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Steve Coogan Quotes

Stephen John Coogan

Steve Coogan quotes: on fame, politics, laughter and life.

“If you got the balls to follow something through, you can end up being the coolest, smartest guy in the room, because you’ve literally put your ass on the line.”

“If you chase something too desperately, it eludes you.”

“If you do something very successful, you will then be defined by it.”

“If things don’t come easy to you, you have to pull a rabbit out of a hat.”

“The important thing is not to be defined by what others think of you.”

“F*ck everyone’s advice.”

“If you want to convince someone your opinion is right, an argument will very rarely resolve something.  The way to communicate with people, I think, is to tell stories.  If you tell a story that moves someone, you may make them think about things in a slightly different way.”

“Sometimes the best way to talk about things is through a fictional comic narrative because it lets you off the hook to talk about it more freely.”

“No one has a monopoly on wisdom.”

“All the clever people are full of self-doubt and all the stupid people are very confident.  That’s the era we’re living in now.  That’s the era I don’t want to be a part of.  So all you can do is try to go about things differently.  Do interesting work and don’t be a cunt.”

“The truth is somewhere in the middle of funny and serious.”

“A friend is someone who will not blow smoke up your ass but who’ll also take the piss out of you.”

“And actually I think acknowledging your own fallibility makes you a better artist and a better person.  It’s fairly obvious to me that the real wisdom lies in seeing people’s failings and trying to understand them.  Because the alternative is that very childlike, Donald Trump thing of believing that admitting any weakness is fatal.”

“Death is but a moment; cowardice is a lifetime of affliction.”

“I love Sherlock Holmes.  I’ve got all his books, leather-bound.  What I thought was great about Sherlock Holmes was that not only was he a super-sleuth, he was also a hard worker.  Not only did he go out and solve the crimes, he came home and wrote it all down.  Fantastic.  That’s why I admire him.”

“I wasn’t a naturally confident, extravert, outgoing person.”

“I think I’ve always had a political dimension.  My family was political.  I remember being told that Jesus was a socialist.  But I was also very ambitious.  And I started earning a lot of money early on.  And I became apolitical.  I thought: ‘Oh, sod all that.’  And it went to my head.  It was like a sort of delayed adolescence.  But then you realize that all this stuff is transient and that you’re middle-aged and that one day you’re going to be dead.  And so you might as well make an effort to engage in some way.”

“When I was a student I was very, very ambitious, completely immersed in my comedy career.  I never had that period of reckless hedonism that you should get out of your system in your youth.”

“I used to do stuff at college.  I could do voices.  I could make some people laugh.  I wasn’t the class clown, but I knew I had this skill.”

“I try to not make safe choices, but I also like to do stuff which is interesting and is sort of exciting in some way and accessible.”

“I got involved in writing and producing because I wasn’t getting interesting acting gigs.  In a way, I’m grateful that I didn’t get interesting roles, because it made me pull my finger out and do some work.”

“I just feel happy when I’m writing.  I feel like I’ve something approaching a proper job.  I’m comfortably off.  I’m fortunate that I’m now surrounded by people who facilitate me being creative.  I don’t have to open any envelopes that have windows on them, for example.”

“Most of all I don’t want to be bored.  That’s why I’d rather do something that has some sort of ambition, that risks failing, rather than make safer, more comfortable choices.”

“I don’t apologize for my behavior anymore.  Whatever I do or don’t do shouldn’t matter.  Moral certainty is dangerous.  Moral certainty is what makes people go to war unnecessarily and illegally.  Morality, as any halfway intelligent human being would tell you, is a very subjective thing.”

“In England, I’ve done a whole bunch of stuff where I just make a complete ass of myself.  I’ve been doing it for 20 years, so I just gravitate toward it anyway.  I’d rather do that than do the stuff where I’m supposed to be trying to look cool in some way.  It’s more interesting to me.”

“In my mind God made Adam and Eve, he didn’t make Adam and Steve.”

“If you’re driving your car and someone winds the window down and gives you the finger and calls you an asshole, instead of giving him the finger back and calling him an asshole back, you just pull a funny face, and he doesn’t know how to react to that, because you’re using different rules.”

“That whole cliché about laughter being the best medicine is very true.  We’re all on this earth for so long, and we’re all going to die.  And so the way to cope with that is to laugh.  To laugh with growing old, to be self-effacing is really liberating.”

“It’s our imperfections that make us vulnerable, make us interesting.  How can I make myself a bit of an asshole and still have humanity about it?”

“Even if I screw up in my personal life, as long as I’m not destroying myself, I just think, ‘Okay, I screwed up.’  I’m not Mother Theresa.”

“I mean, if someone said I was boring, that would bother me.  But if I’m no longer funny, well, then I’ll do something not funny.  There are a lot of other things to be.”

“We’re all a bit of a dick.  It’s the human condition.  Nothing to be afraid of.”

“When you get middle-aged, you think, ‘F*ck.’  You want your work to mean something.  You want to be successful, you want all the shiny things, but you want it to mean something.  You’re halfway through your life, and you think, ‘One day I’m going to be dead.’  I want to talk about life and I want to talk about humanity.  Steve Coogan on the screen is slightly less noble.  But I’m just as wrapped up in myself as I am when I play myself.”

“When I play myself, I want to be a slightly better person.  It just agrees.  Everything I play about myself is kind of true, but it’s amplified.  We all edit, don’t we?  If you’re self-aware, you stop yourself.  You know how to behave properly.”

“I don’t mind if some people hate me, as long as it’s not everyone.”

“I am lucky to be in a profession that is not age dependent.  The great thing is that the funny side of getting old is fuel for my comedy.  I am getting older and a bit more sensible.”

“I have never wanted to be famous, as such.  Fame is a byproduct.  I never had any desire to be famous.  I find people who do really sad.  I genuinely feel sorry for them because there is nothing of substance in their lives.  I am happy when I am writing or performing.  Not when I sit there being ‘famous.’  I like recognition for my work, but not recognition for being ‘that bloke off the telly.’  It is genuinely humbling when a woman comes up to me, as someone did recently, to say she wanted to commit suicide after her husband died, and my show cheered her up and made her feel better.  That’s great.”

“I did not become successful in my work through embracing or engaging in celebrity culture.  I never signed away my privacy in exchange for success.”

“When I became successful, I enjoyed myself a little.”

“I want my work to be judged, not me.”

“I am not a politician going around bragging about family values or putting myself on some ridiculous virtuous pedestal.  I write comedy.  And I am an actor.  I am not here to solve the nation’s problems.  I don’t actually spend my life in the way the tabloids like to think I do.  I actually spend 95% of it writing comedy.  Sober.  Well, nearly sober anyway.”

“Me, myself, personally, I like to keep myself private.  I simply do what I do.”

“I like my life.”

“There you go, that’s my big artistic statement.  Do interesting work and don’t be a cunt.  Took me the best part of an hour.  Got there in the end.”

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