Don't waste your time striving for perfection; instead, strive for excellence - doing your best.

— Laurence Olivier

The most captivate Laurence Olivier quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

Have a very good reason for everything you do.

55

If I wasn't an actor, I think I'd have gone mad.

You have to have extra voltage, some extra temperament to reach certain heights.

49

Surely we have always acted; it is an instinct inherent in all of us. Some of us are better at it than others, but we all do it.

29

Striving for perfection is the greatest stopper there is.

You'll be afraid you can't achieve it. It's your excuse to yourself for not doing anything. Instead, strive for excellence, doing your best.

24

In spite of a heavy disguise, a few days' growth on my face, dark glasses, a beret and one of William's jackets that fitted me not at all, as I emerged from a hotel in Lecce, a young fisherman pointed me out to his friends and said "Lavrenche Olivaire." It was not all that amazing; if you're not known in Italy, you're not known anywhere.

16

Lead the audience by the nose to the thought.

15

I believe that in a great city, or even in a small city or a village, a great theater is the outward and visible sign of an inward and probable culture.

15

I don't know what is better than the work that is given to the actor-to teach the human heart the knowledge of itself.

15

What is acting but lying and what is good lying but convincing lying?

14

Of all the things I've done in life, directing a motion picture is the most beautiful. It's the most exciting and the nearest than an interpretive craftsman, such as an actor can possibly get to being a creator.

14

Art is a little bit larger than life - it's an exhalation of life and I think you probably need a little touch of madness.

13

I'm rather bored by the subject - meaning me.

It's a sort of a yoke, but at times you know, a yoke is a kind of comfort. And it's always there.

13

About Laurence Olivier

Quotes 51 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Actor
Birthday October 16

Above all, you must remain open and fresh and alive to any new idea.

11

Acting is an everlasting search for truth.

10

Living is strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice, golden sunsets and black storms. I said that some time ago, and today I do not think I would add one word.

9

Life is enthusiasm, zest.

7

We ape, we mimic, we mock. We act.

6

We have all, at one time or another, been performers, and many of us still are - politicians, playboys, cardinals and kings.

5

[May 1958, on playing Macbeth at age 30 and age 48] When you're a young man, Macbeth is a character part. When you're older, it's a straight part.

4

The office of drama is to exercise, possibly to exhaust, human emotions.

The purpose of comedy is to tickle those emotions into an expression of light relief; of tragedy, to wound them and bring the relief of tears. Disgust and terror are the other points of the compass.

4

I often think that could we creep behind the actor's eyes, we would find an attic of forgotten toys and a copy of the Domesday Book.

4

Without acting, I cannot breathe.

4

[on whether he harbored any resentment at his forced retirement from the stage after he was fired by Britain's National Theater] I should be soaring away with my head tilted slightly toward the gods, feeding on the caviar of Shakespeare... An actor must act.

4

There is a spirit in us that makes our brass to blare and our cymbals crash-all, of course, supported by the practicalities of trained lung power, throat, heart, guts.

4

If he was lost for a moment, he would dive straight back into its honey.

4

I'd like people to remember me for a diligent expert workman.

I think a poet is a workman. I think Shakespeare was a workman. And God's a workman. I don't think there's anything better than a workman.

3

My stage successes have provided me with the greatest moments outside myself, my film successes the best moments, professionally, within myself.

1

Work is life for me, it is the only point of life - and with it there is almost religious belief that service is everything.

1

Autograph-hunting is the most unattractive manifestation of sex-starved curiosity.

1

I believe in the theater; I believe in it as the first glamorizer of thought. It restores dramatic dynamics and their relations to life size.

1

I should be soaring away with my head tilted slightly toward the gods, feeding on the caviar of Shakespeare. An actor must act.

0

Scratch an actor and you'll find an actor.

0

I am far from sure when I am acting and when I am not or, should I more frankly put it, when I am lying and when I am not. For what is acting but lying and what is good acting but convincing lying?

0

You think you're an artist; prove it

0

Use your weaknesses; aspire to the strength.

0

Don't be afraid to be outrageous; the critics will shoot you down anyway.

0

Shakespeare - The nearest thing in incarnation to the eye of God.

0

Acting, is not a profession for adults.

0

I take a simple view of life: keep your eyes open and get on with it.

0

The actor should be able to create the universe in the palm of his hand.

0

When you're a young man, Macbeth is a character part. When you're older, it's a straight part.

0

You must have - besides intuition and sensitivity - a cutting edge that allows you to reach what you need. Also, you have to know life - bastards included - and it takes a bit of one to know one, don't you think?

0

No matter how well you perform, there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy.

0

If you're an artist, you've got to prove it.

0

Acting is illusion, as much illusion as magic is - and not so much a matter of being real.

0

What is the main problem of the actor? It is to keep the audience awake, and not let them go to sleep, then wake up and go home feeling they've wasted their money.

0

The art of persuasion. The actor persuades himself, first, and through himself, the audience.

0

The humility to prepare and the self-confidence to bring it off.

0

We used to have actresses trying to become stars; now we have stars trying to become actresses.

0
famous quotes