- [2005 Academy Awards acceptance speech for Best Actress in a Leading Role] I don't know what I did in this life to deserve all this. I'm just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream. I never thought this would ever happen, let alone be nominated. And a working actor, for that matter. And now, this. I thank the Academy. I'm eternally grateful for this great honor. I would also like to acknowledge my fellow nominees, Annette, Imelda, Kate, and Catalina, your work inspires me beyond words.
I am going to start by thanking my husband because I'd like to think I learned from past mistakes. Chad, you're my everything. Thank you for your support. It means the world. I would never be standing here if it weren't for the -- each and every one of the brilliant people I had surrounding me, supporting me and believing in me. Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, thank you for sending me this most marvelous script. You will never know how grateful I am. Paul Haggis, for writing this beautiful script. Our other producers extraordinaire: Albert S. Ruddy (Al Ruddy), Clint, Rob Lorenz (Robert Lorenz). Phyllis Huffman, our casting director. My trainers, Grant Roberts and Hector Roca, you pushed me further than I ever thought I could push myself up to that last pound, actually to that last ounce. I thank you. My sparring partners who were so patient. And everyone at Gleason's.
Well, the ever-amazing Morgan Freeman. Tom Stern, our cinematographer, you are brilliant. Joel Cox, our editor, you're amazing. You know? I'm going to thank my mom for believing in me from the beginning. My dad, for his support. My agents, Josh Lieberman, Tony Lipp, Kelly Tiffan, John Campisi. Jason Weinberg, my manager (You can't do that. I haven't gotten to Clint yet! I saved him for the end)
Karl Austen (Karl R. Austen), Jeff Bernstein, my lawyers. And then Clint. Clint Eastwood. Thank you for allowing me to go on this journey with you. Thank you for believing in me. You're my "macushla" Thank you. Warner brothers, as well. And you know what? Wait! Troy Nankin, my best friend and publicist. Thank you!
- [Newsweek magazine] My most annoying question is "Hilary, are you ever going to play a pretty girl?".
- [on playing Annie Sullivan] I think when you're playing a real character you have an extra responsibility to do it really right, so because of that, I do extensive research. I really try and figure out the person inside and out. I read the lines, but I read in-between the lines and try and find the qualities in that person that makes them human and I hopefully try and bring that out in what I do.
- [Woman's World, July 19, 2005] I cut coupons, love specials and believe in buying toilet paper and toothpaste in bulk. It's just who I am.
- [on working as an actor] I've realized that as an actor you have to just keep working really hard and studying your craft. I think I thought maybe things would be easier after the first Academy Award, that I would get better job opportunities, but then you really realize that there's not a whole lot of great quality out there, for women especially. It's not just something that women say; it's the truth. Because of that I had to be specific about not just doing something that I didn't want to do, but I also needed to pay my bills. I didn't do job after job after job. I would do a job and then still keep working on acting, whether it would be reading a play - something that's inspiring - with a bunch of actors, hearing it, studying, reading books about acting, and watching actors. I think it's an ever-evolving craft. And I think it's something that you always need to work at.
- [on getting rejected for roles] I have to say that I didn't ever really see it as rejection, per se, and I don't know why. I guess if I saw it as rejection, then I would allow myself time to focus on something that seemed negative, instead of realizing, "I have an audition tomorrow," and I was auditioning a lot, and, "If I focus on why I didn't get that, then I'm not going to be able to be present and work on this." At that time, it was easier for me to let go of the past and just move on. Although there were so many times when it didn't mean I didn't get depressed if I didn't get something that I really wanted. I mean, I'm human, and I absolutely would get bummed out, especially if I worked really hard on something, and it came right down to me and someone else. But I'd try to get feedback. Was there something that I could have done differently? Was it something I can work on the future for the next job? And try to gain a positive from it? And sometimes it wasn't anything I'd done. It was just the blue-eyed girl looked better with the brown-eyed boy. You can't change that; you can't control that.
- [on giving advice to beginning actors] You need to study and work on your craft. If you're not prepared when that dream audition comes, you are not going to get that opportunity. To me, the definition of success is when opportunity meets preparation. So I really recommend that actors always work on their craft and their skills. Obviously, you can't make a living doing that, but you can get a lot of joy from it and learn and be inspired by the people you're working with and by your teachers and by the material. As long as you're still being inspired by it, you're going to find joy. Then hopefully the role will come along. I just want every actor to know to keep chipping away at it.
- [on boxing] At the beginning, it's not like I didn't like boxing. I just didn't think about boxing, I didn't even really have an opinion about it. And when I heard about it, I just thought, "What is the thing about hitting someone and wanting to get hit?". The whole thing eluded me, but then, you know what? Like anything else in life, when you have to dive into something deeper, you gain respect for it because you learn about it in different ways than you ever would expect. What I realized when I learned more about boxing is that it is so much more than just the physical aspect of it. Obviously, the physical aspect of it is huge, but it is such an unbelievably mental challenge. There's such an art to boxing, it's like a great game of chess. When you're in the ring, you're one with your opponent. Everything goes silent and it's you and that person. You hear your breath. You hear the other person. And as you try to figure out their strength and weakness, you're learning about your own strength and weaknesses. And each person that you spar or fight with, their strength and weakness brings out new strength and weakness in yourself. And the second you think, "I have this person," and get cocky, you can lose and you usually do. It's a great analogy to life. You have to remain humble and have respect for the other person.
- [on trying to achieve your goals] As in life, your mind can be the hugest obstacle or tool, depending on how you choose to use it. And I find that a lot of people who are successful in life say, "I can do this, and I will do this." Their minds don't get in their way; whereas people who wake up and say, "Oh, I can't," their mind is in their way, and it's going to stop them from doing what they need to do to achieve their dream.
- [on what's important in a relationship] I think that if you can grow together, you'll stay together. The most important qualities in making a relationship work are a blend of three ingredients: communication, respect and believing in another person. I've been with my husband for over twelve years. That's what made our relationship work. We have a mutual respect, the communication is key and believing in one another makes you feel like you can do anything!
- You see these incredible bodies in Africa that are all muscle. They're running to hunt in these tribes. And you think, 'How does the body look like that?' But if you're utilizing your body, you recognize it is a machine and it can be capable of whatever you need it to be.
- Every day when I look at my pets, I know they're thankful I've adopted them. I'm just as thankful they've adopted me.
- Life is about family. You have to be there for your people. Without that, hat's the point?
- You can change your fate. You can sit back, or you can go after your life and all that you want it to be.
- I don't say to my agent "Find me powerhouse roles." But I like to dive into things that scare the crap out of me. I'm completely drawn to those people who, against all odds, persevere. And when you don't have fictional licence, it's an added challenge, because you've got this enormous responsibility to portray someone's life in a way that does them justice.
- I usually die in my movies. I don't live to see the credits.
- Well, my boyfriend's son is 6 years old and you wonder at what age should you should stop walking around nude. But he doesn't look twice; he doesn't think about it yet. I just toss and turn too much when I sleep, and if I'm in clothes, I get all twisted up.