100+ Daniel Day-Lewis Quotes That Will Really Motivate You

Daniel Day-Lewis saying

Daniel Day-Lewis quotes that will really motivate you. There are so many Daniel Day-Lewis quotes that can help you when you are tired of being in the same old rut, and all you need is a little push, a little inspiration, a smile on the face, change of mood, bring you out of the banality of life, make you laugh a little, or may even make you cry a bit, and these Daniel Day-Lewis quotes exists just do that.

Daniel Day-Lewis is a very famous English actor, and he holds British and also Irish citizenship. Daniel Day-Lewis had been born and raised in London, and he had excelled on stage at the National Youth Theatre. Daniel Day-Lewis had then been accepted at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and he attended this for three years. Daniel Day-Lewis has been hailed by many as the greatest actors of his time.

In spite of Daniel Day-Lewis’ traditional training at the Bristol Old Vic, he has been considered a method actor and is well-known for his devotion to his roles.

Daniel Day-Lewis has displayed a “mercurial intensity“, and he would remain in character all throughout the shooting schedules of his movies, even to where it has affected his health. Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the selective actors in the movie industry, and he has starred in only six movies since 1998. Daniel Day-Lewis is very protective of his private life, and he rarely gives interviews.

We have dug up these Daniel Day-Lewis quotes from the depths of the internet and brought together best of these sayings in a single article. This post is probably the biggest database of Daniel Day-Lewis Sayings in a single place. These famous Daniel Day-Lewis quotes have the power to change your life by giving a novel outlook about the way you observe different aspects of your life. Hence, these popular Daniel Day-Lewis quotes should be read with caution and proper understanding of the context. Here are tons of Daniel Day-Lewis quotes that will open a treasure chest of Wisdom and experiences:

“I find it easier to work when it’s quiet.”

Daniel Day-Lewis best quotes

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“I hate wasting people’s time.”

Daniel Day-Lewis famous quotes

“I feel less often compelled to do the work than I was in the past.”

Daniel Day-Lewis popular quotes

“My curiosity sustains me for the period of the shoot.”

Daniel Day-Lewis quotes “I made the film in spite of Harvey, not because of Harvey.”-

Daniel Day-Lewis saying

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“[on acting] If I weren’t allowed this outlet, there wouldn’t be a place for me in society.”

“I suppose I have a highly developed capacity for self-delusion, so it’s no problem for me to believe I’m somebody else.”

“[on whether or not he will act in films more often in the future] Nothing happened over the course of making Gangs of New York (2002) that made me think,
“Why don’t I do this more often?”.”

“In every actor’s life, there is a moment when they ask themselves, “Is it really seemly for me to still be doing this?”.”

“[on Martin Scorsese] Martin doesn’t have to convince me about anything. I can only say that I would wish for any one of my colleagues to have the experience
of working with Marty once in their lifetime. If you get it twice, it’s a privilege that you don’t necessarily look for but you certainly don’t try to avoid.”

“Life comes first. What I see in the characters, I first try to see in life.”

“The West has always been the epicenter of possibility. One of the ways we forge against mortality is to head west. It’s to do with catching the sun before it
slips behind the horizon. We all keep moving toward the sun, wishing to get the last ray of hope before it sets.”

“[on playing Jack Slevin in The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005)] I was, as always, wary of taking on the role. This was a man whose soul was torn, and once
you’ve adopted that kind of internal conflict, it’s difficult to quiet.”

“[on disengaging from a character after filming] There’s a terrible sadness. The last day of shooting is surreal. Your mind, your body, your spirit are not in
any way prepared to accept that this experience is coming to an end. In the months that follow the finish of a film, you feel profound emptiness. You’ve
devoted so much of your time to unleashing, in an unconscious way, some sort of spiritual turmoil, and even if it’s uncomfortable, no part of you wishes to
leave that character behind. The sense of bereavement is such that it can take years before you can put it to rest.”

“Before I start a film, there is always a period where I think, “I’m not sure I can do this again”. I remember that before I was going to start There Will Be
Blood (2007), I wondered why I had said yes. When Martin Scorsese told me about Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York (2002), I wanted to change places with
that man. But even then, I did not say yes right away. I kept thinking, “I’m not sure I can do this again”.”

“[on seeing his face on posters for The Last of the Mohicans (1992)] That was, and will always be, difficult for me. The work itself is never anything but
pure pleasure, but there’s an awful lot of peripheral stuff that I find it hard to be surrounded by. I like things to be swift, because the energy you have
is concentrated and can be fleeting. The great machinery of film can work against that. I have never had a positive reaction to all the stuff that supposedly
promotes the film. The thought of it will make me hesitate to do any films at all.”

“[on learning to box for The Boxer (1997)] I wanted to see if I loved the sport, because if I didn’t love the sport, I wouldn’t want to tell the story. At its
best, boxing is very pure. It requires resilience and heart and self-belief even after it’s been knocked out of you. It’s a certain kind of a test. And it’s
hard: the training alone will kill you. And that’s before people start giving you a dig.”

“Playing the part of Christy Brown [in My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown (1989)] left me with a sense of setting myself on a course, of trying to
achieve something that was utterly out of reach.”

“[after filming The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)] I was hopelessly at sea. I was extremely unhappy most of the time. I think I probably felt I’d made
a fundamental error in agreeing to do that movie even though it was the part and the film that everyone wanted to do. And God help us, that is, in itself, a
reason not to do something.”

“[while filming My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown (1989)] I needed–and I still need–to create a particular environment. I need to find the right kind
of silence or light or noise. Whatever is necessary–and it is always different. I know it sounds a little fussy and a little ridiculous, but finding your
own rhythm is one of the most important things you can discover about yourself. And you have to observe it. As actors, we’re all encouraged to feel that each
job is the last job. They plant some little electrode in your head at an early stage and you think, “Be grateful, be grateful, be grateful”. So it’s not
without a sense of gratitude that I work. But I couldn’t do this work at all unless I did it in my own rhythm. It became a choice between stopping and taking
the time I needed.”

“Why would I want to play middle-aged, middle-class Englishmen?”

“There’s a quality of wildness that exists in Ireland that coincides with utter solitude.”

“I’ve managed to create a sense of banishment in so many different areas of my life. I live in Ireland, not England. I make films in America. And now I’m
banished from the theater because I’ve slagged it off so much. And I did the unspeakable thing of fleeing from “Hamlet”.”

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“[on acting school] For a few years at school I tried to play the roles they wanted me to play, but it became less and less interesting to ponce around the
place. Even now, when I sometimes think of doing a play, I think of rehearsal rooms and people hugging and everyone talking over cups of coffee because they
are nervous. It’s both very touching and it makes me a little nauseous and claustrophobic. Too much talk. I don’t rehearse at all in film if I can help it.
In talking a character through, you define it. And if you define it, you kill it dead.”

“Laurence Olivier might have been a much better actor on film if he hadn’t had that flippant attitude. [He] was a remarkable actor, but he was entirely
missing the point consistently. He felt that film was an inferior form.”

“The thing that Konstantin Stanislavski lays out is how you do the thing the first time every time – 1,000 times. That’s the idea you’re always searching for.”

“[on working when he was a teenager as an extra in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971)] I was just a local kid. I got to come out of the church, the same church where
I sang in the choir, and scratch up a row of cars–a Jag, a Bentley–parked in front. I thought, “I get paid for this!”. Years later I saw the director, John
Schlesinger, at the Edinburgh festival, where we were showing My Beautiful Laundrette (1985). I play a hooligan punk in that, too. I said to Schlesinger, “I
guess I haven’t progressed much.”.”

“I came from the educated middle class but I identified with the working classes. Those were the people I looked up to. The lads whose fathers worked on the
docks or in shipping yards or were shopkeepers. I knew that I wasn’t part of that world, but I was intrigued by it. They had a different way of
communicating. People who delight in conversation are often using that as a means to not say what is on their minds. When I became interested in theater, the
work I admired was being done by working-class writers. It was often about the inarticulate. I later saw that same thing in Robert De Niro’s early work–it
was the most sublime struggle of a man trying to express himself. There was such poetry in that for me.”

“[on obtaining Irish citizenship] I dare say it was still considered to be an abandonment of England! A betrayal! A heresy! It is not expected that someone
from my background will leave England. But I’ve committed so many heresies that there’s no sense in not making the final gesture.”

“[on visiting the west of Ireland every year since childhood] From the day we arrived here, my sense of Ireland’s importance has never diminished. Everything
here seemed exotic to us. Just the sound of the west of Ireland in a person’s voice can affect me deeply.”

“[on researching his role as Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007)] I like to learn about things. It was just a great time trying to conceive of the
impossibility of that thing. I didn’t know anything about mining at the turn of the century in America. My boarding school in Kent didn’t exactly teach that.”

“[on researching his role as Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007)] Back then men would get the fever. They would keep digging, always with the idea that
next time they’ll throw the dice and the money will fall out of the sky. It killed a lot of men, it broke others, still more were reduced to despair and
poverty, but they still believed in the promise of the West.”

“[on researching his role as Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007)] I read a lot of correspondence dating from that period. Decent middle-class lives with
wives and children were abandoned to pursue this elusive possibility. They were bank clerks and shipping agents and teachers. They all fled West for a sniff
of cheap money. And they made it up as they went along. No one knew how to drill for oil. Initially, they scooped it out of the ground in saucepans. It was
man at his most animalistic, sifting through filth to find bright, sparkly things.”

“It was always assumed that the classics were a good line of work for me because I had a decent voice and the right nose. But anybody who comes from an
essentially cynical European society is going to be bewitched by the sheer enthusiasm of the New World. And in America, the articulate use of language is
often regarded with suspicion. Especially in the West. Look at the president. He could talk like an educated New Englander if he chose to. Instead, he holds
his hands like a man who swings an ax. George W. Bush understands, very astutely, that many of the people who are going to vote for him would regard him less
highly if he knew how to put words together. He would no longer be one of them. In Europe, the tradition is one of oratory. But in America, a man’s man is
never spendthrift with words. This, of course, is much more appealing in the movies than it is in politics.”

“[replying to a compliment on his articulation] I am more greatly moved by people who struggle to express themselves. Maybe it’s a middle-class British hang-
up, but I prefer the abstract concept of incoherence in the face of great feeling to beautiful, full sentences that convey little emotion.”

“[on applying to theater school, the Bristol Old Vic] I picked just one because then it would be a sign from the gods if it was not meant to be.”

“[on his reluctance to expose the mechanics of his acting process] It’s not that I want to pull the shutters down. It’s just that people have such a
misconception about what it is I do. They think the character comes from staying in the wheelchair or being locked in the jail or whatever extravagant thing
they choose to focus their fantasies on. Somehow, it always seems to have a self-flagellatory aspect to it. But that’s just the superficial stuff. Most of
the movies that I do are leading me toward a life that is utterly mysterious to me. My chief goal is to find a way to make that life meaningful to other

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“I was deeply unsettled by the script [of There Will Be Blood (2007)]. For me, that is a sure sign. If you remain unsettled by a piece of writing, it means
you are not watching the story from the outside; you’ve already taken a step toward it. When I’m drawn to something, I take a resolute step backward, and I
ask myself if I can really serve this story as well as it needs to be served. If I don’t think I can do that, no matter how appealing, I will decline. What
finally takes over, what took over with this movie, is an illusion of inevitability. I think, “Can this really be true? Is this happening to me again? Is
there no way to avoid this?”.”

“My love for American movies was like a secret that I carried around with me. I always knew I could straddle different worlds. I’d grown up in two different
worlds and if you can grow up in two different worlds, you can occupy four. Or six. Why put a limit on it?”

“I used to go to all-night screenings of [Clint Eastwood] movies. I’d stagger out at 5 in the morning, trying to be loose-limbed and mean and taciturn.”

“Where I come from, it was a heresy to say you wanted to be in movies, leave alone American movies. We were all encouraged to believe that the classics of the
theater were the fiery hoops through which you’d have to pass if you were going to have any self-esteem as a performer. It never occurred to me that that was
the case. One of the great privileges of having grown up in a middle-class literary English household, but having gone to school in the front lines in
Southeast London, was that I became half-street-urchin and half-good-boy at home. I knew that dichotomy was possible. England is obsessed with where you came
from, and they are determined to keep you in that place, be it in a drawing room or in the gutter. The great tradition of liberalism in England is
essentially a sponge that absorbs all possibility of change. America looked different to me: the idea of America as a place of infinite possibilities was
defined for me through the movies. I’m glad I did the classical work that I did, but it just wasn’t for me. I’m a little bit perverse, and I just hate doing
the thing that’s the most obvious.”

“I saw Taxi Driver (1976) five or six times in the first week, and I was astonished by its sheer visceral beauty. I just kept going back–I didn’t know
America, but that was a glimpse of what America might be, and I realized that, contrary to expectation, I wanted to tell American stories.”

“I don’t particularly like westerns as a genre, but I do love certain westerns. High Noon (1952) means a lot to me–I love the purity and the honesty, I love
Gary Cooper in that film, the idea of the last man standing. I do not like John Wayne–I find it hard to watch him. I just never took to him. And I don’t
like James Stewart as a cowboy. I love him, but just not as a cowboy; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) is one of my favorite films. I love Frank Capra. I
love Preston Sturges. But we’re talking about westerns… I have always admired Clint Eastwood’s westerns. The spaghetti westerns were a great discovery. And
Pale Rider (1985). As a child, the John Ford film Cheyenne Autumn (1964) made a big impression on me. And Five Easy Pieces (1970). It’s not really a western,
but it is about the possibilities that can be found in the West. Jack Nicholson is sublime in that film, just sublime. It’s the most stultifying portrait of
middle-class life. You want to flee from that world and head anywhere less civilized. Which is, of course, the appeal of the West: It’s not tamed yet.”

“[on creating a characterization] The intention is always the same. To try to discover life in its entirety, or at least create for yourself the illusion that
you have, which might give you some chance of convincing other people of it. It’s the same thing each time, but it requires totally different work in the
process of achieving that. You are set on a path that’s strewn with obstacles, but getting over them is the joy of the work. So it’s impossible to think in
terms of difficulty: it all seems utterly impossible, but the pleasure is in trying to forge ahead anyway.”

“My ambition for many years was to be involved in work that was utterly compelling to me, regardless of the consequences. But I worried a lot as a young man
about where such and such a thing might take me; you’re encouraged to think that way. You’re supposed to build a career for yourself. But there’s no part of
me that was able to do that. And thank God I was able to recognize it before I sort of went grey with anxiety.”

“[on why he takes long breaks between films] For my sense of continuity, I suppose I work in a certain way. But it goes beyond that. It’s really about the
sense of joy you have in having worked hard to imagine and discover and–one hopes–to create a world, an illusion of a world that other people might believe
in because you believe in it yourself, a form of self-delusion. After achieving that, it seems far crazier to jump in and out of that world that you’ve gone
to such pains to create. And it wouldn’t be my wish to do that, because I enjoy being in there.”

“Whenever we reach what we think are the boundaries of our endurance, you know ten minutes later you’re thinking: “I could have done that”–like in any
athletic pursuit–“I could have gone further than that; I could have jumped higher”.

“I am rather surprised that I haven’t made more stories about my own country but it is a mistake to suggest that the biggest influence on my life in terms of
movies has been America. It was and remains Ken Loach and his whole body of work, not that I have ever worked with him. There is something unique and pure
about the way he works, without a taint on it. His beliefs have remained unwavering since he made”

“I do have dual citizenship, but I think of England as my country. I miss London very much but I couldn’t live there because there came a time when I needed
to be private and was forced to be public by the press. I couldn’t deal with it.”

“I was very influenced by Ken Loach’s work from the moment I saw Kes (1969) when I was a kid. It still remains for me one of the most powerful pieces of work
ever. Before that, there was Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), This Sporting Life (1963) and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962), which
all expressed a new British social realism. Undoubtedly, they opened up the possibility of examining British life in a new way. That was probably the most
important film experience I had.”

“I have no illusion about the fact that I’m an Englishman living in Ireland. Even though I do straddle both worlds and I’m very proud to be able to carry both
passports. But I do know where I come from. I particularly miss southeast London–the front-lines of Deptford and Lewisham and New Cross and Charlton–
because that’s my patch.”

“[on accepting the best actor Oscar for There Will Be Blood (2007)] This sprang like a sapling out of the mad, beautiful head of Paul Thomas Anderson.”

“[on the “wisdom” of actors as public figures] Initially it was invigorating. People suddenly wanted to hear my views on all manner of social problems. I was
up for it but it palled very soon afterwards. It was not like real conversation, where you listen and learn. It’s hard to learn anything when you are talking
about it. You only learn doing it. And if you are not learning, what’s the point?”

“Theatre invites a nuts-and-bolts process to rehearsing in which all the actors are transparent to each other. For me, even if the truth I am looking for
might be a specious one, I still need to believe in a kernel of truth. And I find it hard to do in a rehearsal situation where everyone is saying, “Are you
going to do it like that?” It is distracting and deadly in the end to any discovery you might make. I’m never far away from a sense of potential absurdity of
what I am doing, and maybe as I get older I have to work harder and harder to obliterate it. That’s maybe why I seem to take it far too seriously.”

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“[His acceptance speech for Best Actor In A Leading Role SAG award for There Will Be Blood (2007)] Thank you. I’m very, very proud of this. Thank you so much
for giving it to me. And I’m very proud to be included in that group of wonderful actors this year. You know, for as long as I can remember, the thing that
gave me a sense of wonderment, of renewal, the thing that teased me with the question, “How is such a thing possible?”, and then dare you to go back into the
arena one more time, with longing and self-doubt, jostling in the balance. It’s always been the work of other actors, and there are many actors in this room
tonight, including my fellow nominees, who have given that sense of regeneration and Heath Ledger gave it to me. In Monster’s Ball (2001), that character
that he created, it seemed to be almost like an unformed being, retreating from themselves, retreating from his father, from his life, even retreating from
us, and yet we wanted to follow him, and yet we’re scared to follow him almost. It was unique. And then, of course, in Brokeback Mountain (2005), he was
unique, he was perfect. And that scene in the trailer at the end of the film is as moving as anything that I think I’ve ever seen. And I’d like to dedicate
this to Heath Ledger. So, thank you very much. Thank you so much.”

“[on choosing film roles] I begin with a sense of mystery. In other words, I am intrigued by a life that seems very far removed from my own. And I have a
sense of curiosity to discover that life and maybe change places with it for a while.”

“[on Heath Ledger] As much as I was glad to have a chance to say something in that moment. There was plenty more I could say but we’re not just fueling a fire
that’s already out of control. His family, for instance, at this moment are trying to suffer that unimaginable grief in the full scrutiny of a fucking circus
and anything that I say is probably going to contribute even more to that and keep the story running and running and running. There will come a time
eventually when people just remember that he was a beautiful man who did some wonderful work and we would have seen great things from him. Right now I can’t
say that I’m too enthusiastic about just adding more fodder to what is already a horrendously, obscenely overblown machine that’s gathered around his death.
It’s horrible.”

“[on the passing of Pete Postlethwaite] “Pos” was the one. As students, it was him we went to see on stage time and time again. It was him we wanted to be
like: wild and true, lion-hearted, unselfconscious, irreverent. He was on our side. He watched out for us. We loved him and followed him like happy children,
never a breath away from laughter. He shouldn’t have gone. I wish so much that he hadn’t. There’s a tendency to make lists at this time of the year. When we
get to the Best of British, if Pete isn’t at the top of that list, he shouldn’t be far from it.”

“[on the rumors surrounding his acting process]: Certainly in England I think they prefer to believe that I’m stone mad. That’s how they account for all my
eccentric behavior. But I always feel as if that has been largely misrepresented, the details that have been singled out… People are fascinated by the
peripheral details. But that’s not where the principal work takes place, obviously. That takes place either inside you, or it doesn’t happen at all. It’s
your own life that breathes itself into and through the character. But people prefer to dwell on the stuff that appears on the face of it to be some form of
self-flagellation. And for me, everything is part of the joy of discovering this life–that one is trying to inform as well as satisfying an irresistible
curiosity. So it’s the pleasure in learning that has always been the prevailing feeling for me. And yet consistently it’s represented as this tortured thing.”

“Interviews are God’s great joke on me.”

“I like to take a long time over things, and I believe that it’s the time spent away from the work that allows me to do the work itself. If you’re lurching
from from one film set or one theater to the other, I’m not sure what your resources would be as a human being.”

“[on playing Abraham Lincoln] The minute you begin to approach him–and there are vast corridors that have been carved that lead you to an understanding of
that man’s life, both through the great riches of his own writing and all the contemporary accounts and biographies–he feels immediately and surprisingly
accessible. He draws you closer to him.”

“I became conflicted in my late teens. I imagined an alternative life as a furniture maker. For about a year I just didn’t know what to do. I did laboring
jobs–working in the docks, construction sites. When I did make the decision to focus on acting, I think my mother was just relieved for me that I had
finally started to focus. She probably feared for me much more than she ever let on, because all I got from her, no matter what I was doing was
encouragement–so much so that I think I became quite a harsh judge of myself to try to restore some kind of balance.”

“[on the United States] I probably do have a greater fascination for the history of this country than I do for my own. I date that back to the moment that
Michael Mann invited me to do The Last of the Mohicans (1992)]. I hedged my bets for a long time because I thought, “Why? Why would he want to do that?”.
Eventually I thought, “Well, if he’s willing to take that chance, who am I to say no?”.

“[on events in America, 2012] I think a lot about what President [Barack Obama] is going through at this moment. I look to the extent to which he has aged
visibly. I feel I aged visibly just playing [President Abraham Lincoln], so to actually have that responsibility is a burden that one can only explore in
one’s imagination. Anyone who has that position of authority must necessarily find themselves very, very alone at certain times. I’m not in any way comparing
his work to the work that I do as an actor, but it’s a common theme.”

“I’m woefully one-track-minded. Without sounding unhinged, I know I’m not Abraham Lincoln. I’m aware of that. But the truth is the entire game is about
creating an illusion, and for whatever reason, and mad as it may sound, some part of me can allow myself to believe for a period for time without
questioning, and that’s the trick. Maybe it’s a terrible revelation about myself that one does feel able to do that.”

“[on playing Abraham Lincoln] I thought this is a very, very bad idea. But by that time it was too late. I had already been drawn into Lincoln’s orbit. He has
a very powerful orbit, which is interesting because we tend to hold him at such a distance. He’s been mythologized almost to the point of dehumanization. But
when you begin to approach him, he almost instantly becomes welcoming and accessible, the way he was in life.”

“[on photos of Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner] I looked at them the way you sometimes look at your own reflection in a mirror and wonder who that person
is looking back at you.”

“I never, ever felt that depth of love for another human being that I never met. And that’s, I think, probably the effect that [Abraham Lincoln] has on most
people that take the time to discover him… I wish he had stayed [with me] forever.”

“[accepting the Best Actor award at SAG, 2013] It occurred to me–it was an actor that murdered Abraham Lincoln. And therefore, somehow it is only so fitting
that every now and then an actor tries to bring him back to life again.”

“[on being presented the 2013 Best Actor Oscar by Meryl Streep] It’s strange because three years ago, before we decided to do a straight swap, I had actually
been committed to play Margaret Thatcher and Meryl was Steven Spielberg’s first choice for Lincoln (2012). I’d have liked to see that version.”

“Since we got married 16 years ago, my wife [Rebecca Miller] has lived with some very strange men. But luckily, she’s the versatile one in the family and
she’s been the perfect companion to all of them.”

“I miss playing [Abraham Lincoln]. Very much. I miss the proximity to his character. There was a time in my life when it wasn’t clear whether or not I would
amount to anything. I was fearful about my future. In England, people were hell-bent on certifying me–to them, the way I work as an actor is the system of
someone who is unhinged. As a young man, when I saw the early movies by Martin Scorsese, I saw a way to be, a kind of liberation. In those movies, America
seemed like a place of infinite opportunities. In Lincoln (2012), we tried to show that sense of grand democratic possibility. We created a world I didn’t
want to leave.”

“[on Barack Obama’s re-election, November 2012] I know as an Englishman, it absolutely none of my business, but I’m so very grateful it was you.”

“[on stage vs. film acting in a 1987 interview] I’m greedy. I prefer both. By that I mean I feel that I’d be missing out if I were to do only one or the

“There’s no point in making social comments badly. That is really dangerous… I don’t like things that just gripe.”

“[In a 1987 interview about the variety of his roles] I don’t set out in search of something that is different, although I probably do go in search of things
that involve traveling a certain distance away from my own life and away from the lives of characters I’ve already explored. But at the end of a job, there’s
always a sense of having failed to some extent in the exploration – of knowing that there are many, many other factors that might have been explored. Yet at
the same time, I always feel it’s time to move on, regardless of any dissatisfaction.”

“(To Harvey Weinstein) There’s only one part of you that works – the ability to pick scripts and pick movies. Otherwise, you’re a complete disaster as a

“[on briefly joining the National Youth Theatre while at Bedales] [It left me with] bad thoughts about the theatre. Having been completely convinced that
theatre was the only plausible life for me, I decided there was something intrinsically very seedy and distasteful about it. [I was] very spotty, very
spotty, quite morose, quite sullen. I met up with a friend of mine years later, and he said, ‘What I remember about you is your saying, “Want to come down
the Edgware Road to get a flick knife?”‘ I think my father was preoccupied with whether I’d survive as a human being, because the last couple of years before
he died I got into a lot of trouble: usual stuff, shoplifting – *that* was the end of the world – and smoking and drinking and messing around with girls.”

“I think I have a strange relationship with time. I’m not really aware of that time passing. I don’t feel that I’m wasteful with time. But I’m not aware of it passing.”

“I would wish for any one of my colleagues to have the experience of working with Martin Scorsese once in their lifetime.”

“I suppose the place where I live is fairly remote, it would seem remote to some people.”

“At a certain age it just became apparent to me that this was probably the work that I would have to do.”

“Everybody has to know for themselves what they’re capable of.”

“How people are around a director, it really does affect everything, every detail of the life of the movie.”

“I don’t know what impression you might have of the way I live. I live in a quiet place. I do not live as a hermit, though other people would prefer it if I did.”

“I see a lot of movies. I love films as a spectator, and that’s never obscured by the part of me that does the work myself. I just love going to the movies.”

“I think some actors thrive on working at a much greater pace than I do.”

“I try to honor that bargain that I made with myself that I wouldn’t do this work unless I really felt the need to. I just didn’t see the point.”

“I was a savage for so many years of my life. There was some seed of determination in me that I was not conscious of. I was mostly consciously getting into trouble and drunk.”

“I’m not always doing this work, but whatever I’m doing when I’m not doing this work seems to be as much a part of this as anything else.”

“I’m very often still very much alive for that other being and that other world long after the film is finished.”

“If people take an interest in you and they think there’s half a chance, they might hang on. It’s dreadful.”

“It’s a complete illusion, this notion. We create for ourselves this strange delusion that we exchange our lives for someone else’s.”

“Making a film, setting it up and getting it cast and getting it together, is not an easy thing.”

“Many years ago, I really didn’t know where the next work was coming from.”

“The last time I was on a small set would’ve been probably My Left Foot.”

“The whole thing of weight, I guess it’s because there is a wider fascination we all have with weight.”

“There must’ve been some part of me that wanted to make my mark. But there was never a defining moment.”

“There’s nothing worse than finding yourself in a situation, a very demanding piece of work, and knowing that you’re not a true ally to the person who’s in charge of all that.”

“When I’ve gone back to work, it’s always with that sense of inevitability. That may be a complete delusion, but it’s the one that I need to get out of bed and go about my business. That sense that I can’t avoid this thing. I better just get on with it.”

“You can never fully put your finger on the reason why you’re suddenly, inexplicably compelled to explore one life as opposed to another.”

“I suppose I have a highly developed capacity for self-delusion, so it’s no problem for me to believe that I’m somebody else.”


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