≡ Menu

James Marsden Quotes

James Paul Marsden

James Marsden quotes: the actor looks back on how far he’s come.

“If you’re lucky enough to pick what you do, that’s the greatest career you can have. Ultimately, that’s my goal: to have choices.”

“Nothing special is easy to create. I feel like there has to be real effort, real love, real passion, and you have to fall on your face. When you are met with real challenges, it reveals a lot about your character with how you handle that adversity.”

“Sometimes you just have to be brave. You have to be strong. Sometimes you just can’t give in to weak thoughts. You have to beat down those devils that get inside your head and try to make you panic. You struggle along, putting one foot a little bit ahead of the other, hoping that when you go backwards it won’t be too far backwards, so that when you start going forwards again you won’t have too much to catch up.”

“I guess true courage is when you’re really scared but you still do it.”

“You do things over and over again, and you have to hit your marks.”

“The idea and notion of dealing with failure and having the determination to carry on, even when everything seems stacked against you, that really speaks to passion.”

“You just have to learn to roll with the craziness.”

“If you have fun and keep a good attitude, people want to work with you.”

“I am constantly hustling and finding new things.”

“It’s about balance.”

“You can find all types of men anywhere, but a smart man will always make you feel important and understood. And a woman can always tell when a man does it genuinely and effortlessly.”

“Women pay attention to how men drive because it’s a good indicator of what kind of character you have. They want someone who’s going to be intelligent and cautious and assertive and confident when you need to be, but not overly aggressive and reckless, and also not timid and overly paranoid.”

“I carry one bit of wisdom from my grandfather with me. He told me, ‘Do the right thing, even when no one is looking.’ You know, it’s like the testament of character. He taught me to do the right things and be a good person. You know, to want to be someone of substance and have real character.”

“I learned all these great things that come from having stuff not be about me, having it be about somebody else, and what you are willing to do for them.”

“When you try to block it out or go around it or avoid problems, that’s when you are not living life. I’ve screwed up, I’ve been hurt. I’ve had fun. I’m learning from it.”

“It would be cool to be invisible, but I’m afraid of what people would say about me if they didn’t know I was there. Some things are better left unknown.”

“If you’re an attractive guy, everyone thinks you’re successful just because of the way you look. I know I have a face like a model. But I’m actually just a goofy drama nerd underneath.”

“I wasn’t voted most likely to succeed; I wasn’t prom king or the captain of the football team. I wasn’t the popular kid.”

“Whatever life dealt me, I dealt with it. Then you realize when you’re older that it was a sort of defense mechanism.”

“When I was younger—up until I was 19 years old and in college—I was surrounded with people in high school who felt like they knew what they wanted to do with their lives, and that was intimidating to me because I didn’t.”

“I didn’t want to go get a job or get a degree in business or marketing, or whatever all my friends were getting degrees in.”

“Trust your instincts. Sometimes getting something simpler is more interesting. So go with what you respond to. It should be, at the end of day, ‘What do you respond to? What are you drawn to?'”

“I didn’t know what my passion was until I discovered the dramatic arts in junior high and high school and I realized, ‘Oh, I like this. This is something I feel like I’m good at.'”

“A drama class gave me confidence and a new passion. It wasn’t until my senior year that girls started going, ‘Where did he come from?’ And I looked in the mirror and said the same thing to myself, like, ‘Whoa, yeah. Who are you? You’ve got balls now, and a personality. You have an identity.’ I’m grateful for finding the stage and a place to feel like, ‘Oh, you are finally good at something.'”

“The first time an audience applauded or laughed at a joke, it was the first time I felt like I could be good at something.”

“I had parents that supported me, I had a guy who was sending me out on auditions. I wasn’t pounding the pavement knocking on agents’ doors. I had representation right when I moved out. I was very, very grateful and lucky. And then I was like, ‘Okay, now it’s up to you. Now you gotta do these auditions and make people remember you and show people why you should be cast in this.’ I felt I had to retroactively earn the blessings bestowed upon me (genetically and otherwise), wanting to prove myself again and again in whatever audition was put before me.”

“I felt like I was shot out of a cannon. I was lit up with excitement about being able to pursue the thing that I felt like I was good at. Maybe this sounds arrogant, but I feel like that was evident to a lot of the casting directors. ‘Who is this kid from Oklahoma who’s so excited to be here, and saying yes ma’am and no ma’am?’ There’s something about watching someone do what they love to do. I would imagine that’s something that helped me early on.”

“I don’t have any preconceived ideas about the type of character I want to play. I sort of leave a very broad net for anything, really. Genre, type of character, whatever. I just take the scripts that I have been given by my manager and my agent and I read them all. I love that the projects are kind of all over the place, and I think that it’s become one of the things over the last 25 years that’s beginning to define what I do. To me, that’s such a feather in my cap, ’cause you’re an actor. You’re not a personality, which is nice. This is why you want to be an actor: to play different roles. Even in high school in Oklahoma, it was my dream to be a regular on Saturday Night Live, so I can do 10 different characters a week.”

“What do we do for a living? We go to work, we put on clothes, we turn into another character. We’re programmed to deliver lines. Not programmed, but you know what I mean. We have fake relationships with other people, much like a host, and they yell cut and you reset and you do the whole thing over again. That’s what being an actor is, is a host.”

“I take my craft seriously, to a point. You do want to be great. You want to affect people, but I don’t always come home from work thinking, ‘Wow, I really nailed that scene today.’ I can be hard on myself. I have to train myself to stop being cerebral about it. To stop overthinking it”

“I decided I should go after the roles I like, that I am inspired by, and then, if I am having a good time, chances are that people will like watching you.”

“I wanted to target the good work; the good filmmakers, the good directors, the good scripts. But they could be any genre. And whoever cast me, that’s what I’m doing next. It wasn’t until about 10 years later that I looked back and started thinking, ‘This is really cool.’ It looks like a decision that I made early on to purposefully go after different things every time. I looked back and I saw this colorful path of all these different characters and I thought, ‘I’m going to adopt that as a career philosophy.'”

“I wanted to be remembered and have durability because of my work, I guess. Not necessarily because of what I was associated with. I want to be around. Longevity and diversity of roles. That’s the kind of career I want to have.”

“I’m good at a lot of stuff. I’m not great at one thing.”

“I’ve tried to write and it’s a different muscle for sure. I don’t feel as naturally gifted as a writer. But I still exercise that and try to write.”

“I’m very lucky. I just want to keep having a career. I think that’s the biggest thing for me. I obviously want to do good work but there comes a time where it’s about longevity, you just want to stay in the game, stay at the table and keep doing good work.”

“Everyone can have their heart broken. Even if you know the relationship isn’t working, it’s still sad. Even in a bad relationship, they’re part of your life for a long time, and saying goodbye to that can be difficult.”

“I was with my wife for five years before we got married, so we’ve been together since I was 22. At some point, she was ready to take the next step, and I would say, ‘I’m committed to you now; nothing’s going to change.'”

“I prefer face-to-face conversation as opposed to texting. You need to go out of your way to spend good time with one another; you need to have a date night. Whether you have kids or a career or whatever, for a relationship to thrive, it’s about making time for each other.”

“A lot of sh*t went well for me my whole life and came easy to me. Being a white male, you’re born with certain unearned privileges. My life hasn’t been filled with sorrow and deep struggle. When the divorce happened, it was the first time I felt I lost my equilibrium. It was scary and sad and made me pull everything into focus. I needed to focus on what was important. So that’s who I am now because of that. I know regrets can be catalysts for good things. Not to talk like a Hallmark card, but it’s true.”

“Of all my achievements in life, being a father is the one thing I’m most proud of. It is the most fulfilling. I’m always self-deprecating, but I don’t have a problem saying that I am a great dad.”

“It takes seeing the hero mess up or fail at something to become a man. That, to me, has become more important than being this superstar, movie star, or an actor. It’s integrity and substance of character—it’s like when sh*t happens to you in hard times, who do you become because of that? Your kids look at you and that’s how they define who and what they’re supposed to be.”

“I’d take hanging out at home with my wife and kids over a party any day. You can get caught up in a bubble in Hollywood. We lead a normal life: we just hang out, eat dinner. I go to the grocery store. I’m a family man at heart.”

“I’ve always loved watches my whole life. When I was growing up, I always thought of having a great watch as that next step—of making it, of a rite of passage.”

“I became a bit of a watch nerd. I don’t have some massive collection but I do have a few nice pieces. I rather have a couple of new nice things than a bunch of average things I guess.”

“I don’t really have cheap hobbies to be honest.”

Cory Johnson: your momma’s neighbor’s side chick’s last Uber Eats delivery guy’s third-favorite blogger. Here’s how he makes millions of dollars blogging without being bothered.