrived at Columbia, I gave up acting and became interested in all things French. French poetry, French history, French literature.

— Joseph Gordon-Levitt

I think to be courageous, you have to be afraid. For me, it feels very courageous when I go skiing because I’m very, very afraid to ski. It’s dangerous! I feel very scared. But when I’m acting, I don’t feel very scared.

— Julianne Moore

Frankly, acting doesn’t scare me because I really enjoy it.

— Julianne Moore

I’m not scared of many things in front of the camera. Everywhere else, yes, I’m terrified. But acting is just pretending, and you are exploring feelings in a safe environment.

— Julianne Moore

I think people are always really surprised when they realise I’m not a very serious person and that I’m not tremendously serious about acting. I don’t like to rehearse I hate improv. Directors that don’t like to talk, they’re my favourite ones.

— Julianne Moore

I’ve had a lazy career. Sometimes one film a year, sometimes none. I’m walking around in the street and doing this other thing, living, that I’m much more interested in. I just do some acting on the side.

— James Spader

Acting is a great way to make a living, especially when I consider what my alternatives were and probably still are. I mean, you are only making movies. It is a lot less pressure than being a surgeon although it seemed like the only other thing that I was qualified for was manual labour.

— James Spader

In 2007, Lindsay Lohan seemed to be on top of the world, a bona fide star who had her pick of acting gigs. But it wasn’t long before the veneer cracked, and Lindsay’s life began to shatter.

— Jane Velez-Mitchell

Acting has always been very comfortable for me, so it allows me to pay attention to other parts of the process literally while I’m acting.

— Jason Bateman

Acting in something that I’m directing… I’m really enjoying it because, if for no other reason, that particular acting is like reading my mind on every single take. It’s kind of efficient, for better or worse.

— Jason Bateman

Ideally, that’s what you’ve got in an acting career is an equal number of dramas and comedies and an equal number of small films and big films.

— Jason Bateman

You have to believe what you say, and if you believe what you are saying, then acting is easy.

— Jean-Claude Van Damme

I wasn’t very good at it, but I knew that I loved acting immediately.

— Jeffrey Dean Morgan

I love acting, but the star part is not my bag.

— Jeffrey Dean Morgan

I didn’t even know what a mark was, but I fell in love with acting.

— Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Acting is a hard profession. More than anything, it takes fortitude.

— Jeffrey Dean Morgan

An acting assistant stage manager in a theater in Canterbury, a rep theater. A small wage but just enough to get by on, and I made props and I walked on, and I changed scenery, and I realized that I just loved it.

— Jeremy Irons

In acting class, you’re trained to express yourself as much as you can.

— Jesse Eisenberg

If you’re acting, then there’s a prescribed way to behave whereas in life, there’s no prescribed way. So acting feels like a comfortable way to get through the day.

— Jesse Eisenberg

I had great difficulty in school interacting with others, and I took refuge in the contrived setting of play acting, which is what I still do.

— Jesse Eisenberg

Acting forces me to socialise, which is good for me, I think.

— Jesse Eisenberg

Acting is a weird, kind of alienating job because you’re in an isolated place. Even if you’re working with a lot of other people, you’re kind of alienated. Actors say that a lot, and I kind of find that to be true.

— Jesse Eisenberg

Whether it’s repro rights, violence against women, or just plain old vanilla sexism, most issues affecting women have one thing in common – they exist to keep women ‘in their place.’ To make sure that we’re acting ‘appropriately,’ whatever that means.

— Jessica Valenti

There is this immediate connection, this intimacy when you’re acting because there’s no room to be polite or shy. Also, as an actor I get to connect with women I’ve never met before.

— Jessica Chastain

My attitude goes back to my childhood. I used to audition for theatrical roles, and you can’t stand out in a room full of ambitious eight-year-old girls by acting the wallflower. I realised then that I couldn’t do things half-heartedly.

— Jessie J

Acting and modelling are good, but motherhood is what it’s all about.

— Jerry Hall

I’d always enjoyed acting, but modeling was so time-consuming – and lucrative – that I didn’t pursue it.

— Jerry Hall
Acting Quotes

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