John Hurt Quotes.
I have died in so many spectacular ways, and I remember shooting them all, too. I imagine all those deaths will flash in front of me when I’m on my death bed, faced with the real thing.
I don’t care about the length of anything I play, as long as it’s a good character.
Life is full of ironies and paradoxes.
Everybody, I think, that was in ‘Harry Potter’ was certainly introduced to an enormous lot of young people.
Also the wonderful thing about film, you can see light at the end of the tunnel. You did realize that it is going to come to an end at some stage.
You can’t lose your concentration at all. And there are times when you’re on the stage, and you’ve got silence, which is wonderful, but you have to have the confidence to make you realize it’s fine. You can’t suddenly wobble and think, ‘They’re not interested.’
I’ve lived publicly and never hidden behind closed doors. Therefore, if I have gone over the top sometimes, it has been visible.
Don’t forget there are two sides to performing. Finding the truth, but you also have to be transparent enough for the audience to see it. How many times have you seen a performance and thought: ‘Well, it seems to be meaning a great deal to you but it ain’t coming across to me?’ It is to be shared.
I never quite understand why we watch the news. There doesn’t really seem much point watching somebody tell you what the news is when you could quite easily listen to it on the radio…
Obviously, the arrogance of my own nature in regards to other people’s work would suggest that I think I’m talented.
I think, you have to forget about intellect, to a degree. Intuition is very important when you’re working with a lens, I believe, for what the lens is doing, too.
To me, nothing ever feels like a sure thing. I cling to that because it’s very important you don’t ever think anything is a sure thing.
Where humanity is going to find itself in, say, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years would be very difficult to predict, I think. There are moments, of course, when you think that it’s going from bad to worse, but there are other moments when you think that human efforts are really flowering into something really fantastic.
If you do an interview in 1960, something it’s bound to change by the year 2000. And if it doesn’t, then there’s something drastically wrong.
Not everyone wants to see children’s films, comics, and supermen.
Human beings are very good at adapting to what happens.
I have done quite a lot of outsider figures.
It would be difficult to have any unfulfilled ambitions because I don’t have any ambitions. I’ve never been that kind of performer.
Acting is an imaginative exercise. It would be odd if you didn’t try to identify with the roles you play, but I think I can differentiate between where my imagination is leading me and where I actually am.
How my film career happened, I don’t know. It was unplanned. I’d been in films and TV throughout the Sixties and early Seventies, but it was really ‘The Naked Civil Servant’ in 1975 that put me on the radar.
I never had any ambition to be a star, or whatever it is called, and I’m still embarrassed at the word.
I’ve never been pushy. People have said I should have been, more, but I’m not sure. I’ve watched hugely ambitious people: the minute they’ve got a success, they know where it’s going, they know how to deal with it, and it all happens for them. Great. But that’s not the way I – well, I don’t like to use the word ‘operate’.
The only concession you can make is to what you believe is right.
Religious people know deep down that that is the most vulnerable area of their lives, and when others question it, they are liable to hit out and feel insulted. You know it is absolutely without proof, yet people still commit themselves totally to this belief. They cannot refute it because it is so central to their lives.
Acting is an imaginative leap, really, isn’t it? And imaginations prosper in different circumstances.
I knew I wanted to act from a very young age – from about nine, really – but I didn’t know how to go about it. I had no idea. The world was a much bigger place then.
I’ve always felt, and I think I’m qualified to say so because I’ve won a few awards, that it’s a terrible shame to put something in competition with something else to be able to sell something.
The clergy is in the same business as actors, just a different department.
Very, very broadly speaking, you can put directors into two areas: One for whom you work, and the other with whom you work. And I prefer the latter, for obvious reasons. It’s a great relief to feel that you’re working with someone rather than for someone.
There are situations where you are left robbed of all quality of life, and I believe it is entirely up to you how you want to deal with that. You can follow the dictates of religion if that is what you believe in, or you can take a personal decision.
I think it’s interesting to see how things come into and go out of fashion.
For everything that you find dreadful, there’s usually something that is rather marvelous as well.
I first decided that I wanted to act when I was 9. And I was at a very bizarre prep school at the time; to say ‘high Anglo-Catholic’ would be a real English understatement.
I loathed school. I don’t have an academic mind, and besides I was so bored by my teachers! How teachers can take a child’s inventiveness and say yes, yes, in that pontifical way of theirs, and smother everything!
I’m not interested in awards. I never have been. I don’t think they are important. Don’t get me wrong, if somebody gives me a prize, I thank them as gratefully as I know how, because it’s very nice to be given a prize. But I don’t think that awards ought to be sought.
Each day, as you get older, there is a new perspective on life. It’s a progression of some sort.
I seem to watch less and less television. The best thing in ‘Downton Abbey’ is Penelope Wilton. She is always worth the watch.
I’m not accustomed to doing films without seeing the script.
Also the wonderful thing about film, you can see light at the end of the tunnel. You did realise that it is going to come to an end at some stage.
I gave up religious thinking a long time ago and am really just an agnostic now.
I think you can fan the flames, but I think in the same way that a mathematician is a mathematician – He’s not taught to be a mathematician. He either has a feeling for equations and an understanding and delight in it, not only in the purity of it, but in its beauty as well.
I don’t think you automatically become an enlightened person because you are a daddy. But they will change you, of course – their understanding of you puts you in a different place.
I like the physical activity of gardening. It’s kind of thrilling. I do a lot of weeding.
I didn’t consider myself to be pretty, not at all.
I’m somewhat old-fashioned, and I still talk about playing a part. I don’t talk about my work – ‘I’ve seen some of your work’ – there’s not much work in it, is there?
When you’re really working well with a director then you can be as outrageous as you like and so can he. And there’s no worry about it.
Parents are the worst teachers, if they are good at it and you’re not. My father thought I was the densest offspring he could have produced.
My mother’s father drank and her mother was an unhappy, neurotic woman, and I think she has lived all her life afraid of anyone who drinks for fear something like that might happen to her.
I’m not really a big musical fan. I enjoyed ‘West Side Story’ when it came out, but it gets a bit tired in the end.
Society is constantly recalibrating, redefining what it considers to be moral and immoral.
Punk recognised the fact that the establishment had no room. There’s no point in saying you’ve got the establishment wrong because they hadn’t got the establishment wrong, they’d got it absolutely dead on.
I have lots of favourite memories but I can’t say that I have a favourite film.
I’ve done some stinkers in the cinema. You can’t regret it; there are always reasons for doing something, even if it’s just the location.
Everyone I’ve ever played has been flawed.
Everybody’s got to work with Roger Corman. You can’t leave out that experience.
I’m horribly self-critical.
I say you play a part, you don’t work one.
The English National Opera does have some terrific productions, which are accessible, and they’re not too ridiculously expensive.
Really, I’m only alive out of curiosity. I’m very curious about where we’re all marching.
I’ve never guided my life. I’ve just been whipped along by the waves I’m sitting in. I don’t make plans at all. Plans are what make God laugh. You can make plans, you can make so many plans, but they never go right, do they?
My surname certainly suggests a man whose destiny has always been injury.
I’ve never known what I’ve wanted to do. I’ve never planned anything in my life.
I am really the victim of other people’s imagination.
I knew I didn’t want to pursue an academic career at all, which, of course, my father would have loved me to have done. I didn’t want to go to university. The only other thing I could do was paint, and so I went to art school because they couldn’t conceive of how one would be an actor.
I see myself as an interpretative actor rather than a creative one.
Early on, I didn’t intend to have children. I thought it was too difficult a world for them. But then it happened, and I am thrilled to have them now.
I find it hard to imagine that anyone could be intimidated by me.
I think love can be really tough. Because it involves ultimately an honesty to the nth degree that you are capable of. Once said, you’ve lost your deposit. It’s best if you don’t say it.
Acting is an imaginative leap, really. And imaginations prosper in different circumstances. And it’s being able – I can’t tell you how one does, but one tries to read those circumstances correctly.
Pretending to be other people is my game and that to me is the essence of the whole business of acting.
I like entertaining. I adore it. I feel I’m in the right place. Without question.
I’m essentially the result of other people’s imagination. And that’s fine. Because of other people’s imagination, I’ve played parts I would never have thought I could do. Still, I’ve never had a hankering or an ambition for any particular role.
I mark a script like an exam, and I try not to do anything under 50 per cent. Similarly with the part. And also film is a peculiar thing, parts don’t necessarily read in script form anything like as well as they can do when it comes to materialising.