Emily Mortimer quotes and sayings
December 1, 1971
I'm trying to avoid, you know, guilt, even though before the child is born, you're already thinking you're doing things wrong... Why do I think that will probably carry over until the day you die?
You do the one film that you think is terrible, but it's a big studio film and you hope you'll get another job because of it, because blah blah blah, whatever it is. You know that you hate it, you just couldn't care less if it got made because it's not something in a million years you'd go and see yourself. And it ends up being shite and you just knew it was shite to begin with, and it doesn't do you any favors at all if someone thought you were in another shite film. So I decided it doesn't get me anywhere being cynical. It's not that I want to be.
Some people come alive at night. I'm hopeless by 9 p.m. Coffee and Cadbury buy me an extra half hour. Often I can't get my clothes off I'm so far gone.
I'm just happy to be a film where for once I don't have to worry about my hair, because my managers are always complaining about my hair looking depressing in my movies. Which is true. I mean, it's true.
I wake up early. At 6:30 A.M., I'm at my most optimistic.
I'm physically completely mal-coordinated. My best friend used to make me run for the bus just to give herself a quick, cheap laugh because I definitely don't have that sophisticated cool thing down.
I'm still shy - I'm no good at my children's parent-teacher conferences, and I'm slowly learning how to ask for what I want. But I now know that I have a reserve of courage to draw upon when I really need it. There's nothing that I'm too scared to have a go at.
Good people can do terrible things, and that's what life is all about, the complexities and grey areas. And often characters aren't written that way in movies, especially characters for women. So you end up being either one thing or the other.
It's dangerous talking about yourself too much because you find yourself talking in sound bites.
Despite being extremely professional, Michael Caine has a giggle which was lethal for me because once you catch his eyes, once you realize the other person is a giggler too, it's curtains.
New York is great, but I miss L.A. - I feel like there was something exotic about L.A. that I kind of underestimated at the time. It was very unfamiliar to me.
So what I do now is to pre-empt that by making the up into a virtue, and telling funny stories about how crap I am before people have a chance to notice it for themselves and think maybe I haven't realized.
It's censorship, really. I don't see why it's not okay for somebody under the age of 17 watch someone smoking when they can watch someone have their brains blown out? My son and I were watching an ad on the television the other day. And it said, "Rated R." He said, "What does 'rated R' mean?" I said, "God, I don't know. You can't watch it unless you're over a certain age.".
I think that you can get more passionate about somebody the longer you're with them and the more you know them and the more you go through together. Being married is definitely better than it's cracked up to be I think.
I like to mix it up, yeah. I don't sort of think, 'Oh, I need to do a comedy, I've done three dramas this year.' I don't think of it like that, but I definitely from project to project I feel like I want to just do something different all of the time and stop, I don't want to bore myself or anyone else.
The thing I miss about L.A. is time. I feel like I had much more time there, partly because no one is ever really doing anything.
I was determined not to become an American citizen but I did it for completely cynical reasons: to avoid paying inheritance tax in the U.S.
Doing press is like eating at McDonald's: while it's going on it's vaguely enjoyable - you're seduced by your own vanity and taking yourself rather seriously - but immediately afterwards you feel sick.
It's very difficult to find the time or the money for people to organize rehearsals for some movies. It staggers me how little preparation often goes into these scenes which are difficult and complicated. You think, "God, it's crazy. I've never met this person before and here I am having to work at how to do a whole performance on the set." It was great to have a few days of just talking to Michael Caine and Daniel Barber and thinking about the characters and the relationship between them before we started shooting.
Los Angeles is like a beauty parlor at the end of the universe.
There were moments where I was being kicked in the stomach, and even though I had this brace on to protect me, I still had to prepare myself for it . You can't be relaxed when that's happening. You have to brace your muscles. I can remember thinking as it was about to happen "Wasn't that how Houdini died?" I think it was.
I spent a lot of time with a real detective, a lady detective inspector who was the only female detective inspector in the whole of East London. She and I hung out a lot. She showed me what she did and I spent time with her. So, she was a lot of the inspiration for the way I dressed and sometimes the dialogue in those interview scenes where we're cross examining and questioning the youths and trying to get a confession out of them.
I had friends at school, but I was never part of a gang and I dreamed of that sense of belonging to a group. You know, where people would call me 'Em' and shout across the bar, 'Em, what are you drinking?' after the show.
I want to discover more things about acting.
I am a good mother and I feel proud about it.
Normal people, who can be good people but do bad things, are very interesting to me, and people that never get a parking ticket or never do a bad thing in their lives can be really dangerous.
I went to dinner with my mother-in-law and I just realized I was talking in sound bites to her and expecting her to laugh every time I said anything or be jotting something down in a notebook. So you have to kind of really have a talk with yourself after you've done a press tour and say, 'Chill out!'.
It's quite frightening; the business of trying to be funny is very hairy. In comedy, the potential for humiliation is huge. Trying to be funny and failing is about the most embarrassing thing you can do.
My dad had this philosophy that if you tell children they're beautiful and wonderful then they believe it, and they will be. So I never thought I was unattractive. But I was never one of the girls at school who had lots of boyfriends.
To get art nowadays, in cinema or books or anything, that grapples with the possibility of a meaningless universe... it just doesn't happen any more. In even the most indie of the indie films, everything has to come to some kind of neat conclusion.
There's a whole world of bad TV that's along similar themes - the cop drama.
I'm an optimist by nature, myself, I think.
I thought a parent's job was to tell their children not to go into acting as a profession!
I've only half-admitted I'm a professional. I know I am, I've paid my dues, but one of the things I could do better when I'm acting is to really be rigorous and to think I know how to do it. To use my brain.
Lots of people there seemed to be in denial, in absolute denial, of death - everybody's pretending that death doesn't happen in L.A.; if you do enough exercise and take enough wheatgrass and have your pill every day, you might not die.
The harder the circumstances under which you're making a movie, generally the better the friends you make. You're far away from home and so you're kind of lonely, and you end up all gravitating towards each other and the bar every night. It tends to be inversely proportionate to the comfort level on the movie, how close you become to everybody.
The ratings thing is the real issue. It really hurts movies. For example, in Redbelt, I smoked. The whole plot of my character was based on the fact that I was a smoker. And then they discovered that just by having someone smoking in the movie, it immediately makes the rating an R. So they had to cut out every shot where I had a cigarette in my hand and it totally affected the performance. That was very frustrating to David Mamet as well. I can remember him saying, "It's a nightmare.".
So far I haven't really been prominent enough to get critical attention focused on me. So, of course, I fully expect bad reviews, but I will be wracked with misery as a result.
The odd thing is if you asked me to do the accent now I would find it very difficult unless I was also playing that part, because I associate it so much with entering into the role and stepping into someone else's shoes.
I think half the time I just assume I don't really know what I'm doing - you have to do that to a certain extent, but you don't have to think you're an idiot savant.
You don't have to be brilliant at everything. You just have to have the courage to put yourself in the line of fire.
It's a hard thing to do, to be given a script, and know that you've got to turn up on the first day of the shoot - generally without having had any rehearsal - and present a character. It's really baffling; it's incredibly hard to know how to begin, to approach it, other than just thinking about it.
I'm always sort of anticipating life being difficult, but on a basic level, that's sort of on the surface, on a basic level, I'm optimistic in the sense that I think it's all going to be alright in the end.
I was terribly shy when I was growing up, I really wasn't confident with other people and I think I was always afraid of up or not being this very cool, amazing person that I wanted to be.
If there's any plan or scheme on my part, it's subconscious. Whatever I do tends to be very different from the thing I did last. You're terrified of boring either yourself or anyone else. It's always attractive if it feels like something that you haven't done before. I generally tend to be better, I think, when I'm terrified out of my wits.
51st State was one that I loved doing because the character was so out there, and in a way I was sad to leave the character behind. I'm afraid I could never be that cool in real life!
I already feel a bit annoyed at myself for writing screenplays. It's a bit, I don't know, model-singer-dancer-actress that went to a posh school. There's something too weirdly predictable about it.
Accents are very tangible, blessedly, and if you have to do one, it's a way of getting into character. I can read it through a few times and pretend I know what I'm doing!
I never felt I was quite the ticket academically. I always felt I had to put in an enormous amount of effort not to be disappointing. So I worked really hard, but at the time it suited me, because I didn't do very much else.
But I have to grow out of it, because it's very boring, really. Even when you're telling people how crap you are, you're still banging on about yourself.
I think we probably will end up in America because he would be giving up much more to come and live here. If you want to work in film, that's really where you have to be. But I'm not sure that being an ex-pat is very good for one's sense of self.
I'd been shy since childhood, constantly full of self-doubt. And as an actor, I'd been so scared of failing that I made my career - and myself - a big joke.
Every time you start a new job, you're starting from the beginning again and it's terrifying. And you feel like you're going to be fired and told to go home and never to darken the doors of these people ever again.
I'm always drawn to the thing I think I can't possibly do, because I tend to be better when I think I can't possibly do something than I am when I'm pretty sure I can do something.
In my first few years as an actor, I took one terrible TV job after another. But even as I laughed off my awful roles and made fun of myself to friends, my work made me cringe - I dreaded anyone's seeing it. I was crushed that I wasn't doing anything I was proud of.
There's something helpful about the fast pace of a TV set where everything has to be finished by the end of the week. You have to finish the episode; it doesn't matter how long you have to go on Friday night, but you have to get it done.
My take on people and on the characters I play in Transsiberian, the role you're looking for, is that everybody is more than one thing. We're many things, all of us, and there are times when we are capable of great levity and jolliness and then there are times when the opposite is true.
'Leonie' did get made and it was an extremely wonderful experience. I got to travel the world. I filmed for 6 months - 3 months in New Orleans and 3 months in Japan.
You never in a million years thought that you would ever end up in a Woody Allen film even though that might be your dream, and there you are. Suddenly you've got one. But you're not playing the quintessential Woody Allen heroine, which is somebody that's full of self-doubt and heartbreakingly nave. Chloe in Match Point was a nightmare in some ways and totally entitled, and felt like everything was going to be all right. Most of the women in Woody Allen films feel like everything's awful. I didn't understand what to do. But some of the confusion is helpful.
It is brilliant going to the theater and being forced to sit and listen and think about life. It can be almost a near-religious experience.
I had watched 'Alfie,' but I didn't consider it a prerequisite. Michael Caine was just extremely fabulous. He's one of the most professional actors I've ever worked with. I guess after a lifetime of doing it, you know what you're doing. He's incredibly uncomplaining, undemanding.
I borrowed my friend's car the other day in an attempt to persuade my husband that we needed a car and literally this is true, in the first day of borrowing the car, I got three tickets and I rear-ended it.
I decided to give acting a serious, committed try, and soon after, I read the script for 'Lovely and Amazing.' The story was beautiful and honest, and the characters struggled with the same insecurities many women - including me - face. I didn't think I had a chance in hell of being in the film, but I knew I had to go for it.
Julie Anne Peters
Roy Jones Jr.
Robert W. Service
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