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An actor should be judged by his performance only.
– James Dean
Only the gentle are ever really strong.
There is no way to be truly great in this world. We are all impaled on the crook of conditioning.
The only greatness for man is immortality.
Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.
The gratification comes in the doing, not in the results.
You try to be yourself, do only what you’ve always done and like to do, and right away, you’re tagged as an oddball.
To my way of thinking, an actor’s course is set even before he’s out of the cradle.
Trust and belief are two prime considerations. You must not allow yourself to be opinionated.
Being a good actor isn’t easy. Being a man is even harder. I want to be both before I’m done.
I also became close to nature, and am now able to appreciate the beauty with which this world is endowed.
Being an actor is the loneliest thing in the world. You are all alone with your concentration and imagination, and that’s all you have.
I used to fly around quite a bit, you know? I took a lot of unnecessary chances on the highways. And I started racing, and now I drive on the highways, I’m extra cautious because no one knows what they’re doing half the time. You don’t know what this guy is going to do or that one.
I want to be a Texan 24 hours a day.
Racing is the only time I feel whole.
I think the one thing this picture shows that’s new is the psychological disproportion of the kids’ demands on the parents. Parents are often at fault, but the kids have some work to do, too.
But you can’t show some far off idyllic conception of behavior if you want the kids to come and see the picture. You’ve got to show what it’s really like, and try to reach them on their own grounds.
I don’t want anything seventy-thirty. Fifty-fifty’s always good enough for me. I don’t want to have to give anybody seventy; I don’t want anybody to give me seventy. I want fifty.
To me, acting is the most logical way for people’s neuroses to manifest themselves, in this great need we all have to express ourselves.
The only way to make a scene realistic is to do it the way you know it would really happen.
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.
To grasp the full significance of life is the actor’s duty; to interpret it his problem; and to express it his dedication.
If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he’s dead, then maybe he was a great man.
My purpose in life does not include a hankering to charm society.
An actor must interpret life, and in order to do so must be willing to accept all the experiences life has to offer. In fact, he must seek out more of life than life puts at his feet.
Death can’t be considered because, if you’re afraid to die, there’s no room in your life to make discoveries.