Michelle Pfeiffer : Quotes

I still think people will find out that I'm really not very talented. I'm really not very good. It's all just been a big sham.

[on playing her part of Claire Spencer in "What Lies Beneath"] "I thought about Drew Barrymore in the first "Scream" - I mean, ultimately that movie was more funny than scary, but the opening sequence was quite terrifying, and she portrayed terror in a way I'd never seen an actress do."

[on wearing her costume in "Batman Returns" for the first time]: "I thought to myself 'I can't move, I can't breathe, I can't think. I'm unhappy. I can't act'."

[on cosmetic surgery] "If that nose or those jowls bother you, do it! But this epidemic of people losing sight of what looks good, the distortion that has been going on is creepy."

I act for free, but I demand a huge salary as compensation for all the annoyance of being a public personality. In that sense, I earn every dime I make.

Ultimately, I believe the only secret to a happy marriage is choosing the right person. Life is a series of choices, right?

I was shocked at the prejudice, voiced in some quarters, over my decision to adopt a mixed-race baby. It's really surprising that people still put so much emphasis on it. None of us are pure anything. We're all a mixture. Claudia is a beautiful child, and some of the most beautiful people I've seen in the world have been of mixed race. As mother of both an adopted child and my own birth-child, there is absolutely no difference in the huge amount of love I feel for both my children. I always knew I wanted to adopt a child and also have one of my own. There is no difference at all.

I have to say this singing was harder than any I've done before. The melodies are so fast that you can barely get a breath in. But once I got past the 'Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into' phase, it was so much fun to sing again.

For me, getting comfortable with being famous was hard - that whole side of it, the loss of anonymity, the loss of privacy. Giving up that part of your life and not having control of it.

Acting's an odd profession for a young person; it's so extreme. You work, and the conditions are tough and the process is so immersive, and then it stops, and then there's nothing. So you have to find ways of making you feel productive when you're not actually producing anything. For a young person, that's really challenging.

[on her role as "Velma Von Tussle" in "Hairspray"] It's a lot of fun to play mean and sinister - but you certainly put yourself at risk for scenery chewing. And, every once in a while, Adam [Adam Shankman, the director] would come over to me after a take and say, "Hey, Michelle - is there a chair leg in your teeth?"

(From Movieline magazine April 2002) People like Susan Sarandon and Meryl Streep have paved the way and our window of opportunity expands incrementally year by year. Obviously, the kind of roles I'm offered are different than before, but I feel like the roles have only gotten more interesting. I want to grow up to be Judi Dench or Ellen Burstyn. The older we get, the less we work, but look at the work just those two women are doing. It gets deeper.

It's my profound fear of embarrassment that's kept me going. That's the key to my success.

It seems that my leading men just keep getting younger the older I get. [at the Berlin Film Festival whilst promoting "Chéri"]

If you think hitting 40 is liberating, wait till you hit 50 - and I was surprised at how liberating it was. The anticipation of something is always much worse than the reality.

Interview with Movieline April 2002: (On being asked who do you find ravishing?) I find Cate Blanchett just so beautiful, so chameleon-like, so good in such different things. Brad Pitt is great looking. He's pretty cute and I'd like to work with him, too. There are people I love on- screen that I would love to work with. I adore George Clooney and I'd love to work with him again. I'd love to work with Ralph Fiennes. I'd love to work with Sean Penn again. I also find my husband very, very attractive.

[on having to turn down the part of Evita which eventually went to Madonna)] It was a very hard decision. I worked my ass off for that part. I was 6 months pregnant, doing "Dangerous Minds", taking voice lessons, and making demos on the weekend. Then, it got too expensive to keep the production in Los Angeles.

I look over and I've cut Al Pacino. This is the guy who already hates me. So, well, there goes that, I guess! But I actually think it's when he began to like me. And we've been good friends ever since. I got the job. (July 2007 "Inside the Actors Studio").

[on George Clooney while on "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" BBC, 1 August 2007] He's just a great guy, great with kids. I bet him he would get married and he keeps inflating the bet - from 100 dollars to 100,000 dollars. I still think he will, he's a handsome devil.

I remember that I used to get on the phone with Ellen Barkin. We were both unemployed. Nobody would hire us. For every part that we wanted, Debra Winger would steal. We could not get a job and we'd be hysterical for hours on the phone, bitching and moaning and kvetching. [Interview in Esquire, 1990].

There's always those performances which are so inspiring they are reminders of why you're in this business, and what you strive for and they continue to raise the bar for everyone. Like seeing Daniel Day-Lewis in just about anything that he does. He continues to inspire me.

I love Robert Zemeckis. I would do the yellow pages if he was directing [October 2000 while promoting "What Lies Beneath"].

I can't see myself ever retiring. Ever. I started working part-time when I was 14 and still at school. And I've never stopped. From the moment I started, I loved it, and I feel like I always need to be productive in some way. But who knows? I may not always be acting; I hope I am. [2012]

I still think I'm going to be fired in the first week of every new job I take. Always. In fact, before I even start a movie I'll try to get myself fired or think of a reason I should quit. I guess it's fear of failure.

The loss of youth, the loss of beauty - it definitely plays havoc with your psyche. There's this transition from, 'Wow, she looks really young for her age,' to, 'She looks great for her age.' There is certainly a mourning process to that. I used to think I would never have surgery but it's really hard to say never.

I can't believe I'm saying this but I'd like to do an action movie. Yeah (I have done some action), but, I want to be like the Kiefer Sutherland character in 24. Jack Bauer? I want to be like him! I want to kick butt.

[on Anne Hathaway] Oh, I think she's great. I'm actually very much looking forward to seeing her in the role (Catwoman). I'm a big fan of hers and I think she has everything you need for that role. She has the humor, she can go to dark places, shes obviously very talented. I think she's going to be really good.

[on Shaquille O'Neal] He was so sweet to my son [John Henry, 14] at a game a few years ago. We have this great photo of him sitting by Shaq's feet, and I swear my son and his feet are the same size.

[on "The Witches of Eastwick"] We were a great team. There were no personality clashes whatsoever among the actors. We became very close. It was a difficult shoot, but not because we didn't get along. We started with an unfinished script, and then you get a lot of cooks in the kitchen and everyone's doing rewrites and it just became really stressful. But if anything, it made us stick together. It was like all the actors were in the trenches together. Working without a script doesn't work very well. We had a finished script but it wasn't one everyone was satisfied with. There were constant changes and there was a lot of drama. It's very rarely a positive to start without a solid foundation. It works sometimes.

[on "Married to the Mob"] It's a good one, I think. I had a great time on that with Jonathan Demme.

I really thought "One Fine Day" was a good movie. I know why it did badly. It was released at a bad time. Perhaps if it had been released at a better time it would have done better. But there are so many variables. It's just all a big crapshoot.

[on Johnny Depp] -- Johnny is one of the most iconic actors in cinema history. He was always on my bucket list.

(On "Grease 2") "That film was a good experience for me. It taught me a valuable lesson. Before it even came out the hype had started. Maxwell and I were being thrust down the public's throat in huge full page advertisements. There was no way we could live up to any of that and we didn't. So the crash was very loud. But it did teach me not to have expectations."