I present a large collection of actor quotes, phrases and aphorisms about actors, actresses and acting.
Actor quotes and sayings
Table of Contents
There are two categories of actors: the mediocre actor, who recites his text, and the great actor who resurrects him.
The actor creates with his flesh and blood all those things that the other arts, somehow, try to describe
Actor: I am myself only when I am someone else
Understanding the full meaning of life is the actor’s job; interpret her problem; and express her mission. Being an actor is the loneliest thing in the world. You are completely alone with your concentration and imagination, and that’s all you have. Being a good actor is not easy. Being a man is even more difficult. I want to be both before I die.
What a great idea to be an actress, you take the story you want, the characters you want, sometimes you end your story as you want. You make yourself loved, you can be kissed and left, you can be born and die a thousand times, laugh and cry and then go home.
I consider that the most important thing, to do the job of actor or actress well, is the attitude towards the director. With him I think there must be a kind of transference: the actor must understand what the director expects and at this point he will just have to follow that first intuition, a kind of impulse. The secret is in letting go.
During the preparation of the film there is an initial phase in which you know the character, then the character becomes a part of you: it is not me who becomes the character, but it is he who becomes a part of me.
To shoot the famous scene of the murder in the shower of the movie “Psyco”, Hitchcock took seven days, subjecting the actress Janet Leigh and her stunt to about eighty interminable shots, often under running water, in a tight fitting flesh-colored suit. It is said that since then Janet Leigh never managed to take a shower again.
With actors it is also a matter of luck. It is not known how they will react to the character entrusted to them. Sometimes the spark does not go off with the great actor and instead it happens that one of smaller stature suddenly blooms.
I understood that I was born an actress. I had only decided to become one in the cradle, between one tear too much and one caress less. All my life I screamed with all of myself for this tear, I implored this caress. If you were to die today, know that I have given up on it. But it took me many years, so many mistakes.
Robert De Niro throws himself into the film and into the role assuming the personality of the character with the same naturalness with which one could put on a coat
The actor is a liar who is asked for the utmost sincerity.
An actor on the scene, he is a brand in the fire. When the flame of dialogue leaves him, the embers of the situation must remain.
The actor is a guy who won’t listen to you if you’re not talking about him.
Some movie stars also wear sunglasses in church. They are afraid that God will recognize them and ask for an autograph.
I really like actors, but marrying one would be like marrying your brother. We look at each other and see ourselves too similar in the mirror.
When an actor marries an actress, they both start the war for possession of the mirror.
Blaming an actor for being narcissistic is like blaming a tiger for being carnivorous
I act for free, I give the money for the inconvenience of being a star.
For an actor, humanity is divided into two categories: him and the others.
The pleasure of success for an actor is nothing compared to what the failure of a colleague gives him.
There is a part of me that hates acting. Let me explain: a painter, a sculptor, a photographer, they may not even sell, but nobody can prevent them from producing their art. An actor doesn’t: he always needs someone who says yes. Someone who deigns to give you an opportunity, and that bothers me. There is an intrinsic vulnerability in the actor’s work. The holy grail for any actor in any part of the world is simply to have a good degree of autonomy. And I’m lucky enough to have it, currently. Well or ill I am in control of my creative destiny.
A great actress is a woman capable of embodying a large number of dissimilar characters; a diva is a woman capable of provoking a large number of similar scripts.
It’s easy to be a director while you’re acting: there’s one less person to argue with.
To be a good actor, you have to be very smart. But to be a great actor, you have to have a vein of “I’m an idiot, a complete fool” inside you.
When she acted, she never imagined that she was an actress playing Lady Macbeth on stage. He really imagined that she was, that he was Lady Macbeth.
For every successful actor or actress, there is an incalculable number of people who don’t make it. You go to an audition and they tell you that you are too tall or too Irish or the nose is not right. You are rejected for your training, you are rejected for this or that and it is really difficult.
The actor does not experience the feeling he expresses. He would be lost if he tried it.
Acting is not much different from a mental illness: an actor does nothing but share his person with others. It is a kind of schizophrenia.
When you have been acting for some time, it becomes quite easy to turn on and off! When you are at the beginning, you feel the need to stay in the character for as long as possible. As an actor you have to pay a certain price to return to the real world, so much so that it becomes almost easier to stay in the part all the time.
Acting is a need, like that of loving or going to the bathroom.
If I had to choose between an actor who “feels” his role and an actor who “understands” him, I would always take the second. The ideal, of course, is a combination of the two. The actor who thinks and who can control his emotions is a great actor, but the actor who plays on his emotions and does not think is too widespread in our era. All those actors who say to you: “Let me say it my way” and who despise dialogue at the expense of the alleged improvisation: it is not only an absurdity, it is also an obscenity.
(Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
In no other business do you earn so much by doing nonsense.
Studying cows, pigs and chickens can help an actor develop his character. There are a lot of things I learned from animals. One is that they couldn’t whistle me. I have also become closer to nature, and now I can appreciate the beauty with which this world is endowed.
If a face like Ingrid Bergman’s looks at you like she finds you adorable, everyone finds you adorable
It is difficult to work on a set. You can’t know everyone. There are fifty, sometimes even sixty people around … one combs you, the other talks about your wardrobe, and everyone presses you, hurries you while you think: God, now I have to go in front of the camera and act.
We thank God, we actors, who have the privilege of being able to continue our childhood games until death, which is repeated every evening in the theater.
The actor is a perennial child.
A comedian does fun things; a good comedian makes things fun.
Maybe I’m not a good actor, but I’d be even worse if I did anything else.
Not even for a moment does the actor completely transform himself into his character. “He didn’t represent King Lear, he was Lear” would be a disastrous judgment.
The difference between being a director and being an actor is the same between being a carpenter who nails nails into wood and being the piece of wood in which nails are planted.
It is always better to have few scenes with a good director than many scenes with a bad one.
I can’t do the same thing every night, the same movements … it’s like wearing the same dirty panties every day.
(Brigitte Bardot, regarding the proposals to make theater)
In the film, the rules are given by the actor. The camera serves the actor.
How many kicks in the face did I have to endure, starting from the starlets, friends of the producers, who stole my roles, even when I already had the contract in hand.
The career of many actresses began with a role in the director’s life.
For the sake of Italian cinema it would be time for producers to go to bed with good actresses too.
The young actress began to cackle on the stage, but in vain we searched for her egg.
The actors are divided into two categories: incisors and canines.
You are an actor and I admire you, as a man and as a dog, but you cannot have been a shoulder, you have never even done your knee. “
Troubled families raised a number of really good actors.
Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors.
During my artistic career I accepted every role that was offered to me because I did it more for love of sex than for money.
(Vanessa del Rio)
Never studied acting, nobody cared, what mattered was just my body.
If in the second scene I still have my underwear on I immediately think they sent me the wrong script.
After the audition, the director clapped his hands cheerfully and shouted, ‘He can’t speak! He can’t act! It’s sensational! ‘.
The actors act to fuck; actresses fuck to act.
Most successful people in Hollywood are failures as humans.
I am an actor, he is not a star. The stars are people who live in Hollywood and have heart-shaped pools.
The basic requirement for a great actor is that he likes himself when acting.
An actor without a director is like a hole without a donut.
(George Jean Nathan)
Children and dogs are the best movie actors.
There was an actor who had a hundred pairs of shoes, many had thrown them.
(Totò, in the film The Emperor of Capri)
I have a kind of idiosyncrasy for professional actors. My idiosyncrasy depends on the fact that, as far as my films are concerned, a professional actor is another consciousness that adds to my consciousness.
(Pier Paolo Pasolini)
An actor must love his role, but above all he must love the profession of the actor.
I think being an actor is a more feminine profession: one must accept the authority of another person and abandon oneself totally to this; honestly, we women are more used to this type of relationship. It is more difficult for an actor to accept this relationship, and especially if there is a woman behind the camera.
The actor is a sincere liar.
(actor quotes by Albert Camus)
When asked what is the biggest secret of an actor’s success, I answer: sincerity. Once you can fake it, you can get it all.
(Sir Laurence Olivier)
The actor does not recite the words but the feelings, because the part is made not of words but of the emotional background: that is the hidden part to be discovered of the actor. (Kostantin Sergeevic Stanislavskij)
How can a president not be an actor?
(Ronald Reagan, in response to the question: “How can an actor become president?”)
God writes a lot of comedies … the problem is that they are played by bad actors who can’t play them in a funny way.
I’ve been beautiful for many years and playing a bad game was a pleasure.
At the end of the shooting of a film, shot with an actor known for its difficult character, Katharine Hepburn blurted out: ‘Thank God I won’t have to act with you anymore!’ And the other: ‘I didn’t realize, dear, that you had done it’.
(actor quotes by Anonymous)
A tronista is more popular than an actor who has been doing his job for thirty years.
An extreme sensitivity makes the actors mediocre; mediocre sensitivity makes the crowd of bad actors; and the absolute lack of sensitivity is the prerequisite for the great actors.
As we see the playwright giving romanticism to realism, we ask the actor to give romanticism realism.
The tears of the true actor descend from the brain, those of the sensitive man rise from the heart.
(actor quotes by Denis Diderot)
Spectator and actor: the professional comedian observes the amateur of fiction. “
Italy has over fifty million actors. The worst are on the stage.
(actor quotes by Orson Welles)
The whole world is a stage, and men and women, all of them, are nothing but actors. They have their exits and their entrances; and a man in his act plays several parts.
In ancient Greece “the hypocrite” was an actor, the problem arose when the hypocrite came down from the stage continuing to play his role.
The actors conquer our hearts but do not give theirs; however they deceive with grace.
(Johann Wolfgang Goethe)
The most important thing for an actress is knowing how to laugh and cry. If I have to cry, I think of my sex life; if I have to laugh, the same.
(actor quotes by Glenda Jackson)
The actors who tried to play the characters of Churchill and MacArthur failed dramatically because each of these men was a great actor who played himself.
(actor quotes by William Manchester)
The actor who wants to adhere perfectly to the character is not only forced to counterfeit him, but is condemned to counterfeit and distort himself.
Actors have the privilege of giving dreams and love to people they don’t know, who have never met, but life is a much bigger film than a movie show.
(actor quotes by Nicole Kidman)
At one time the scenes were made of cardboard and the actors were real. Today the scenes are beyond any doubt and the actors are made of cardboard.
All men are great actors, except for some actors.
An actress must never lose her ego – without it there is no talent.
It is my opinion that, historically, the actor may have preceded the fire, the wheel, the ax, the mace – any important manifestation of human creativity, really – except perhaps murder and racket.
(Joseph Leo Mankiewicz)
An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like a machine. A money machine.
(actor quotes by Marilyn Monroe)
I have often seen an actor laugh off the stage, but I don’t remember ever seeing one cry.
A good actor never makes his entrance before the theater is full.
(Jorge Luis Borges)
At the theater I saw a comedy so bad that a gentleman rose from an armchair and shouted: “Is there an actor in the room?”.
(actor quotes by Milton Berle)
How many actors seem natural because they have no talent?
I am glad that nobody taught me to act: because in this way, not knowing how to act, I act very well.
An actor must be able to do everything, because in his career he could play any role, according to the fundamental rule that the more you do the better you can.
I have died many times, but never so.
(Tomb of an Etruscan actor)
I’m not a real movie star. I still have the same wife I started with twenty-eight years ago.
To be a good actor, one must: 1) be a person who has the gift of extraverting one’s interior; 2) have enough imagination to be able to imagine fake circumstances and events in such a lively way that one’s inner life is excited; 3) possess intelligence, experience and culture in the right measure to be able to properly understand human characters and circumstances.
(actor quotes by Arthur Schopenhauer)
Much of what we say is nothing but acting.
Sometimes there are encounters with people who are absolutely foreign to us, in which we feel interest from the first glance, suddenly, unexpectedly, before a single word is uttered.
One of the living testimonies of the actresses’ unhappiness, linked to the fear of aging, for me was Rita Hayworth. We shot The Circus and its great adventure. […] At forty-five, what had been the “atomic”, one of the most beautiful women in American cinema and in the world, was completely smashed. But she drank and, while drinking, forgot: she seemed to have absolutely no idea of the physical state in which she had been reduced.
Each writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.
(actor quotes by Rod Serling)
Every actress who appears in public without being well cared for is digging her own grave.
If it didn’t work out in Hollywood, I was ready to become the best secretary in the world.
Don’t forget that in the acting profession only the first 30 years are hard.