I put everything I can into the mulberry of my mind and hope that it is going to ferment and make a decent wine. How that process happens, I'm sorry to tell you I can't describe.— John Hurt
The most glamorous John Hurt quotes that will transform you to a better person
As Beckett said, it's not enough to die, one has to be forgotten as well.
Each day, as you get older, there is a new perspective on life. It's a progression of some sort.
Society is constantly recalibrating, redefining what it considers to be moral and immoral.
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!
Life is full of ironies and paradoxes.
I never had any ambition to be a star, or whatever it is called, and I'm still embarrassed at the word.
The only concession you can make is to what you believe is right.
Nudes are the greatest to paint. Everything you can find in a landscape or a still life or anything else is there: darkness and light, character dimension, texture. I painted heads too, of course.
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.
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.
I am really the victim of other people's imagination.
You collect as much information as you can and then you put it into the mulberry of your mind and hope that you come up with a decent wine. Sometimes you do; sometimes you don't.
Anything which retains interest is optimistic.
When the characters become disinterested, it's pessimistic. Does that make sense?
The most difficult thing about painting is the self-discipline.
When I finish a job, I give myself a few days, but then I have to discipline myself quite fiercely if I want to do some painting that's worthwhile. Otherwise, you're just doodling. It's much easier when you're just told what you have to do.
I remember once when I told Lindsay Anderson at a party that acting was just a sophisticated way of playing cowboys and Indians he almost had a fit.
The clergy is in the same business as actors, just a different department.
Pretending to be other people is my game and that to me is the essence of the whole business of acting.
I've spent a great deal of my life doing independent film, and that is partly because the subject matter interests me and partly because that is the basis of the film industry. That's where the film-makers come from, it's where they start and sometimes its where they should have stayed.
If I'm in theatre, cinema doesn't even cross my mind.
Similarly when I'm making a film, theatre doesn't cross my mind.
My parents felt that acting was far too insecure.
Don't ask me what made them think that painting would be more secure.
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.
Acting is an imaginative leap, really, isn't it? 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.
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 am not an enormous believer in research being the be-all and end-all.
I get suspicious when I read about actors spending six months in a clinic, say, in order to play someone who is sick.
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.
A very, very impressive director, Tomas Alfredson.
It's only his second film [ 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'], but he's a real find.
Something like 'Alien,' that was not so easy.
If there's any genre I wouldn't mind not having to do anymore, it would be science fiction. It's just all to do with the toys, and there's so much hanging around.
I think [ Lars Von Trier] is a fantastic filmmaker.
No question. You've got to be ready for him. He's sharp and he's got a sharp tongue and I love that. He doesn't mind it back.
Elephant Man [movie] was much more difficult physically.
This had a couple of days. It was quite tricky. I had my leg strapped up behind me and I am a little older now. It was all marvelous, though. He [Bong Joon-ho] is one of the most fabulous directors in the world.
It's quite a dangerous career move to go wilfully on making films that may not find a distributor.
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.
The great joke is that a realist is an optimistic pessimist.
That's very witty. Whether it's truthful or not, that I don't know.
We shot ['Sailcloth'] five days down in Cornwall, and you couldn't have asked for a more beautiful place. It was a couple of tough days at sea, but when I say tough it was still enjoyable.
You can see areas where maybe you got a bit lazy, perhaps, or you see when you were really on form. I think an actor is very like a sportsman in that respect. You have periods where you're in terrific form.
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.
It's an immensely competitive business, and I can tell you the older you get, the parts are fewer, and the people who are proven performers are greater.
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.
With [Fred] Zinnemann I did A Man For All Seasons.
He was my screen godfather. I'm happy to say he was.
I've got plenty of train memories. I was sent to school when I was eight years old in 1948 in Kent. So I had to go through London in 1948, just after the war. Many ,many strange experiences.
It's a great relief to feel that you're working with someone rather than for someone. You don't feel that you're being tested, as it were.
This whole theory of alienation that intellectuals have been passing on, really is just to stop a lot of ham acting. If you fill something with a proper emotion, it didn't worry him at all.
You have to learn to cut your cloth accordingly.
But it seems to be a human weakness. Once you start making a lot of money, you just join in with everyone else. It's like the banks, and we've seen what happens there.
My springboard is always the script. Even if the script is taken from a novel, I often haven't read the novel...
What I like about [Berthold] Brecht, it's very interesting.
When Helene Weigel came over and somebody talked about Lotte Lenya and said "well, she wasn't alienating." And Weigel said "No, no, no. Why, Lotte Lenya was so true - who cares?" She said: "Berti only developed the theory of alienation in order to stop bad acting." I heard her say that. Now that's brilliant.
By the very nature of being a clergyman's son, people tend to put you slightly apart, which is - you tend to live a life, at some stages, as being - people being suspicious of you and puts you rather on a - I don't mean lonely, particularly. But it does tend to put you apart.
Snowpiercer has both [optimistic and pessimistic].
It was essentially optimistic. The most pessimistic was my part, because of his knowledge. He knows how it started. The status quo, he knows, has to be maintained, otherwise there is no chance. He knows that this revolution is completely understandable and is also commendable. He also knows the negatives. In the end, that's not a very positive position to be in.
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. It encourages our business to be competitive in absolutely the wrong way. We're not sportsmen; we're not trying to come in first.
On the other hand, you get other films that are spread over a much longer period of time and it's entirely exhausting. But there's always light at the end of the tunnel with a film.
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. You don't feel that you're being tested, as it were.