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“I worked at the Steel Company Of Wales when I was 17. My job was to supply tools to the guys working the blast furnaces.”

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Quotes by Anthony Hopkins

  1. A conductor can’t be too arrogant with an orchestra and try to impose himself too much.
  2. Acting is just a process of relaxation, actually. Knowing the text so well and trusting that the instinct and the subconscious mind, whatever you want to call it, is going to take over.
  3. Actors I admire? Ed Harris, or course, I think he’s terrific; because I know he always had to fight being what he looked like a lot, but I think he’s a terrific actor.
  4. And I love a scary movie. It makes your toes curl and it’s not you going through it.
  5. Beware the tyranny of the weak. They just suck you dry.
  6. Every time I try to retire, or even think of retiring from acting, my agent comes up with a script.
  7. For me, time is the greatest mystery of all. The fact is that we’re dreaming all the time. That’s what really gets me. We have a fathomless lake of unconsciousness just beneath our skulls.
  8. I always had a knack for improvisation. I can write down the notes I play, but never really had a proper academic musical background. I suppose I’m blessed and cursed by the fact I have that freedom.
  9. I am a bit of a solitude person – a solitary personality. I like being on my own. I don’t have any major friendships or relationships with people.
  10. I am able to play monsters well. I understand monsters. I understand madmen.
  11. I am not very good with relationships. With anyone. I can’t be locked up with anyone for too long.
  12. I came here in 1974 to do a play, and then I went to L.A. I really like living in America. I feel more at home here than anywhere else.
  13. I can’t stand directors who try to micro-manage everything. When it happens these days I just walk off set, saying if they don’t like the way I’m doing it they can get someone else.
  14. I come from – I came from Wales, and it’s a strong, butch society. We were in the war and all that. People didn’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. You had to get on with it. So my credo is get on with it. I don’t waste time being soft. I’m not cold, but I don’t like being, wasting my time with – life’s too short.
  15. I couldn’t say I ever dreamt of becoming a composer, a pianist, or anything else for that matter. I have the kind of brain where nothing is set in stone.
  16. I do admire Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen, but I’m a philistine. I like the good life too much; I’m not good at going on stage night after night and on wet Wednesday afternoons.
  17. I don’t believe in nepotism. I don’t much like the idea of parents who interfere.
  18. I don’t have a vast longing for the stage.
  19. I don’t have many friends; I’m very much a loner. As a child I was very isolated, and I’ve never been really close to anyone.
  20. I don’t have people following me around, like bodyguards. I don’t know how people live like that. Maybe the young movie stars have to live like that, I don’t know. But it seems a little crazy to me. I don’t think you need all that stuff.
  21. I don’t know what acting is, but I enjoy it.
  22. I don’t know why they gave me a knighthood – though it’s very nice of them – but I only ever use the title in the U.S. The Americans insist on it and get offended if I don’t.
  23. I don’t like freeloaders; I don’t like people who are negative.
  24. I have a punishing workout regimen. Every day I do 3 minutes on a treadmill, then I lie down, drink a glass of vodka and smoke a cigarette.
  25. I have dual citizenship, it just so happens I live in America.
  26. I have dual citizenship; it just so happens I live in America. I would like to go back to Wales. I’m obsessed with my childhood, and at least three times a week dream I am back there.
  27. I have no interest in Shakespeare and all that British nonsense… I just wanted to get famous and all the rest is hogwash.
  28. I hope I would not be so arrogant as to doubt anyone’s religion or belief.
  29. I just wanted to be a composer; I became an actor by default, really. I got a scholarship to a college of music and drama, hoping to take a scholarship in music. But I ended up as an acting student, so I’ve stuck with that for the last 50-odd years.
  30. I know that some actors and directors like to have intensity on set. I don’t, particularly. Certainly, if they want that, that’s fine, but I can’t work like that.
  31. I know that the arts are important. I’m not denying that, but I can’t associate myself with all the claptrap that goes on around it.
  32. I learn poetry, learn text, and that really keeps you alive.
  33. I like the good life too much, I’m not good at going on stage night after night and on wet Wednesday afternoons.
  34. I like to take it easy.
  35. I love life because what more is there?
  36. I love roller coasters. I don’t get a chance often, but I’ve gone to Magic Mountain and gone on the rides. I love roller coasters.
  37. I never make conscious decisions.
  38. I remember coming to New York in 1974 to do a play here called ‘Equis.’ And I remember the first morning getting up and walking around the streets, and I thought, ‘I’m home.’ I felt really at peace here.
  39. I spent two years in the military service, then I trudged around in repertory for quite a while. I somehow wound up at the National Theatre, though, and then I was definitely on my way.
  40. I tend to get bored quickly, which means I must be boring.
  41. I think a certain amount of stress in life is good. The stress of just working, which takes effort – I think it keeps you going.
  42. I think all those actors from that generation, like Bogart – they were wonderful actors. They didn’t act. They just came on and they did it, and the characters were wonderful.
  43. I think the first British actor who really worked well in cinema was Albert Finney. He was a back-street Marlon Brando. He brought a great wittiness and power to the screen. The best actor we’ve had.
  44. I think the healthy way to live is to make friends with the beast inside oneself, and that means not the beast but the shadow. The dark side of one’s nature. Have fun with it and you know, is to accept everything about ourselves.
  45. I tried acting, liked it, and stuck with it. I saw it as the way I would keep that promise to myself of getting back at those who had made my school life a misery.
  46. I was bullied as a boy – lots of kids are, but hopefully most of us get on with our lives and grow up.
  47. I was called ‘Dumbo,’ like the elephant, as a child because I couldn’t understand things at school.
  48. I was lousy in school. Real screwed-up. A moron. I was antisocial and didn’t bother with the other kids. A really bad student. I didn’t have any brains. I didn’t know what I was doing there. That’s why I became an actor.
  49. I worked at the Steel Company Of Wales when I was 17. My job was to supply tools to the guys working the blast furnaces.
  50. I worked with Lawrence Olivier some years ago. He was a great mentor.
  51. I worked with Steven Spielberg on Amistad… he seemed so very secure in himself that he let me do things.
  52. I would like to go back to Wales. I’m obsessed with my childhood and at least three times a week dream I am back there.
  53. I wouldn’t use the word ‘scared’ for my role as Hitchcock, but it was my most insecure. Taking on such a formidable, giant personality such as Hitchcock; he was one of the great geniuses of world cinema. Sheer genius.
  54. I’m a pretty tough guy, you know. I’m a pretty hard man. I’ve got a lot of compassion, but I don’t waste time with people.
  55. I’m always cast in these strange men… that’s not me, really.
  56. I’m devious, cruel, cunning and addictive.
  57. I’m fascinated by the fact that we can’t grasp anything about time.
  58. I’m interested in the dream and subconscious mind, the peculiar dream-like quality of our lives, sometime nightmare quality of our lives.
  59. I’m married. My wife, Stella – a beautiful woman. She’s brought a lot of peace to my life, a lot of wisdom.
  60. I’m most suspicious of scripts that have a lot of stage direction at the top of the page… sunrise over the desert and masses of… a whole essay before you get to the dialogue.
  61. I’m not a health freak. I just work out every day.
  62. I’m one of the slowest drivers on the road. I mosey along. If you’re doing anything too fast, including living life too fast, that creates sudden death. If I have to be somewhere on time, I make sure I leave early enough.
  63. I’m the slowest driver in the world.
  64. I’ve been composing music all my life and if I’d been clever enough at school I would like to have gone to music college.
  65. I’ve felt like an outsider all my life. It comes from my mother, who always felt like an outsider in my father’s family. She was a powerful woman, and she motivated my father.
  66. I’ve got a great sense of humor.
  67. I’ve got no need to prove to myself that I can do Shakespeare. I’ve done it.
  68. I’ve had no contact with my daughter for years. That’s her choice. Anyway, you move on. If people don’t want to bother with me, fine. You know, God bless them, and move on.
  69. If I spent all my time criticising myself, I wouldn’t be able to function. There are actors who theorise till the cows come home. I haven’t the patience for them. It’s maybe shallow, but that’s why I’ll never be part of the acting set.
  70. If you do things, whether it’s acting or music or painting, do it without fear – that’s my philosophy. Because nobody can arrest you and put you in jail if you paint badly, so there’s nothing to lose.
  71. In the theatre, people talk. Talk, talk until the cows come home about journeys of discovery and about what Hazlitt thought of a line of Shakespeare. I can’t stand it.
  72. It was a challenge, to work with Oliver Stone.
  73. It’s such a pleasant surprise when you come on set and you find someone in charge like Ken Branagh or James Ivory. You know that you’re going to do a day’s work and at the end of it, it’s going to be good.
  74. Jonathan Demme is a very sharp editor of his movies.
  75. Life’s too short to deal with other people’s insecurities.
  76. My father was grounded, a very meat-and-potatoes man. He was a baker.
  77. My father wasn’t a cruel man. And I loved him. But he was a pretty tough character. His own father was even tougher – one of those Victorians, hard as iron – but my dad was tough enough.
  78. My life turned out to be beyond my greatest dreams.
  79. My philosophy is it’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am, and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.
  80. My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me.
  81. My weak spot is laziness. Oh, I have a lot of weak spots: cookies, croissants.
  82. Oh yes. I’m an actor, so I just learn my lines, and show up and do it. I gave it a little bit of thought.
  83. Once you begin to fall off the track and believe you breathe different air to everyone else, you’re doomed; you’re finished.
  84. Our existence is beyond our explanation, whether we believe in God or we have religion or we’re atheist. Our existence is beyond our understanding. No one has an answer.
  85. People ask, ‘Should I call you Sir Hopkins?’ But I say, ‘No. Call me Tony,’ because it’s too much of a lift-up.
  86. People forget that Mozart wrote for commissions. There’s a thing in psychology where they think if it’s popular, it can’t be serious.
  87. Relish everything that’s inside of you, the imperfections, the darkness, the richness and light and everything. And that makes for a full life.
  88. Richard Burton came from the same town as me, so I thought I’d follow my nose, and follow my luck. I think I’ve been very lucky.
  89. The Welsh people have a talent for acting that one does not find in the English. The English lack heart.
  90. The art of acting is not to act. Once you show them more, what you show them, in fact is bad acting.
  91. The knighthood was a tremendous honour, I don’t dismiss it. But I feel embarrassed by the flowery, theatrical stuff that goes with being an actor.
  92. The magical, supernatural force that is with us every second is time. We can’t even comprehend it. It’s such an illusion, it’s such a strange thing.
  93. This industry has been really good to me. It’s been a great life. I’m not through yet. I’m ready when you are, Mr. DeMille.
  94. We all dream. We dream vividly, depending on our nature. Our existence is beyond our explanation, whether we believe in God or we have religion or we’re atheist.
  95. We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.
  96. We have a Boesendorfer piano that I play every day. It keeps my brain and my fingers active.
  97. We’re all caught up in circumstances, and we’re all good and evil. When you’re really hungry, for instance, you’ll do anything to survive. I think the most evil thing – well, maybe that’s too strong – but certainly a very evil thing is judgment, the sin of ignorance.
  98. We’re always looking over our shoulders, ‘what they will think, what the press will think, what will this one – am I making the right career move?’ When you’re young you have to do all that to survive, I suppose.
  99. Well, everyone likes movies when they’re a little kid.
  100. What I do is just go over and over and over my lines and learn the script so well that I can just be easy and relaxed. That’s the way I always work.
  101. Why love if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore; only the life I have lived. The pain now is part of the happiness then.
  102. Years ago I met Richard Burton in Port Talbot, my home town, and afterwards he passed in his car with his wife, and I thought, ‘I want to get out and become like him’. Not because of Wales, because I love Wales, but because I was so limited as a child at school and so bereft and lonely, and I thought becoming an actor would do that.