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Annette Bening Quotes

Annette Carol Bening

Annette Bening quotes: on acting, aging, parenting and more.

“We all perform our lives in a way.  And the actor is a perfect metaphor to get at that theme of ‘how do we find our authentic selves?’  And that we all—whether we’re actors or not—perform ourselves.  As a way of searching.  As a way of fumbling around and trying to say, ‘Is this my voice?  Is this who I am?'”

“We all get lost along the way, but hopefully we figure out some sort of path.  It helps if you can imagine the process as well as the goal.  Those kinds of dreams are easier to achieve.”

“With a positive attitude you can be anything you want.”

“I still remember the five points of salesmanship: attention, interest, conviction, desire and close.”

“Some people say talent is energy and that’s a very interesting way of thinking about it.  In other words, people with talent have a lot of energy.”

“Once I get on something, once I have something that I’m working on, then I become very obsessive.  In a good way.  I mean… is there a positive way to say obsessive?  It’s a good thing and if you’re out there and you’re working on something right now and you’re crazed and you’re up in the middle of the night, or you can’t stop thinking about it, or you have to keep reading other things about the subject that you’re working on or whatever… that’s good and I think that’s necessary creatively.”

“We want to be seen for who we really are, and each person has his own complex story and reasons for doing what they do.”

“The details make a difference.”

“We all have our insecurity and that’s normal.  And you have to learn to accept that about being an artistic person or aspiring to be an artistic person—is that fears and insecurity, they don’t go away.”

“You have to learn to deal with your own, for want of a better word, insecurities, fears.  It’s human.  You don’t ever really want to lose that.  What you want to do is learn to manage it and to work with yourself.  But there’s a part of you that has anticipation and fear.  And so the important thing to know is that there’s nothing wrong with that and that that’s normal.  You have to learn how to deal with it, certainly, but it doesn’t keep you from doing it.  And that doesn’t go away ever.”

“We’re not all evil or all good, and we all make mistakes to one degree or another.”

“I like that I’ve been through things, that when something happens, it resonates with something that already happened.  It’s not that things like loss are more or less painful.  But they’re deeper.  I find that fascinating.”

“If there’s a question in your mind, you’re probably right.  You probably do need to work on it and think about it more.”

“Show me something I don’t know about.  Show me something I haven’t seen.”

“I find the reality of our emotional lives interesting.  I’m interested in exploring that in myself.  I try to be honest with myself about everything that I feel.  I’m not saying I’m able to do that all the time, but it’s something I’m interested in.”

“Most people are looking for something to give their life meaning.”

“If you can open people’s hearts first, then maybe people’s minds get opened after that.”

“I’m interested in writing that explores all sides of human beings.”

“I love the craft of acting, I love learning, I love everything that comes with the new project; the whole process is totally intoxicating to me.”

“I didn’t picture myself as a movie actress.  I began to think about it around college.  I remember thinking, ‘Well somebody has to be in them,’ so maybe I could do that eventually.  It’s all been a surprise.”

“I’m just as intrigued by acting as ever.  It’s an ongoing process.  There’s no arrival.  There’s no point at which you say, ‘Oh, okay, done it, got it.’  It just doesn’t happen.  And that’s true of any creative endeavor.”

“Acting is not about being famous, it’s about exploring the human soul.”

“As an actor, you want to be open to the unexpected.  So in order to be open to that, you do have to get out of your discursive mind… just like in any creative process… this isn’t just about acting.  So you have to learn a little bit how to work with your own mind.”

“When you make movies, you want to make an impact on people, not just entertain them.  It’s great when a movie can speak to someone.  Those moments stick with me.”

“Right now, I love the fact that I have so many opportunities, but I know this privileged position cannot last.  That doesn’t mean that I’ll stop working.”

“I’ve always been pretty levelheaded.  In show business you need to have a certain internal stability.”

“People always ask us women about how we balance our lives.  Rarely do they ever ask men this but we are asked this and it makes a lot of sense.  Balance, right?  It sounds right.  And of course you do have to balance because otherwise you’d go crazy.  And you do have to find ways of doing things in a sensible manner, raising children and all those choices.  But then there’s a part of creativity which is irrational and which is obsessive and then that’s also part of what we do.  So, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  I think that’s part of what makes someone good.”

“I love being busy, and I love having a lot going on; it’s exciting.”

“There’s so much pressure on women now to be sexy, to become educated, to have a fulfilling relationship.  And—oh yes!—you also have to have children, and you’re supposed to be very happy when you’re doing all of this.  It’s impossible.  You don’t have to do everything.  Just do a little bit at a time.  It’s not like we have to be happy all the time.  Who wants that?  The real thing we all search for is meaning.”

“A lot of women have a period of incredible growth after their children are no longer with them on a day-to-day basis.”

“When you’re younger, you think there’s some point at which you arrive, but that’s an illusion.  The truth is that we’re continually changing and growing; in some ways this part of my life feels like a beginning.”

“I feel really lucky that I’m able to pursue the work that I love.  I want my children to see that.  I want them to have that for themselves, something that they love, that they do, that they pursue in their lives as a way of growing and learning.”

“My parents were very supportive.  They went to every show.  And they never told me not to do what I was doing.”

“Our children see us a certain way, and we want to be seen by them in a certain way.  I certainly want to be a strong, stable, loving, consistent presence in my children’s lives.”

“When I was younger, part of me thought I could save my children from having to suffer, which was, of course, ridiculous.  They have to go through their struggles.”

“Having a life outside of movies is like pure oxygen.  It makes the work more precious and informed.”

“I think you sort of shed skins as you go along in life.  You get into your 40s, and you feel like, ‘Okay, no more pretending.’  You get to just be who you are.”

“Oh, honey, I’m from Oklahoma!  This is who I am.  Middle-class all the way!”

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