Anthony Hopkins quotes and sayings
December 31, 1937
I've always been hopeless at everything when I was a kid. That's why I became an actor - 'cause I couldn't do anything else.
I always distrust the word art when it is applied to acting.
I don't believe in nepotism. I don't much like the idea of parents who interfere.
The reward is in the doing of it.
Why love if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore; only the life I have lived. The pain now is part of the happiness then.
Relish everything that's inside of you, the imperfections, the darkness, the richness and light and everything. And that makes for a full life.
I know how to be strong. I know how to be ruthless. It's part of my nature. I wouldn't be an actor if I wasn't.
I'm composing and writing music.
Women never really care to face the truth when their hearts are involved.
My father wasn't a cruel man. And I loved him. But he was a pretty tough character. His own father was even tougher - one of those Victorians, hard as iron - but my dad was tough enough.
Every time I try to retire, or even think of retiring from acting, my agent comes up with a script.
I love roller coasters. I don't get a chance often, but I've gone to Magic Mountain and gone on the rides. I love roller coasters.
We're all different. Some people are musicians, some people are actors, some people are agents and some people are accountants... We're all different.
I love to read, and so I've been reading everything I can, not intensely, but I love to read so I read "Origin of Species" by Darwin and I can't make head or tail of E=MC squared by Einstein, but I try to baffle my way through that.
I hate taxing my mind with analysis. I'm not a good analyst. I cannot talk about acting. I hate talking about it. I hate talking about analyzing.
We're just blades of grass, and when we go, we go, we never come back; one life . . . maybe that's true. But I tend to believe that this is not all there is. Because my life has been like a shadow of something deeper. And I've experienced that many times.
I have no illusions about my position in this world as an actor or anything like that. I'm very realistic. Reality is a very liberating thing.
I like to work. I don't like to disrupt my equilibrium. I don't like to change my head. I'd rather be a third-rate actor. It's a job, and I'm dedicated in my way. I enjoy it. I'm serious about it. But if it doesn't come off, I'm not going to die.
I'm one of the slowest drivers on the road. I mosey along. If you're doing anything too fast, including living life too fast, that creates sudden death. If I have to be somewhere on time, I make sure I leave early enough.
You have to have humor. If you don't have humor and you take yourself seriously, you're dead in the water. You have to be jostled. I love it. You've gotta have a laugh. It's better than working for a living.
When you begin to believe you have license because you are a special person breathing special oxygen, that's when you're in big trouble. That's the road to insanity. And a lot of people in the studios are like that. They believe that they are special. I do think actors are blessed, or cursed, with maybe a slightly heightened awareness, which you have to use.
I've always liked American actors particularly. Because that was my first impression. I was very enamoured of America when I was a kid because we were surrounded by American soldiers during the war, the accent was very strange to me, it was very exotic and very captivating.
If you have high expectations you're going to get resentments and all kinds of tension.
The running joke on set of the Westworlds was that everyone at some point thinks that they're Anthony Hopkins. Like, Guys, I think I'm Dr. Ford. I'm Anthony Hopkins. That's the twist. We love all of the theories. Part of the fun of that show is figuring it out.
Once you accept the fact that there's nothing to fear, you drill into the primal oil well. I believe when we do things without fear, we can do anything. As long as you don't worry about the consequences.
If I spent all my time criticising myself, I wouldn't be able to function. There are actors who theorise till the cows come home. I haven't the patience for them. It's maybe shallow, but that's why I'll never be part of the acting set.
I'm married. My wife, Stella - a beautiful woman. She's brought a lot of peace to my life, a lot of wisdom.
There's a thing that if you - somebody in faith is always troubled by doubt, and somebody by doubt is always wanted by faith. So it's a kind of paradox.
I've been very lucky. I've had my problems in the past, I've had my troubles, but you move on. I had a great life and I am really thankful for it.
We all dream. We dream vividly, depending on our nature. Our existence is beyond our explanation, whether we believe in God or we have religion or we're atheist.
We have a Boesendorfer piano that I play every day. It keeps my brain and my fingers active.
Mortality is the great rescuer, it finally takes you out of everything, and that makes life good.Read Carl Jung. It makes life richer because this is it; none of us know where we go and this is the fun of it.
Danger is the spice of life and you've got to take a risk now and thenthat's what makes life worthwhile.
I learn poetry, learn text, and that really keeps you alive.
I'm always cast in these strange men... that's not me, really.
People don't always tell you what they are thinking. They just see to it that you don't advance in life.
What I do is just go over and over and over my lines and learn the script so well that I can just be easy and relaxed. That's the way I always work.
People ask me how did you choose the part and how did you prepare for this work? I just learned the lines and showed up; I don't know what else to say because that's all I know how to do.
I said once that if they gave me enough money to read the phone book, I'd do it. I live in a total state of non-expectation. I don't expect things, and I keep my expectations very low about everything.
I always liked to take the plunge, you know, I'd jump in at the deep end and hope that I'd find land somehow, or hope I'd float or survive. That's more or less the way I've gone through my life.
I can't stand directors who try to micro-manage everything. When it happens these days I just walk off set, saying if they don't like the way I'm doing it they can get someone else.
I found a way into the acting business because I thought, well, it beats working for a living, and so that's what I do. But I still feel like a bit of a stranger in it all. I've never really belonged anywhere.
There are people who are convinced supernatural forces are at work, but I've no idea. I suspect 'possession' might be a psychological thing, like schizophrenia. We all think we know things, but we don't know a damn thing. Whether God exists, why we're here... Nobody really knows any of it.
I was born in the same town as Richard Burton, the actor, and I saw him, he used to come - he and his wife drove by in the car in my father's shop and Burton would come home from Hollywood and ask him for his autograph, and I thought, I want to be like him. And that's all I said to myself, I want to be like that. I want to get out of this environment of my own empty mind.
I think Julianne Moore is very, very good. I've worked with her. We did Surviving Picasso. I remember one scene we did together. She had to have a nervous, a mental, breakdown in this one scene. I didn't have many lines. I just had to make sure I knew I came in on cue all right. And I was just watching her walking though the rehearsal. I thought I know what she's doing, "This is going to be terrific." So they said, "Are you ready" and she said, "Yeah," "Ok, roll the camera." And all in one take.
I believe I am quite amiable and affable and quite fair, and I've rarely worked with people who are the opposite. Moodiness scares me. What gets to me is unkindness. Madness. Unwarranted cruelty through words. People who scream and shout at work. I hate confrontation and violence. I've done it in the past and I don't want to do it again. I guess I want a perfect world.
Israel means war and destruction and we Americans are behind this war and I am ashamed of being American.
I don't have many friends; I'm very much a loner. As a child I was very isolated, and I've never been really close to anyone.
I'm devious, cruel, cunning and addictive.
I don't know why they gave me a knighthood - though it's very nice of them - but I only ever use the title in the U.S. The Americans insist on it and get offended if I don't.
My philosophy is it's none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am, and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.
I've reached a happy stage in my life - you can call it "happy" - but I have no expectations anymore. I'm glad I'm not young anymore.
Jonathan Demme is a very sharp editor of his movies.
How do you play Hannibal Lector? Well just don't move. Scare people by being still.
Once you begin to fall off the track and believe you breathe different air to everyone else, you're doomed; you're finished.
We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It's a death trap.
I just remember Kathy Bates getting on the stage and "The Oscar goes to Anthony Hopkins." I looked around, because I really thought Nick Nolte would get it. I really thought Nick would get it. I was very surprised. It was neck and neck with Nick Nolte and myself. So I really was expecting that to happen, and I went in there without any expectations.
Acting is constricted because you have the lines. But I improvise with it and what I learn on the set. I improvise rhythms and just changes.
What a glorious night. Every face I see is a memory. It may not be a perfectly perfect memory. Sometimes we had our ups and downs. But we're all together and you're mine for a night. And I'm going to break precedent and tell you my one-candle wish...that you would have a life as lucky as mine, where you can wake up one morning and say, 'I don't want anything more'. Sixty-five years. Don't they go by in a blink?
There is nothing to be scared of in movies. It's a bit scarier going on stage.
Ask Anthony Hopkins how he makes his characters come to life and he just shrugs. I don't know. If I knew, I wouldn't be able to do it. As they say: Where ignorance is bliss it's folly to be wise.
Hitchcock was such a master of putting on screen things that made you uneasy. Somebody once asked him what frightened him most, and he said the police. He came from a poor background. I think he understood those fears.
I don't have a vast longing for the stage.
My life is not my own business.
My life has been a kind of mystery to me. By all my logical, linear thinking I started out in school as a little boy, I didn't have a clue about anything. What they were talking about in school, couldn't play sports, couldn't learn, and I was bottom of the class.
I am young! Being creative and keeping your brain occupied is very sensible because if you don't you die, slowly.
It's very difficult to liberate yourself from what you've learned. You know it's almost impossible because you learn in order to survive.
Getting old ain't for the faint of heart.
I'm most suspicious of scripts that have a lot of stage direction at the top of the page... sunrise over the desert and masses of... a whole essay before you get to the dialogue.
That's what happens if you don't address the darkness in you. You become repressed and depressed and suicidal.
Oh, the truth, oh yeah, lot of trouble that got us into, didn't it, over the last maybe thousand years? Hitler knew the truth, so did Stalin, so did Mao Zedong, so did the Inquisition. They all knew the truth and that caused such horror. Certainty is the enemy.
Living with reality is a very good trick, it gives you tremendous freedom and it changes the structure of the molecules of your soul by living with reality because you don't expect anything anymore. Which is a weird paradox.
I'm not a health freak. I just work out every day.
In the theater, people talk. Talk, talk until the cows come home about journeys of discovery and about what Hazlitt thought of a line of Shakespeare. I can't stand it.
There's many a good tune played by an old banjo.
The way to make better decisions is to make more of them. Then make sure you learn from each one, including those that don't seem to work out in the short term: they will provide valuable distinctions to make better evaluations and therefore decisions in the future. Realize that decision making, like any skill you focus on improving, gets better the more often you do it.
I would like to go back to Wales. I'm obsessed with my childhood and at least three times a week dream I am back there.
The art of acting is not to act. Once you show them more, what you show them, in fact is bad acting.
I think all those actors from that generation, like Bogart - they were wonderful actors. They didn't act. They just came on and they did it, and the characters were wonderful.
Whether it's overeating or it's overworking or over-sex or whatever it is, alcoholism, drug addition, we push ourselves to the brink and then pull back because it's kind of exciting.
When you're young, you're very insecure. And if I could learn, if I could revisit my own past I could say to myself, don't think too much, just get on and do it.
You could say one wine is like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz while another is like the mature Judy Garland, or that a big voluptuous chardonnay is like Marilyn Monroe -round, bosomy - you can remember that chardonnay, If you say a wine is snappy and lively, like Robin Williams, that's very different than the Anthony Hopkins of wine - urbane, sophisticated, measured, considered.
What is so liberating about this whole business is when you see that, you know, big movies are going to come out, huge movies are going to come out, and then you see them up in Malibu in the little Triplex theater a week later, on the scratch negative, and you think...This is show business. This is the great movie career. And it's all finding it in the shoebox.
Guilt is the thief of life.
No expectations. Ask nothing, expect nothing and accept everything, and life is very well.
If you do things, whether it's acting or music or painting, do it without fear - that's my philosophy. Because nobody can arrest you and put you in jail if you paint badly, so there's nothing to lose.
This industry has been really good to me. It's been a great life. I'm not through yet. I'm ready when you are, Mr. DeMille.
Julie Anne Peters
Roy Jones Jr.
Robert W. Service
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