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Warren Beatty Quotes

Henry Warren Beatty

Warren Beatty quotes: thoughts by the long-time actor.

“You’ve achieved success in your field when you don’t know whether what you’re doing is work or play.”

“You never think in terms of success but in terms of, will it be interesting?”

“You’d rather have nothing than settle for less.”

“You can’t plan too much.  First we go there, and then we see what happens.  I’m ready for the unexpected.  I think that’s important.  You can’t plan too much.”

“Never disclose to anyone what isn’t absolutely essential to disclose.”

“The unconscious is much smarter than the conscious.”

“There are some people whom you have in life who have the capacity for real, passionate commitment to something, and sometimes you may be passionately committed to the same thing.”

“You try to measure up the safety concerns with the adrenaline concerns, the narcissism concerns, and the ambition concerns, and hope you don’t make a mistake.”

“I learned a big lesson, which was, you better be in charge.”

“There are some things that really aren’t going to change.  They don’t have to change.  The things that don’t have to change for us are our reliability of friendship, the sanctity of our family, and the dignity of our work.”

“I’m so much more interested in my wife and kids than anything else.  I don’t want to be mushy about it, but having four kids is definitely the best thing that has ever happened to me, and each kid is to me more fascinating than any five movies.  You know, the DNA of it all kind of does get to me.”

“I’ve really taken time to luxuriate in the whole family life, which is something I didn’t do earlier.”

“A poem is never finished, it’s only abandoned.  And that’s the way it is with movies, like children.  You continue to work on them, and work on them, but then you have to let them go.”

“My mother and my father were teachers.  My grandmother and my grandfather were teachers.  This is something I really know about.  Even when I was a kid, it was a profession my father couldn’t stay in, because he couldn’t make enough money.”

“My parents, both of whom are now dead, raised me and my sister to be self-confident.  I would say that both of them encouraged a high level of self-esteem in both of us.  Shirley and I didn’t have parents who were engaged in pointing out limitations.”

“I resisted knowing I was interested in acting.  I guess the word you’d use would be ‘shy.’  I preferred sports.”

“I’m a perfectionist.  I want everything to be right.  I am intelligent; I know I am intelligent.”

“I had the freedom ‘to have an idea at the back of my head that could be fun,’ and that’s the way I have approached every movie I’ve felt I have been in charge of.”

“I thank my profession for giving me freedom and access.  The freedom to live a much fuller life apart from the movies, and the access to get out and get to know the world and then come back and go back to making movies.”

“I have been famous for a long time.”

“I became a huge star at a very young age.  I could live my own life the way I wanted to but with it comes strange responsibility; your life gets distorted.”

“Success was very difficult to adjust to in the beginning.  I became stimulated by the gravy of being a movie star, but I didn’t want to work just for the sake of working.”

“I was lucky.  I didn’t have to make movie after movie after movie.  I could take my time.  I also had a life.  I got caught up in the urgencies of life.  You might say that I luxuriated in that thing that fame affords, which is access.”

“I can tell you with no hesitation at all that the most striking perk of fame and fortune is access.  Not only access to people and pleasure and privilege and places, but to podiums.  And since I’ve been lucky enough to have an unusual amount of access beginning in my early 20s, I’ve always thought it’s a shame not to use it to learn from those in power and then, with humility and civility, irritate, agitate, inform and even once in a while encourage them with unsolicited advice.  Sometimes privately, but I think you have to be ready to do it from podiums.”

“Now, with the podium of the internet and the new technology, everybody has more access.”

“I say, inflame.  Inflame yourself.  Inflammation mobilizes.  Enjoy the sound of your own voice.  With humility, with affection for those who are in the dark.”

“Early fame and fortune gifted me with the luxury of dilatory time.  In time I’ve learned that the passion and the fury for art or politics or sex or thinking more highly of oneself is transcended by seeing and understanding.”

“I would say that my fame did rather coincide with the strength of the women’s movement, particularly the early ’60s.  And, um… I think that I was smart.  I saw what was happening, and I liked what was happening.  To some extent, one might say that the independence of women granted me a higher level of independence.”

“That’s what you done for me.  You made me somebody they’re gonna remember.”

“It’s been said that old people like to give good advice to cheer themselves up for no longer being able to provide a bad example.”

“You get on a plane with other famous people and one of the other passengers will say: ‘Well, this plane isn’t going down.  Not with those people on it.’  And you think: ‘Who says it’s not going down?’  Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean the plane’s not going to crash.”

“Is money important?  It’s becoming less important.  It’s very important when you have a very small amount of it, but when you’re comfortable, money ceases to be a remedy for much.”

“I’d rather ride down the street on a camel than give what is sometimes called an in-depth interview.  On a camel, nude, in a snowstorm, backwards… during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  When you reach my age and have been famous as long as I have, the possibilities for invented memory from other people are staggering.”

“I have a day job.  I can make movies when I want to.”

“I’m old, I’m young, I’m intelligent, I’m stupid.  My tide goes in and out.”

“I’ve learned to speak Russian without a teacher, from pocket books.  When I don’t understand a rule in one book I just go to another.”

“The only thing that is dangerous is boredom.  I want to get out and do things that are different, not sit around and dwell on my own excrement.”

“I don’t know that any of us can control our own image.  We are what other people see.”

“Yeah.  I could call it lucky, but maybe I’m not giving myself enough credit.  I can say it’s lucky that I made a movie with Kazan, but I was good.  And I could say it was lucky that I met up with Annette, got her to marry me.  I got lucky.”

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