Acting Quotes



Acting deals with very delicate emotions. It is not putting up a mask. Each time an actor acts he does not hide; he exposes himself. – Rodney Dangerfield


Acting is magical. Change your look and your attitude, and you can be anyone. – Alicia Witt


Acting is the least mysterious of all crafts. Whenever we want something from somebody or when we want to hide something or pretend, we’re acting. Most people do it all day long. – Marlon Brando


Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. – George Burns


The art of acting consists in keeping people from coughing. – Ralph Richardson


Acting is a marvelous profession … If you can spend enough time playing other people, you don’t have to think too much about your own character and motivations. – Dean Koontz


Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It’s a bum’s life. Quitting acting, that’s the sign of maturity. – Marlon Brando


Acting is a nice childish profession – pretending you’re someone else and, at the same time, selling yourself. – Katharine Hepburn


People acting in their own self-interest is the fuel for all the discovery, innovation, and prosperity that powers the world. – John Stossel


Acting is not about being famous, it’s about exploring the human soul. – Annette Bening


Acting is like a Halloween mask that you put on. – River Phoenix


Acting is always a challenge. – Robert Downey


Film acting is one of the only industries where you’re criticized for working hard. In any other industry, it’s considered a quality and something to behold. – Nicolas Cage


Acting is a question of absorbing other people’s personalities and adding some of your own experience. – Paul Newman


Great acting is not easy; anyone who says it is is either shallow or a charlatan. And one of the hardest things about acting is admitting that it is hard – Robert Cohen


Acting is half shame, half glory. Shame at exhibiting yourself, glory when you can forget yourself. – John Gielgud


Acting is not being emotional, but being able to fully express emotion. – Kate Reid


Acting is a spiritual quest to touch human beings. – Larry Moss


Acting provides the fulfillment of never being fulfilled. You’re never as good as you’d like to be. So there’s always something to hope for. – Washington Irving


Acting is nothing more or less than playing. The idea is to humanize life. – George Eliot


Acting is happy agony. – Jean-Paul Sartre


Acting is a sport. On stage you must be ready to move like a tennis player on his toes. Your concentration must be keen, your reflexes sharp; your body and mind are in top gear, the chase is on. Acting is energy. In the theatre people pay to see energy. – Clive Swift


Acting doesn’t bring anything to a text. On the contrary, it detracts from it. – Marguerite Duras


Acting is a matter of giving away secrets. – Ellen Barkin


Acting is not about dressing up. Acting is about stripping bare. The whole essence of learning lines is to forget them so you can make them sound like you thought of them that instant. – Glenda Jackson


I really think that effective acting has to do literally with the movement of molecules. – Charlotte Whitton


I must say that acting was good training for the political life that lay ahead of us. – Nancy Reagan


Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly. – Rosalind Russell


Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there. – Meryl Streep



“As always, with acting, you can’t be too self-conscious. You shouldn’t care about what people are thinking about you at the time because they’re not caring about you, they’re caring about the character. – Freddie Highmore


Acting is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances. – Sanford Meisner


An actor is a fool for God. – Gerardine Clark


Without wonder and insight, acting is just a business. With it, it becomes creation. – Bette D


The best acting is instinctive. It’s not intellectual, it’s not mechanical, it’s instinctive. – Craig MacDonald


That’s what makes acting so attractive. You get to break all your own rules. – Gerardine Clark


Acting should be bigger than life. Scripts should be bigger than life. It should all be bigger than life. – Bette Davis


Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly. – Rosalind Russell


Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there. – Meryl Streep


Good acting — real acting is impossible to spot. Do you ever catch talents like Robert Duvall or Kathy Bates acting? No. I defy you to show me where. – William Esper


Stop explaining yourself. Shut up and act! – Craig MacDonald



Find in yourself those human things which are universal. – Sanford Meisner


The more personal, the more universal. – Gary Ballinger


An actor has to burn inside with an outer ease. – Michael Chekhov


Use what you know. Don’t worry about what you don’t know. – Michael Shurtleff


The actor has to develop his body. The actor has to work on his voice. But the most important thing the actor has to work on is his mind. – Stella Adler


An ounce of behavior is worth a pound of words. – Sanford Meisner


Conflict is what creates drama. The more conflict actors find, the more interesting the performance. – Michael Shurtleff


If you really do want to be an actor who can satisfy himself and his audience, you need to be vulnerable. – Jack Lemmon


Creating relationship is the heart of acting. It is basic. It is essential. – Michael Shurtleff


Listening is not merely hearing. Listening is reacting. Listening is being affected by what you hear. Listening is active. – Michael Shurtleff


Whatever you decide is your motivation in the scene, the opposite of that is also true and should be in it. – Michael Shurtleff


Humor [in a scene] is not jokes. It is that attitude toward being alive without which you would long ago have jumped off the 59th Street Bridge. – Michael Shurtleff


Every scene you will ever act begins in the middle, and it is up to you, the actor, to provide what comes before. – Michael Shurtleff


The first step to a better audition is to give up character and use yourself. – Michael Shurtleff


Competition [in a scene] is healthy. Competition is life. Yet most actors refuse to acknowledge this. They don’t want to compete. They want to get along. And they are therefore not first-rate actors. – Michael Shurtleff


Honesty isn’t enough for me. That becomes very boring. If you can convince people what you’re doing is real and it’s also bigger than life — that’s exciting. – Gene Hackman


Take nothing for granted. Make an emotional discovery as often as you can find one in every scene. Ask yourself: What is new? – Michael Shurtleff


There’s only one reason why a character drinks: to seek confrontation. To fight for what they want in ways normally denied them. – Michael Shurtleff


My job is usually to express emotion as freely as possible. – Meryl Streep


I’m curious about other people. That’s the essence of my acting. I’m interested in what it would be like to be you. – Meryl Streep


I think the most liberating thing I did early on was to free myself from any concern with my looks as they pertained to my work. – Meryl Streep


I believe in imagination. I did Kramer vs. Kramer before I had children. But the mother I would be was already inside me. – Meryl Streep


All an actor has is their blind faith that they are who they say they are today, in any scene. – Meryl Streep


The most difficult character in comedy is that of the fool, and he must be no simpleton that plays that part. – Miguel de Cervantes


Actors think more with their hearts than with their heads. – William Esper



Show me a great actor and I’ll show you a lousy husband. Show me a t actress, and you’ve seen the devil. – W. C. Fields


Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. – George Burns


The theater has never been any good since the actors became gentlemen. – W.H. Auden


Actors die so loud. – Henry Miller


I love acting. It is so much more real than life. – Oscar Wilde


If I wasn’t an actor, I’d be a secret agent. – Thornton Wilder




The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation. – Stella Adler


I’m a skilled professional actor. Whether or not I’ve any talent is beside the point. – Michael Caine


Acting in theatre or television or screen is only for the irrecoverably diseased, those so smitten with the need that there is no choice. – Michael Shurtleff


Why, except as a means of livelihood, a man should desire to act on the stage when he has the whole world to act in, is not clear to me. – George Bernard Shaw


There’s nothing more boring than unintelligent actors, because all they have to talk about is themselves and acting. There have to be other things. – Tim Robbins


Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one. – Stella Adler


I think your self emerges more clearly over time. – Meryl Streep


I need to go where people are serious about acting. – Meryl Streep


The work will stand, no matter what. – Meryl Streep



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