William Petersen Poster

Quotes (11)

  • (On seeing the Marlon Brando movie, Ultimo tango a Parigi (1972) (aka "Last Tango in Paris") "It was the first time that I understood that acting was an art form. It was not Clint Eastwood on a horse, Bob Hope in a road movie. It was not Don Knotts in The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964). These are favorite movies of mine, too. But when I sat in "Last Tango in Paris", the lightbulb went on. To this day, Brando is the one I want to meet, and the one I'm terrified to meet".
  • "Their argument was, Everybody else is going to start copying the show, so why not us? My attitude was, Well, then let everybody else do it. Don't rip yourself off." (On the network and producers' decision to create the CSI spin-off series, CSI: Miami (2002)).
  • "It took me two months to get that part. I mean, who the hell was I? I wasn't going to sell that picture" - on his role as "Will Graham" in Manhunter (1986).
  • "Theater in Chicago will always be my first love. It started careers for me and about 50 of my friends. We all love coming back. As soon as the TV show is over, I'll be back in Chicago, doing live theater." (on what he plans to do after "CSI")
  • The greatest thing that ever happened to me in terms of my acting was the audition for To Live and Die in L.A. (1985). After I read, William Friedkin put down the script and said, "You got the part". I really thought it was a joke. I went back to my hotel room and took a bath and they called and wanted to make a deal. I still didn't believe it.
  • I was only 21, and there were many things I didn't know. I was trying to be a man and I wasn't ready for it. - on being married at a young age
  • After Manhunter (1986), I had to actually kill off the character. I cut off most of my hair and dyed it blonde. I changed my whole look just to get rid of him.
  • (On Las Vegas) The only good thing about Vegas is watching horse races and football games and being able to throw some money down on them. I don't play the tables, because they're just a sucker's game. Actually, the whole thing is a sucker's game. I'm not a huge Vegas fan, but it's the perfect milieu for the show. Everyone who goes there, even if they're old ladies from a Bible group in Mississippi, they go there to stick nickels into slots and feel a little dirty and dark. Shit happens when you get into that world. Guys lose their wives and money, women end up deciding to stay and become strippers. It's the dirty playground for the Darth Vader in all of us.
  • (On his life before his 2nd marriage) When I was younger, women wanted to sleep with me because of whatever movie or play they saw me in, and for about 15 years I certainly took advantage of that more often than not. I got married to my wife, Gina, last summer. I'd been working on the marriage thing with her, trying to get to a place where that was a good thing as opposed to a bad thing. Fidelity was hard when I was younger, but with maturity I got to a mindset of, What's with all this running around to get girls? Now for me it's the old case of, Why go out for hamburger when I've got steak at home?
  • After Manhunter (1986) and To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), there were all these cop movies that came my way, but they weren't any good, so I didn't do them. Then, there was talk about my doing Platoon (1986), but I didn't want to sit in a ditch in the Philippines for eight weeks for no money. Instead, I did an HBO baseball movie for more money and more fun, and I got to play ball. I enjoy watching great movies like Platoon (1986), but I don't have to be in them. I never fell in love with movies. I didn't want to spend all that time an effort. I've had it pretty good. I've had it my own way.
  • I'm a huge "Membership First" guy. It seems to me that all of the artists in all of the unions and guilds are getting screwed. What we're losing in the SAG contract is the middle class -- those who want to be actors and won't make much money but want to stick with it anyway. The studios and companies, meanwhile, get to have it both ways. They've got their $100 million movies where they pay Brad and Tom $20 million and everyone else works for scale. Then those who make the indie movies don't pay anybody anything. You're supposed to make 28 cents for the honor of working with Gus Van Sant. But the company behind, say, "Milk," winds up making a ton. The whole thing is a shell game, a con, and the actors are the ones who wind up getting jobbed.