I guess if you're lucky enough not to have to pay your rent, then you or I take much more seriously the kind of work that I do, what it takes for me to leave two teenagers of my own and six stepchildren and a husband and four grandchildren.— Ellen Barkin
The most eye-opening Ellen Barkin quotes that are free to learn and impress others
It is clear I was never the Pretty Girl.
I had my two front teeth knocked out when I was 10 and didn't fix them until I was 19. I have a crooked smile and a nose that looks like it's been broken 12 times but never has been. My nose was always red, so people called me Rudolph. My whole face is off-center.
There is a certain androgyny to my appeal.
Acting is a matter of giving away secrets.
Would you just strap some toe shoes on and dance 'Swan Lake?' No.
Would you just put a violin in your hand and - ? No. I felt that way about acting, and I was taught to feel that way. I didn't come to it on my own.
People tend to remember my performances, not me.
It's no stretch to picture me standing next to Al Pacino or Robert De Niro.
Those are ethnic New York men. I'm an ethnic New York girl. Everybody has their limitations. I mean, I should never be cast as Queen Elizabeth.
My first movie was 'Diner.' My second movie was 'Tender Mercies.' I did really good work.
When I played Leonardo DiCaprio's mother, they liked that Leo had very hooded eyes and a rounded nose with a ball. They said, They look like they could be mother and son.
You've got a movie where the pro-choice family gives their daughter no choice.
The pro-life family murders. What seems to be the good mother, the kind of hippie painter, sweet and cute mother has no love for her daughter really.
No more bare bodies in film scenes for me.
For my children's sake, I must stop. The other kids at school keep throwing it up to my children, and they are not kind.
I studied acting for 10 years before I went for an audition.
I studied with Lee Strasberg and Actors Studio teachers, and went to the High School of Performing Arts.
My nickname was Skinabo - skin and bones.
My husband thinks he's compromising if we have one cook instead of three.
I have skinny genes. My mother weighs 90 pounds.
But one of the hardest things for me to do was to access anger.
I could do it on stage. But when I did it on film it was hard for me. That probably has to do with the intimacy of film. And my own personal issues with expressing anger. So I had to learn how to do that.
I'm Method trained. How is this character like me? What does she think of her mother? What does her mother think of her? It's like construction, and then, yes, you hope you're talented and that the universe aligns and captures the kind of laborer's work you've done and whatever else sprinkles down on you, and it's all caught on film or onstage.
I'm a little more extreme than a homebody.
Unless there's some event I really have to go to, I don't like to leave my house.
Gabriel Byrne is an extraordinary human being.
We have two extraordinary kids and we work at it. We were always friends. He stuck by me through very hard times, and I hope he'd say the same about me.
'Normal Heart' was my most transcendent moment as an actor.
The way Hollywood portrays mothers - you're either all good and saint-like, or you're all bad. And I think the real honesty of motherhood is not given a voice in movies. I miss that as an audience member.
I have huge hands and feet. I'm 5'6" and wear a size 10 shoe.
There have been advances in the technology of beauty that I think are great.
& you know what? Use it.
I wish I had a little more ambition. But then what would I do? Turn down more roles with more vehemence? Me no likey worky.
I like being married. I like taking care of people, having someone to make dinner for.
When a 12-year-old, a 13-year-old, so desperately wants a baby what she's looking for is the kind of unconditional love a child gives a mother and a mother gives a child.
I am to a fault an introspective person.
But I am not a reflective person - except for a big mistake, and then I really think about it.
A successful marriage isn't necessarily one that lasts until you're dead.
I remember my first friend who got sick.
It was 1981, and the disease was called the gay cancer. I don't think the word 'AIDS' came out until '84. I just remember it being terrifying as more people got sick. We didn't know how you could catch it, you heard all kinds of crazy things.
Skinniness is not your friend when you're over 40.
I'd like to gain a good 10 pounds, but I did always have a fat, round face that plagued me when I was young. When I started to make movies, I couldn't look at myself.
I'd never say I'll never have a facelift, but I'm way too scared of looking like a different person. I have no philosophical or political position on plastic surgery; I just don't want to look crazy. And I don't like not being able to tell how old someone is: It's creepy.
I have no problem being 53. Why would I want to be 35 again? I want to discover who I am in my 50s. And if I tried too hard to look younger, it would seem that I was uncomfortable with who I am, wouldn't it?
You can't go back again, even if you wanted to. But you can own your own life, mistakes and all.
I was trained by Method acting teachers and we were taught that aside from whatever gift you may or may not have or the level of that gift, that you were obliged to know how to build a table. It's a craft. It's like being a ballerina or a violinist.
I just would never go audition, and yet I was in very visible places where people would come looking for actors. I say I'm lazy, though I'm sure if I were in therapy for a lot of years, it would turn out to be a lot more than laziness. After awhile, it was, like, too embarrassing for me not to go on auditions. I had to be humiliated into it.
There's no slow build anymore where you get a little part, then you get a little better part, then a better part, until one day your agent calls you us and says, 'guess what, you're a movie star,' and you say, 'Thank you!'
I guess I worry about weird existential things, like how do we spend our final act. This is a very emotional question. I can't answer it without crying. I think, You're 56 years old, what did you do? You raised two good kids. What am I going to do now that is as meaningful as that? I don't know the answer yet.
I don’t want to be a mentor in my bedroom.
The more powerful you become, some people especially don't like it that you're a woman. I stick up for myself.