George C. Scott Poster

Quotes (26)

  • [when asked for suggestions on how to judge acting] I have three tests. First, which dominates, the character or the actor? With very few exceptions it should be the character. Second, on film - as opposed to stage - we're pretty much playing basic emotions: love, anger, fear, pity. So the trick is whether you can come up with any fresh choices to present these common emotions. Third - and this is the quality that separates the great ones from the good ones - I look for a "joy of performing" quality. Who had that quality? As much as anyone, Jimmy Cagney [James Cagney].
  • The [Academy Awards] ceremonies are a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons.
  • There is no question you get pumped up by the recognition. Then a self-loathing sets in when you realize you're enjoying it.
  • [on psychoanalysis] Four visits. I kept laughing. I couldn't get serious. If it helps you, it helps you. If standing on your head on the roof helps you, it helps you - if you think so.
  • Directors are supposed to help the audience. Good directors don't direct actors.
  • Bette Davis is my bloody idol. I admire her more than any other film star.
  • I became an actor to escape my own personality. Acting is the most therapeutic thing in the world. I think all the courage that I may lack personally, I have as an actor.
  • I have nothing against Oscar. I know what he stands for and it's terrific. And I think when people used to hang around and pat each other on the back over a drink and dinner it was wonderful. But when it became an international hoopla, where careers lived and died on whether or not you did or didn't get an Oscar, then it got out of hand.
  • Actors are the world's oldest, underprivileged minority - looked upon as nothing but buffoons, one step above thieves and charlatans. These award ceremonies simply compound the image for me.
  • My violent behavior is some sort of aberration, a character defect I'm not particularly proud of.
  • Acting changes the inner spirit. It's fulfilling, but psychologically very costly. You can't steal enough money in a lifetime to make up for the damage. I'm ashamed for the bitterness it created in me, but it exists. Even when you're successful it's hard to rise above it. It's like a growth.
  • [on acting] It was the only avenue of escape I had from myself. It's never been difficult to subjugate myself to a part because I don't like myself too well. Acting was, in every sense, my means of survival.
  • Film is not an actor's medium. You shoot scenes in order of convenience, not the way they come in the script, and that's detrimental to a fully developed performance. There's the terrible tedium and boredom involved in waiting around for the camera to be set up, and then you have to turn on and off when they do the scene over again. When you see the rushes is the first time you begin to judge your performance. If you get 50% of what you hoped for, you're lucky.
  • I think you have to be schizoid three different ways to be an actor. You've got to be three different people. You have to be a human being. Then you have to be the character you're playing. And on top of that you've got to be the guy sitting out there in Row 10, watching yourself and judging yourself. That's why most of us are crazy to start with, or go nuts once we get into it. I mean, don't you think it's a pretty spooky way to earn a living?
  • Since childhood, the whole self-loathing thing was a big part of my makeup. Now I've learned to say, "Okay, I've screwed up." Then I try to make amends.
  • For me, the sexiest woman on the screen ever was Joan Blondell.
  • [on Paul Newman] I've never thought that Paul was a particularly good actor. He's one of the sweet people of the world, an excellent producer. But I've never been a Paul Newman fan as far as acting goes. The only thing Paul's ever done I really thought was first class was Hud (1963).
  • [on Jack Nicholson] He's eccentric but very interesting. A unique kind of approach. He shines because he's himself a rather interesting eccentric. A very fascinating actor.
  • [early thoughts on Patton (1970)] It's an inadequate script and it's very difficult for me. Patton was misunderstood contemporaneously and he's misunderstood here. And I'm ashamed of being a part of it.
  • Acting is just a matter of observation, imitation and communication. That's what it's all about.
  • Actors are always in trouble. A director who isn't a help is a drag.
  • Technique is making what is absolutely false appear to be totally true in a manner that is not recognizable.
  • The audience is a dark thing, a peculiar animal, an enemy that must be assaulted and won. It doesn't matter a damn what the actor does or does not feel. It's what the lady down there in the blue hat is feeling.
  • [on training to be an actor] Much of the learning process is finding out what not to do, like indulging in excesses... method acting, where they all get together and act for each other in a test-tube atmosphere.
  • [on working with Marlon Brando on The Formula (1980)] He would drive you crazy. He does it over and over and over. Marlon would improve all the time. I'm not sure about the rest of us.
  • [on Stanley Kubrick] He is most certainly in command, and he's so self-effacing and apologetic, it's impossible to be offended by him.