John Malkovich quotes and sayings
December 9, 1953
I don't remember my life before I had children.
I never wanted to be with someone who just hung around the house.
Art is not disposable. If you want it, you have to hold it and smell it and touch it and read the credits and enjoy it and put it on your wall.
And if you say a word about this over the radio, the next wings you see will belong to the flies buzzing over your rotting corpse.
I haven't physically attacked anyone in a couple of years.
The projects I look for to produce or direct would not be ones in which I would want to act.
I never really did a western western.
I think people seem to sort of associate me with danger. And I don't see that at all.
'Secretariat' was such a magnificent animal, unbelievably beautiful and powerful. It's always nice to see something that close to perfection, a reason to celebrate.
Of course it's trivial, but then most things are.
You have to do things people see or you don't get to do anything.
We have a tendency to think everyone's idiotic and everyone's only doing something idiotic, and the world is controlled by a not-so-secret group of morons. There's great truth in that, I suppose, but then it's also not true.
It's not a gift of mine, but one given to me, to be able to criticise myself and not be crushed, by myself or by others.
I just start with a pencil and paper. I don't want something too trendy, too fashion-forward. I don't want to make something I consider a regular person couldn't wear with blue jeans. But I don't want to make something that other people make, either - like a skinny black suit in a shiny material that you can buy anywhere.
I think with actors, if you just don't set about trying to crush their confidence immediately, you're usually OK.
I have at times spoken with my peers and the head of the actors' union about why we're not paid when we appear in, say, a 'TMZ' production, but there seems to be no real interest in combatting it.
There are many, many benefits to being known for whatever it is you do. To deny that would be sort of asinine and vulgar.
I know I have a fairly strong feminine side. I find myself really distanced from male behavior.
Reviews are destructive by their very nature.
I like to direct movies, but I don't like to goof around for eight years talking about it. And it's pretty irritating to get a movie on. So to complicate it by having more irritation as a director, I don't really need it. And because I direct a great deal still, but in the theater, I kind of get that anyway. Which is not at all to say I would never do it again, or it would never happen again.
I don't think my parents know what I do.
Theater is so ephemeral, and I love that.
The most evocative thing to me is probably when a writer and a group of performers can collectively put together something compelling that asks the really simple question: 'How do we live?'.
I only have two rules for my newly born daughter: she will dress well and never have sex.
I like to have fun at work. It's okay if I don't. I've had that a few times. But generally, I'm someone who has a lot of fun at work, because I like my job. I think it's a fantastic job, at least that part of it is a fantastic job. And I like to have fun, and I personally feel that whether you're talking about the cast or the crew or the director or any combination thereof, that when people feel involved and comfortable and they feel like their work is being supported, that's the best environment to do good work.
Unlike my grandfather or my brother, I've actually been able to make some money at a racetrack.
It never occurred to me to be an actor.
I don't have a saviour or a royal family.
I don't need to be liked.
A dog that has rabies probably will do things it wouldn't do if it didn't have rabies. But that doesn't change the fact that it has rabies.
In New York in the Forties or Fifties, everybody's in a suit, an overcoat and a hat.
Quite often - a lot of the work I had done had been extensively with women. Most especially in the theater, but also quite often in the movies. That has its own delights, and maybe pitfalls too.
When I have failed as an actor I've always thought it was my fault. But when I direct something, I wouldn't want the actors to think it was their fault.
I can see how, given a certain degree of sensitivities, proclivities and rage, I could have ended up differently.
Where women are concerned, the rule is never to go out with anyone better dressed than you.
There's a reason screens are only this thick.
I love to watch good actors who surprise and amuse me.
I don't mind what I play, really.
I've permitted myself to learn and to fail with some regularity. And that is probably the one thing I was given, and that I'm still grateful for.
I don't wake up drenched in sweat because I haven't been on stage in years.
I believe in humans.
And may the best of you - for it will only be the best of you, and even then only in the rarest and briefest moments - succeed in framing that most basic of questions, 'how do we live?'.
One doesn't know if one had a happy childhood or not. I don't really know what it means.
You can be a mason and build 50 buildings, but it doesn't mean you can design one.
I have probably four or five male friends who have a real strong masculine side but some degree of a feminine side, too. They're pretty rare, whereas I think women with a masculine side are much less rare.
For a while I wanted to be a professional baseball pitcher, and then I wanted to be a musician and then sometimes I think I'd like to start a store for gift-wrapping Christmas presents... But I feel I could do most things I set my mind to, except mechanical things, I'm not very good at that.
I don't lose my temper very often now, and if I do, it's well deserved.
Well, I design costumes because I started with the theater in Chicago, but somehow a few lines just sort of fell to me to do it. And I studied it in school and I always liked it.
I'm very much a typical midwesterner, and I don't think the condition is curable.
I lost seventy pounds eating nothing but Jello for 4 months. But of course there is great variety in the colors! I think, if I remember correctly, it's 230 calories for a whole bowl. Maybe 270? In the 5th month, I added fruit.
You can't work in the movies. Movies are all about lighting. Very few filmmakers will concentrate on the story. You get very little rehearsal time, so anything you do onscreen is a kind of speed painting.
If I hear a film clip, or I happen to see some image from a film - you go to a film festival, and they show some clip of the movies you've been in, most of the time I sit there and go, "Oh God, I should have... should have... that was terrible." But I think that's a natural part of this work, because really, your work is never over. Of course I can leave it alone and walk off the set and never think about it again when it's done. But your work is really ongoing all the time.
I don't like things too overstated in the cut or too perfect.
Nothing you do particularly matters. But I'm not sure that's a great excuse for doing it poorly.
I have driven school buses, sold egg rolls and painted houses, and I have often wondered what my life would have been like if I hadn't gone into acting. Mind you, it's a great life, going around pretending you're other people and getting paid ridiculous sums of money for it.
With acting it's your neck up there in the end. And if you think the director can't help you it's one thing. But if you feel they're reining you in when they need to be giving you some rope, or vice versa, then I just don't tolerate that.
I don't really go through a process, it goes through me.
Utopia means elsewhere.
I don't want to be boring. But that's not always easy.
Every country has their problems.
I don't care what other people think. I don't think it matters.
The world is ruled by violence, or at least the imminent threat of violence. It always has been.
I wouldn't say anything I ever did in film would be something I'd use the word proud about. I've done better work in the theater.
My father was an exceptionally strong influence on me.
The theater is so disappointing, really, that it's hard to go again and again. It's just too heartbreaking. I'd rather watch football or play a game or read.
You know, I'm really not interested in someone telling me that something's good or bad.
I'll never be the biggest kind of star; I'll be like Bob Duvall, respected as an actor but a lot of people can't identify the face. I don't have the personality of a big star, or the looks of a Mel Gibson or a Paul Newman, or the style of a George C. Scott.
I was never a fanatical movie person. There are many popular films I absolutely love like anyone else. Having said that, I don't have time to go to the movies very much. I work a lot of different things, I'm always busy. But I'm always happy to see a popular movie.
I've done quite a few big American films.
I find it hard to pre-plan every element of everything I do. It's not my thing.
I still have a temper, I suppose.
There's no worse feeling in the world than realizing the play you've directed doesn't work.
Most filmmakers' entire body of knowledge is of other movies. When they describe things, they describe them in relation to other movies. That's why we have so many cyclical movies that look like other movies. But I'm not cynical. I even go to some of those movies.
I don't want a trillion-dollar empire to run.
People get up, they go to work, they have their lives, but you'll never see the headlines say, 'Six billion people got along rather well today.' You'll have the headline about the 30 people who shot each other.
I think 1973 was the nadir of fashion. When you watch the coverage from that era, you're struck by the astonishing ugliness of the clothes.
I was a very good baseball player and football player as a kid, but my father always told me - occasionally while striking me - that I was much more interested in how I looked playing baseball or football than in actually playing. And I think there's great truth in that.
I always wanted to be fashionable.
I'm not a control maniac.
The media can make anything true or untrue. So if you do 80 films and you play a bad guy ten times, then you're a bad guy, and then the media repeats that.
The one natural gift I have is easy access. That's the only natural I gift I have at all. You have to have that, the third eye.
I mean, anything that money can be made off will never be a problem to make, no matter what it is.
My father could be very distancing. My clearest memory is of him squatting, watering plants for hours and hours at a time, completely silent. He was very self-contained; my mother was more outgoing and chatty and social. I'm certainly more like her.
I'd hate to see any film I'm involved in fail, especially artistically but also business-wise.
To a certain extent in Hollywood you're a product, and your product is whatever sells the most, and whatever sells the most is whatever the public likes to see you do - if anything.
I'm a little bit of a fabric lunatic.
Julie Anne Peters
Roy Jones Jr.
Robert W. Service
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