method * quotes *

Read all the Shakespeare you can; if you can play Shakespeare, you can play anything. -- John Carradine

First wipe your nose and check your flies. -- Alec Guinness

Never get caught acting. -- Lillian Gish

If you cried a little less, the audience would cry more. -- Edith Evans (to John Gielgud)

Have a very good reason for everything you do. -- Laurence Olivier

Play well, or play badly, but play truly. -- Konstantin Stanislavsky

Know your lines and don't bump into the furniture. -- Spencer Tracy

Whatever you do, kid, always serve it with a little dressing. -- George M. Cohan (to Spencer Tracy)

Use your weaknesses; aspire to the strength. -- Laurence Olivier

Pray to God and say the lines. -- Bette Davis

Act in your pauses. -- Ellen Terry (to Cedric Hardwicke)

If you want to help the American theater, don't be an actress, be an audience. -- Tallulah Bankhead

When you go into the professional world, at a stock theater somewhere, backstage you will meet an older actor--someone who has been around awhile. He will tell you tales and anecdotes about life in the theater. He will speak to you about your performance and the performances of others, and he will generalize to you, based on his experience and his intuitions, about the laws of the stage. Ignore this man. -- Sanford Meisner

Don't think you're funny. It'll never work if you think you're funny. -- George Abbott (to an actor in a comic role)

To be a character who feels a deep emotion, one must go into the memory's vault and mix in a sad memory from one's own life. -- Albert Finney

Nobody "becomes" a character. You can't act unless you are who you are. -- Marlon Brando

You have to work years in hit shows to make people sick and tired of you, but you can accomplish this in a few weeks on television. -- Walter Slezak

My advice to actresses is don't worry about your looks. The very thing that makes you unhappy in your appearance may be the one thing to make you a star. -- Estelle Winwood

Don't be afraid to be outrageous; the critics will shoot you down anyway. -- Laurence Olivier (to Anthony Hopkins)

The important thing in acting is to be able to laugh and cry. If I have to cry, I think of my sex life. If I have to laugh, I think of my sex life. -- Glenda Jackson

Talk low, talk slow, and don't say too much. -- John Wayne

Don't act, think. -- David Lean

If you achieve success, you will get applause. Enjoy it--but never quite believe it. -- Robert Montgomery

Don't use your conscious past, use your creative imagination to create a past that belongs to your character. I don't want you to be stuck with your own life. It's too little! It's too bitty-caca. -- Stella Adler

It is a great help for a man to be in love with himself. For an actor, however, it is absolutely essential. -- Robert Morley

Just let the wardrobe do the acting. -- Jack Nicholson (to Michael Keaton, on the set of Batman)

The first thing you should do when you win an Oscar is thank God. The second thing you should do is forget it. The third thing you should do is call your agent and tell him you need a job. -- Rod Steiger

Never take top billing. You'll last longer that way. -- Bing Crosby

The one word you'll need is "no." -- Bette Davis (to Robin Williams)

Use a make-up table with everything close at hand and don't rush; otherwise you'll look like a patchwork quilt. -- Lucille Ball

The most important thing in acting is honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made. -- George Burns

Actors should be overheard, not listened to, and the audience is fifty percent of the performance.-- Shirley Booth

Lead the audience by the nose to the thought. -- Laurence Olivier

You're at a level where you can only afford one mistake. The higher up you go, the more mistakes you're allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style. -- Fred Astaire (to Jack Lemmon)

If you're going to make rubbish, be the best rubbish in it. -- Richard Burton

Walk in, plant yourself, look the other fellow in the eye, and tell the truth. -- James Cagney

The best research [for playing drunk] is being a British actor for twenty years. -- Michael Caine

I'm afraid you'll never make it as an actor. But as a star, I think you might well hit the jackpot. -- Orson Welles (to Joseph Cotten)

Stick to your inkpots, kid, actors don't eat regularly. -- Anonymous (Colleague advising cartoonist Milton Caniff to avoid the stage)

What acting means is that you've got to get out of your own skin. -- Katharine Hepburn

You'll never make it as a juggler, m'boy. Your eyes are too sad. But don't listen to me, kid. My entire success is based on one rule: never take advice from anybody! -- W. C. Fields (to Paul Muni)

People disappoint you. Lovers disappoint you. But theatrical memorabilia stays with you, as long as you keep it under clear plastic. -- Sylvia Miles

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