John Hurt Quotes

There may be arrangements to have me retired but I don't know. Things happen that I enjoy doing and as long as I enjoy doing them I'll go about doing them I guess.

Obviously the arrogance of my own nature in regards to other people's work would suggest that I think I'm talented.

We're all far too afraid of being so arrogant to say "Either you can or you can't.

Very broadly speaking you can put directors into two areas: One for whom you work and the other with whom you work. And I prefer the latter for obvious reasons.

I turn up in Los Angeles every now and then so I can get some big money films in order to finance my smaller money films.

I wanted to work with those boys (producers Andy and Larry Wachowski) because they're so eccentric and peculiar. Larry of course is halfway towards being a woman now. It's a crazy world.

My mother's father drank and her mother was an unhappy neurotic woman and I think she has lived all her life afraid of anyone who drinks for fear something like that might happen to her.

I remember once when I told Lindsay Anderson at a party that acting was just a sophisticated way of playing cowboys and Indians he almost had a fit.

I've never known what I've wanted to do. I've never planned anything in my life.

I don't think you automatically become an enlightened person because you are a daddy. But they will change you of course - their understanding of you puts you in a different place.

I stopped asking a long time ago "why would you want me to play that?" I'm an actor. That's what I do.

My parents felt that acting was far too insecure. Don't ask me what made them think that painting would be more secure.

Also the wonderful thing about film you can see light at the end of the tunnel. You did realize that it is going to come to an end at some stage.

Each day as you get older there is a new perspective on life. It's a progression of some sort.

I like entertaining. I adore it. I feel I'm in the right place. Without question.

I find it difficult to say like "which child do you prefer the most" and its a sort of surface choice. I've never known how to quite answer that one adequately.

I'm really the addition of other peoples' imagination quite honestly. It's what they see me as and I'm very happy to comply. I find things are more varied that way.

The clergy is in the same business as actors just a different department.

It's amazing how quickly human beings adapt isn't it? It was such a great crew and David [Lynch] was wonderful to work with [on 'The Elephant Man']. It was a very thrilling time actually.

I like the physical activity of gardening. It's kind of thrilling. I do a lot of weeding.

The difference between anger and deep remorse - remorse is much fatter. It's a deeper feeling altogether. Anger is too easy an escape for my money.

I never had any ambition to be a star or whatever it is called and I'm still embarrassed at the word.

It would be difficult to have any unfulfilled ambitions because I don't have any ambitions. I've never been that kind of performer.

[Alfred] Hitchcock was very interested in the image on the screen.As is any good cinema director. That is the language they speak. It is not literature it is images on screen.

This whole theory of alienation that intellectuals have been passing on really is just to stop a lot of ham acting. If you fill something with a proper emotion it didn't worry him at all.

If I'm doing a play 30 to 40 percent of the people that come to the stage door have pictures of 'Alien' for me to autograph. And usually the photos are pretty gory ones.

With [Fred] Zinnemann I did A Man For All Seasons. He was my screen godfather. I'm happy to say he was.

From John Huston to Fred Zinnemann and Richard Fleischer and all those great American directors.

I first decided that I wanted to act when I was 9. And I was at a very bizarre prep school at the time; to say 'high Anglo-Catholic' would be a real English understatement.

I do what interests me when I'm invited and do it as well as I know how and try to get better. That's all.

I've done all sorts of children's things before but none as big as 'Harry Potter.'

I'd say the film to avoid is a director's second film particularly if his first film was a big success. The second film is where you've really needed to have learned something.

The big problem with literature is people tend to take the dialogue from the book forgetting that everything that surrounds it is literate therefore not knowing quite how to put that on screen.

I'm not really a big musical fan. I enjoyed 'West Side Story' when it came out but it gets a bit tired in the end.

I first got involved with Mel Brooks through 'The Elephant Man.' Everybody knows now but they didn't know at the time that he was the producer.

People say you never retire in this [film] business and I say well not until they retire you.

Pretending to be other people is my game and that to me is the essence of the whole business of acting.

One wonders sometimes looking at the world how it's dealing with itself. There are days when you wake up and you feel very optimistic and there are days when you feel pessimistic.

Anything which retains interest is optimistic. When the characters become disinterested it's pessimistic. Does that make sense?

The great joke is that a realist is an optimistic pessimist. That's very witty. Whether it's truthful or not that I don't know.

Bong Joon-ho is enormously sensitive to performance. He knows what he needs to see and that's all he needs to shoot. He is so daring. We don't do that in the west. We shoot everything.

I felt you know body and soul as it were. But of course I mean I - at that age I didn't think in terms of being professional. I didn't know anything about it. That happened later.

It's a great relief to feel that you're working with someone rather than for someone. You don't feel that you're being tested as it were.

Things come in a quieter way to me. It's not laziness and it's not diffidence. I just know how far you have to bend for work. That's important for me.

The only concession you can make is to what you believe is right.

As Beckett said it's not enough to die one has to be forgotten as well.

If you do an interview in 1960 something it's bound to change by the year 2000. And if it doesn't then there's something drastically wrong.

I think it would be very difficult to play somebody if they didn't think they had any virtues or redeeming characteristics.

'The Elephant Man' was hugely enjoyable to do. I thought the one stage when Chris Tucker did the first makeup and it took 12 hours I thought they'd actually found a way for me not to enjoy filming.

If I'm in theatre cinema doesn't even cross my mind. Similarly when I'm making a film theatre doesn't cross my mind.

My father's a clergyman and he was in the mission field for a certain amount of time in British Honduras which is now Belize.

My fathers a clergyman and he was in the mission field for a certain amount of time in British Honduras which is now Belize.

To me nothing ever feels like a sure thing. I cling to that because it's very important you don't ever think anything is a sure thing.

I am not an enormous believer in research being the be-all and end-all. I get suspicious when I read about actors spending six months in a clinic say in order to play someone who is sick.

You collect as much information as you can and then you put it into the mulberry of your mind and hope that you come up with a decent wine. Sometimes you do; sometimes you don't.

I think it's interesting to see how things come into and go out of fashion.

It's an immensely competitive business and I can tell you the older you get the parts are fewer and the people who are proven performers are greater.

I don't like no confusion.

I didn't consider myself to be pretty not at all.

Society is constantly recalibrating redefining what it considers to be moral and immoral.

We shot ['Sailcloth'] five days down in Cornwall and you couldn't have asked for a more beautiful place. It was a couple of tough days at sea but when I say tough it was still enjoyable.

Acting is an imaginative leap really. And imaginations prosper in different circumstances. And it's being able - I can't tell you how one does but one tries to read those circumstances correctly.

I was completely crazy and mad when I was young. I was absolutely in love with the dissolute.

Nudes are the greatest to paint. Everything you can find in a landscape or a still life or anything else is there: darkness and light character dimension texture. I painted heads too of course.

It's quite a dangerous career move to go wilfully on making films that may not find a distributor.

The image onscreen takes you forward it's the driving force of the piece and it's also the information that you're given.

I left drama school and went straight into a 10-week film for which I was paid $75 I might say which for 1962 was one heck of a lot of money.

I think love can be really tough. Because it involves ultimately an honesty to the nth degree that you are capable of. Once said you've lost your deposit. It's best if you don't say it.

If I hadn't been a part of [Harry Potter] I would have been deeply upset.

Some directors involve waiting and if you want to work with that particular director you're going to have to hang around.

I've done lots of films with first directors so it's not unusual for me.

I'm very director oriented.

On the other hand you get other films that are spread over a much longer period of time and it's entirely exhausting. But there's always light at the end of the tunnel with a film.

Lotte Lenya was all emotion. She wasn't anything but emotion. She was not an intellectual.

Also the wonderful thing about film you can see light at the end of the tunnel. You did realise that it is going to come to an end at some stage.

Everybody I think that was in 'Harry Potter' was certainly introduced to an enormous lot of young people.

I thought ['Sailcloth'] was a terrific script. Elfar Adalsteins the director is bound to be a director we'll hear from and the whole thing was really enjoyable.

Life is full of ironies and paradoxes.

I put everything I can into the mulberry of my mind and hope that it is going to ferment and make a decent wine. How that process happens I'm sorry to tell you I can't describe.

Picasso was hugely innovative and wow did he have facility amazing ability but I don't think he painted a masterpiece.

I have lots of favourite memories but I can't say that I have a favourite film.

A very very impressive director Tomas Alfredson. It's only his second film [ 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'] but he's a real find.

I think [ Lars Von Trier] is a fantastic filmmaker. No question. You've got to be ready for him. He's sharp and he's got a sharp tongue and I love that. He doesn't mind it back.

I think you can get better in mathematics on a school level but when you're talking about being a mathematician I think that's definitely a gift of genes or whatever.

Parents are the worst teachers if they are good at it and you're not. My father thought I was the densest offspring he could have produced.

Actors are not always the best judges. We have a peculiar idea of what we think we are and sometimes it's best left to others to decide what we play.

I say you play a part you don't work one.

I love working with Lars [von Trier]! I've worked with him three times. I did the narration of Dogville and Manderlay.

I think you have to forget about intellect to a degree. Intuition is very important when you're working with a lens I believe for what the lens is doing too.

I was keen on sports-that's how my nose got this way. It's not actually broken; the nose was just pushed up a little bit and moved over. It's an aquiline nose quite Irish.

I am really the victim of other people's imagination.

I knew I wanted to act from a very young age - from about nine really - but I didn't know how to go about it. I had no idea. The world was a much bigger place then.

In the States it's more and more difficult to get an independent film off the ground and you certainly wont get the opportunity to play something like that in a studio movie.

I've got plenty of train memories. I was sent to school when I was eight years old in 1948 in Kent. So I had to go through London in 1948 just after the war. Many many strange experiences.

If you listen you learn; if you talk you don't.

We all have our limitations.

When you're really working well with a director then you can be as outrageous as you like and so can he. And there's no worry about it.

If you put on an Oscar Wilde [play] it will interest those who are interested in Oscar Wilde. But it won't interest anybody else because they won't get that wit.

I'm very much of the opinion that to work is better than not to work.

I love the uilleann pipes and listen to Ronan Browne who's an uilleann piper.

I never quite understand why we watch the news. There doesn't really seem much point watching somebody tell you what the news is when you could quite easily listen to it on the radio.

My springboard is always the script. Even if the script is taken from a novel I often haven't read the novel... .