Famous Quotes & Sayings

Laurence Olivier Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 45 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Laurence Olivier.

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When you're a young man, Macbeth is a character part. When you're older, it's a straight part. — Laurence Olivier

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We have all, at one time or another, been performers, and many of us still are - politicians, playboys, cardinals and kings. — Laurence Olivier

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Scratch an actor and you'll find an actor. — Laurence Olivier

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My stage successes have provided me with the greatest moments outside myself, my film successes the best moments, professionally, within myself. — Laurence Olivier

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Shakespeare - The nearest thing in incarnation to the eye of God. — Laurence Olivier

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I believe in the theater; I believe in it as the first glamorizer of thought. It restores dramatic dynamics and their relations to life size. — Laurence Olivier

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Surely we have always acted; it is an instinct inherent in all of us. Some of us are better at it than others, but we all do it. — Laurence Olivier

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No matter how well you perform, there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy. — Laurence Olivier

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The office of drama is to exercise, possibly to exhaust, human emotions. The purpose of comedy is to tickle those emotions into an expression of light relief; of tragedy, to wound them and bring the relief of tears. Disgust and terror are the other points of the compass. — Laurence Olivier

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The actor should be able to create the universe in the palm of his hand. — Laurence Olivier

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Art is a little bit larger than life - it's an exhalation of life and I think you probably need a little touch of madness. — Laurence Olivier

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Autograph-hunting is the most unattractive manifestation of sex-starved curiosity. — Laurence Olivier

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Lead the audience by the nose to the thought. — Laurence Olivier

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In the great wealth, the great firmament of your nation's generosities this particular choice may perhaps be found by future generations as a trifle eccentric, but the mere fact of it ... the prodigal, pure, human kindness of it ... must be seen as a beautiful star in that firmament which shines upon me at this moment, dazzling me a little, but filling me with warmth of the extraordinary elation, the euphoria that happens to so many of us at the first breath of the majestic glow of a new tomorrow. — Laurence Olivier

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We used to have actresses trying to become stars; now we have stars trying to become actresses. — Laurence Olivier

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I often think that could we creep behind the actor's eyes, we would find an attic of forgotten toys and a copy of the Domesday Book. — Laurence Olivier

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Life is enthusiasm, zest. — Laurence Olivier

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I should be soaring away with my head tilted slightly toward the gods, feeding on the caviar of Shakespeare. An actor must act. — Laurence Olivier

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Acting, is not a profession for adults. — Laurence Olivier

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Above all, you must remain open and fresh and alive to any new idea. — Laurence Olivier

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You think you're an artist; prove it — Laurence Olivier

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Use your weaknesses; aspire to the strength. — Laurence Olivier

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I'd like people to remember me for a diligent expert workman. I think a poet is a workman. I think Shakespeare was a workman. And God's a workman. I don't think there's anything better than a workman. — Laurence Olivier

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The art of persuasion. The actor persuades himself, first, and through himself, the audience. — Laurence Olivier

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Of all the things I've done in life, directing a motion picture is the most beautiful. It's the most exciting and the nearest than an interpretive craftsman, such as an actor can possibly get to being a creator. — Laurence Olivier

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I believe that in a great city, or even in a small city or a village, a great theater is the outward and visible sign of an inward and probable culture. — Laurence Olivier

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I take a simple view of life: keep your eyes open and get on with it. — Laurence Olivier

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A sexual athlete is not likely to find sufficient energy for work of another athletic kind, and the acting of great parts most definitely was and always will be athletic, depending on inner if not on visible energy. Members of other professions that depend on the expenditure of physical energy must, I believe, find similar difficulties when attempting to double up on their energies. One has often heard that the most magnificent specimens of boxers, wrestlers and champions in almost every branch of athletic sport prove to be disappointing upon the removal of that revered jockstrap. — Laurence Olivier

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The humility to prepare and the self-confidence to bring it off. — Laurence Olivier

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Don't be afraid to be outrageous; the critics will shoot you down anyway. — Laurence Olivier

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Acting is a masochistic form of exhibitionism. It is not quite the occupation of an adult. — Laurence Olivier

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In spite of a heavy disguise, a few days' growth on my face, dark glasses, a beret and one of William's jackets that fitted me not at all, as I emerged from a hotel in Lecce, a young fisherman pointed me out to his friends and said "Lavrenche Olivaire." It was not all that amazing; if you're not known in Italy, you're not known anywhere. — Laurence Olivier

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Without acting, I cannot breathe. — Laurence Olivier

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Work is life for me, it is the only point of life-and with it there is almost religious belief that service is everything. — Laurence Olivier

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If he was lost for a moment, he would dive straight back into its honey. — Laurence Olivier

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[in 1979] You must have - besides intuition and sensitivity - a cutting edge that allows you to reach what you need. Also, you have to know life - bastards included - and it takes a bit of one to know one, don't you think? — Laurence Olivier

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There is a spirit in us that makes our brass to blare and our cymbals crash-all, of course, supported by the practicalities of trained lung power, throat, heart, guts. — Laurence Olivier

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Don't waste your time striving for perfection; instead, strive for excellence - doing your best. — Laurence Olivier

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I don't know what is better than the work that is given to the actor - to teach the human heart the knowledge of itself. — Laurence Olivier

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[the only acting advice he would give] What is acting but lying and what is good lying but convincing lying? — Laurence Olivier

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Acting is illusion, as much illusion as magic is, and not so much a matter of being real. — Laurence Olivier

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We ape, we mimic, we mock. We act. — Laurence Olivier

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Living is strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice, golden sunsets and black storms. I said that some time ago, and today I do not think I would add one word. — Laurence Olivier

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If I wasn't an actor, I think I'd have gone mad. You have to have extra voltage, some extra temperament to reach certain heights. — Laurence Olivier

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Have a very good reason for everything you do. — Laurence Olivier