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John Malkovich Quotes

John Gavin Malkovich

John Malkovich quotes: Teddy KGB talks turkey.

“Failure’s a natural part of life.”

“Even if you do succeed most people wouldn’t notice anyway.”

“There are many, many benefits to being known for whatever it is you do.  To deny that would be sort of asinine and vulgar.”

“I mean, anything that money can be made off will never be a problem to make, no matter what it is.”

“If you’re too smart it can limit you because you spend so much time thinking that you don’t do anything.”

“You know, I’m really not interested in someone telling me that something’s good or bad.”

“It’s not a field, I think, for people who need to have success every day: if you can’t live with a nightly sort of disaster, you should get out.”

“You can be a mason and build 50 buildings, but it doesn’t mean you can design one.”

“A dog that has rabies probably will do things it wouldn’t do if it didn’t have rabies.  But that doesn’t change the fact that it has rabies.”

“Nothing you do particularly matters.  But I’m not sure that’s a great excuse for doing it poorly.”

“Anybody doing something brings something to it.”

“I like to have fun at work.  It’s okay if I don’t.  I’ve had that a few times.  But generally, I’m someone who has a lot of fun at work, because I like my job.  I think it’s a fantastic job, at least part of it is a fantastic job.  And I like to have fun, and I personally feel that… when people feel involved and comfortable and they feel like their work is being supported, that’s the best environment to do good work.”

“The one natural gift I have is easy access.  That’s the only natural I gift I have at all.  You have to have that, the third eye.”

I admire sensible, kind people.  They’re not often famous.”

“I don’t get involved in other people’s business and wish they would learn to do the same.  But they won’t because everybody knows what’s best for everybody else.  I’m not into telling people how to live, how to vote, how to be.  It doesn’t interest me.  I don’t know how they should be.  I’m pretty sure they shouldn’t be telling others how they should be.  But they can if they want and they will anyway.”

“I play by my own rule book.  I don’t give a rat’s ass about what lots of us spend lots of time caring about.”

“I was raised that I was responsible for myself, period.  From the time I could comprehend language it wasn’t a matter of what my parents said.  They told me I was responsible for myself.”

“I’m a subject that I’m pretty neutral about.  I’m like Popeye, really, ‘I yam what I yam.’  I mean, I don’t dislike anything about myself, nor like.  I’m pretty neutral in that way.  There’s no point to it.”

“I don’t really go through a process, it goes through me.”

“I’m not sure I know what satisfaction is.  Or, if I do, as Mick Jagger said, ‘I can’t get no.’  I like to work and that is its own satisfaction.  The challenge is its own satisfaction.  Failure is its own satisfaction.  Success is just failure in the making.  I like to work.  That’s all.  Nothing is so fatal to a dream as its realization.”

“I think very few people like the sound of their voice.  And I don’t know how many people are happy with their looks.  You have to not care.  When I look at myself, it doesn’t really matter if I like the way I look or if I like the way I sound.  It matters if what I was trying to do was effective.”

“I find it hard to pre-plan every element of everything I do.  It’s not my thing.”

“I have never been someone who was so lost in the past or intent on the future that I couldn’t live in the present.  I don’t live in the past… because you can’t go back, you can’t change it, you can’t un-cause the pain you caused, you can’t un-cause disappointment you caused—even to yourself, pain to yourself.  You can’t really change the past.”

“I wasn’t really raised to be the type of person to have doubts.”

“I can have incredible self-discipline.”

“I’ve permitted myself to learn and to fail with some regularity.  And that is probably the one thing I was given, and that I’m still grateful for.”

“My father was an exceptionally strong influence on me.”

“I’ve always been an avid reader.  Everyone in my family read a lot.  Considering we were from a little town, we were pretty literate.”

“I wouldn’t describe myself as lacking in confidence, but I would just say that the ghosts you chase you never catch.”

“It’s not a gift of mine, but one given to me, to be able to criticize myself and not be crushed, by myself or by others.”

“I’m more comfortable with whatever’s wrong with me than my father was whenever he felt he failed or didn’t measure up to the standard he set.”

“I prefer to conduct my life based on how I treat people.”

“If you don’t interfere with me, I’ll always do something really good.”

“I don’t understand how somebody wouldn’t have a sense of humor about themselves.”

“I always wanted to be fashionable.  I like design, I like details, to me it is just another form of self-expression.”

“I was a very good baseball and football player, but my father always told me I was much more interested in how I looked playing baseball or football than in actually playing.  There’s great truth in that.”

“Fashion is chaotic, and it can be an aggravation, too, but it is at its best when it allows you to express yourself.”

“I have driven school buses, sold egg rolls and painted houses, and I have often wondered what my life would have been like if I hadn’t gone into acting.  Mind you, it’s a great life, going around pretending you’re other people and getting paid ridiculous sums of money for it.”

“I don’t have a savior or a royal family.”

“I get a lot of inspiration from literature, but also from life.”

“I haven’t voted since 1972.  There’s too much BS, too much money and too much ideological corruption in politics, and now, seemingly, with quite a few emotionally disturbed people on both sides screaming at each other like four year-olds… why bother?  I don’t get it.”

“Maybe even tomorrow somebody will invent some great political format which actually provokes and allows discussion, as opposed to telling somebody what to think.  I’m not interested in telling anybody what to think.”

“Which book changed my life?  So many, but certainly The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner.”

“I like being at our farm in France, in Provence.  But I’m not really the unhappy type, anywhere.  Although I’m not by nature a city person, I’m perfectly happy in a city I like or in a city with an interesting inner city that I may not have known before.  I can enjoy myself in most places I think.”

“I’m a man who keeps an open mind about places and thinks they might be better the next time I go back.  There are places I can’t even imagine going back to, but even then I think I might be surprised.”

“If you live a long life, one of the things you most live is getting used to things that you never anticipated.  And so what?  Big deal.”

“How would you like to be remembered?  By my friends as hopefully someone who was a good friend, or at least amusing, but I don’t need to be remembered by people I don’t know.”

“There are lessons there if we can see them and learn.  You know, in the best things there is great hope somehow, even if it’s hope of how not to be.  And I think that’s why I do what I do—to give people hope.”

“People always say life is short.  I’ve never been convinced of that.  Mine seems to have a tendency to go on and on.”

“I go around the world, working with all kinds of people who I love.”

“I never think of myself as a celebrity.  I may very well be or very well not be, but most especially for the purposes of this I think of myself more like a blank page.”

“I can see how, given a certain degree of sensitivities, proclivities and rage, I could have ended up differently.”

“I can’t think of anybody who’s had a more charmed life, really.”

“And may the best of you—for it will only be the best of you, and even then only in the rarest and briefest moments—succeed in framing that most basic of questions, ‘How do we live?’”

Related: Edward Norton quotes.

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