My part had three lines. I said, 'You look wonderful, sir,' three times. All my friends said, 'Do not take that role - and do not understudy. You'll regret it the rest of your life.' I did both of those things, and I've never regretted it once.— Jeffrey Tambor
The most stunning Jeffrey Tambor quotes that will transform you to a better person
When I got this role, my daughter Molly said, 'Dad, you've come full circle.
The Emmy should be an ensemble award, too. I kept howling at everyone else's performances.
I thought that the hardest part would be the external - would be the - oh, nails and the hair and the makeup and the dress and the heels and the blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And actually, that wasn't the hardest. That was very, very, very easy for me, and I liked it.
This whole thing about winning and losing is muddy waters.
But I can remember, as a young actor, just walking around this city and not being able to get arrested.
I loved the gentlemanly way they treated each other.
It was unlike anything I was used to. I started helping them strike the set and, at 11, began taking acting classes privately.
I remember going to Bob Preston's dressing room because I was losing a laugh - as you do in a long run. He said, 'Give me the script. That's where you're going off the road.' That's comedy. It's never the line itself; it's in the foundation.
My education was doing good plays and also stinkers.
When you do a stinker, you learn how to act. I like having to audition. It's nice to do rehearsals. But it's with an audience that you get to love it!
You push a button and it goes all over the world and on Sunday people are saying, 'Oh, I binge watched all 10 of them. Where's more?' and you go oh, the world has changed. It's not my dad walking to the television set and turning a knob to Ed Sullivan.
I love this company. I don't know how it was selected. It's a bunch of machers. They mean business.
I remember I was standing next to Timothy Dalton in Brenda Starr, and he turned to me and said,"Oh, I think I've just been tagged to play James Bond." I'll never forget that. I went, "Oh! Okay. Well, good for you."
Am I a star? That's a different thing.
I mean no, I'm not in People magazine. But I must be doing something right, because I've done it for 50 years! And I like doing what I do.
I like working on one - camera. This is not false modesty, but I don't think I'm very good at three - camera. And it's not that I'm nervous, but I just sort of feel like my collar is too small, or my clothes don't fit. I don't understand what that is. And I don't understand the format: There's an audience in front of you that you're playing to, but there are also these cameras.
I really loved my dad. I was very, very close to my dad. He - you know, he was very, very nervous about my being an actor.
I thought Pan's Labyrinth was one of the greatest films I've ever seen, just pure artistry. Guillermo Del Toro is just really something, this guy. And he's a real mensch: down-to-earth, funny, huggy, and terrific.
The Larry Sanders Show сhanged my life.
I am so thankful that - I mean, go figure. Most people are lucky to get one good series, but I got two ground-breakers. I just knew when I read that "Hey Now" script that something was afoot. Those were seven of the greatest years of my life. I learned so much, and it affirmed everything I thought comedy was. It was really a tremendous experience.
I never want to have that on my shoulders - I never want to be number one on the call sheet. That's a life that I don't want. I mean, I'm not ducking the responsibility.
David Zucker was great! Those guys are funny.
I mean, they are funny. There's a wonderful thing about doing that kind of work like Superhero Movie: You have to be real, but you also have to get the laugh. There you are, your director and the producers are right there at the monitors, and you either get the laugh or you don't. And so you just do it until you get the laugh.
I am not so concerned with how many Rotten Tomatoes we have - although the good reviews are to be wished for, of course - but I have my hands full in the daily housekeeping of doing Maura right and being truthful to this experience.
The most telling one was recently on a plane.
This guy very dressed up and formal - the watch, the shoes, the cufflinks, the whole nine yards - he came at me, and I thought I was going to get nailed. But he literally came up to me and just gave me a hug and said, "Thank you for introducing me to a subject that I didn't know anything about." In those moments it always clicks for me what we're doing here.
Saturday The 14th movie is a cult classic.
And you know another one like that that I did, is Three O'Clock High. People come up to me about those two all the time. Film schools even study Three O'Clock High. Shot for shot, it's a textbook.
I think when I was a younger actor, I did carry that stuff home.
When I did ...And Justice For All, I was afraid to drop the character. But when you get older, you learn to go, "Okay, that's it. Let's go have dinner."
I love Brooke Shields. She's developed into a wonderful actress and a wonderful person. We were all babies then in Brenda Starr. That's why when people say, "What did you think of that film?" I can't do what people do and say, "I hated it." I can't speak ill of a film, because it's so hard to make a film. Everybody thinks we're sitting by a pool peeling grapes, and this is not the case. It's hard. It's hard to do this stuff - and getting harder!
Guillermo del Toro. He's in his pure artist's stroke. He's just hitting it out of the park. I would go anywhere to work with him. He's a real artist.
With Hellboy I am doing a comic-book movie.
That's what's so great about being an actor: You get to do Meet Joe Black, and you get to do Arrested Development, and then you get to do Hellboy and Eloise, and The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie. It's great. You get to play the field.
And I'd watch George C. Scott from backstage. He was one of my mentors.
Garry Shandling in particular - really had the concept.
He really knew it, and it was done so lovingly. He would go beyond the joke, and sort of go into the character. His "funny" was very different, and I really appreciated it.
When I was a young boy in San Francisco, I remember being sent home - I was playing with a friend. And I remember the mother saying, tell Jeffrey to go home. And I said to the girl, I said, why? She goes, my mother says that you're the people who killed Christ.
I loved Hank Kingsley. He was very real to me. There was just something about that character. I really believed him. I didn't think he was a buffoon. I understood the inner workings of him, so I sort of felt sorry for him, the poor guy. He was very important to me.
All my roles are character roles. On the other hand, there are those people who have an inner...I think we all do the same thing. You can't get by on aura alone. That I know. Everyone has to dig in. Everyone has to do the same set of, "What is this about? What is this character doing?" Everybody from Spencer Tracy to Brad Pitt to Jeffrey Tambor.
Certainly the principal has to be bald.
Certainly the school counselor has to be bald. And the driver's ed teacher. And maybe the wood-shop teacher. Mine was.
Joe Mantello is the uber director. I wrote him a card tonight saying basically, 'Will you adopt me?'
Mel Brooks and David Zucker - there are very few people who know silly, and they're usually hugely intelligent, because you have to be intelligent to get it. Like the Marx brothers. I love it.
I had a lot of questions where I had to be very frank and clinical.
I had to go to school on it about what it could mean physically to be trans and the options that have to be weighed and considered. But I love that. Exploring that opens my worldview in ways that I would never be able to try.
I think your resources are feeling. Your resources are depth. Your resources are learning. Your resources are touching and feeling. And for me, sobriety helps and aids all of that.
I came to New York late; I was already past 30.
On the other hand, we don't come to work with all of these social goals, nor are we directly trying to change the world and all of that. Our job is that we have these human characters, and it's our responsibility to play them truthfully and as human as possible. Jill has cast this impeccably. These actors nail it, even the non-Pfeffermans. It's ridiculous.
Everyone has to do the same work as actors - I teach acting.
But there are those people who come on, and there's just something about them in and above themselves that has to do with chemistry and electricity - this aura about them. And that's unmistakable. Do I have that? Yeah, I think I have that.
That's an actor's life. I thought Meet Joe Black was gonna be one of the big changes for me, and it was gonna be a runaway hit - and it wasn't. And with Mr. Mom, I said, "There's just no way." And it turned out to be a huge hit.
As my manager says, 'These are wonderful problems.'
Carlos Castaneda always said, "If you're going to do something, do it impeccably."
In my life, I find that in sobriety, I feel much more. And I have much more depth.
I don't like show business. I don't like the business. I love acting. I love this. I love talking to people.
I'd always had a crush on Teri Garr - and still do.
I've always adored her. I mean, who doesn't think about Teri in Young Frankenstein? I mean, come on! It makes you talk in that accent for weeks.
Probably because I'm bald. Don't the bald people always play doctors and principals? Yeah, isn't that funny? And lawyers. A lot of lawyers and judges.
You keep your head down and you work and work, and all of a sudden you pick your head up and people are receiving it the same way we're sending it. They're thinking the same things that I'm thinking about the show.