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Tommy Lee Jones Quotes

Tommy Lee

Tommy Lee Jones quotes: actor, filmmaker, Harvard grad, this guy’s smart as a whip.  Here’s his top stuff.

“I’m a believer in belief.  Faith is something that works – it causes people to do things, it has results.  It’s an intangible, indefinable, very real thing.  And it moves people, sometimes to atrocity.  And sometimes to survival.”

“In the course of American history, great steps are taken by ordinary people, and ordinary people are not perfect.”

“I think that no matter how much you don’t like yourself or the drama of your life you can still find some comedy in it.”

“Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.”

“You are going to grow up whether you want to or not.  It requires no effort.”

“People do come along and lead.  And they’re men – they’re people.  And they live and breathe, and they have fears and flaws.  This country wasn’t made by the guy up on the mountaintop with the stone tablet.  People made it.”

“Sometimes talking is important.  Sometimes it isn’t.”

“I look upon pride as a sin.”

“Normal people with normal problems can be hilarious.”

“The world’s not a very comfortable place if you have a nightmare to face.”

“Ethnic stereotypes are boring and stressful and sometimes criminal.  It’s just not a good way to think.  It’s non-thinking.  It’s stupid and destructive.”

“I don’t see people as groups, I see them as individuals.”

“Human beings are glorious and preposterous characters.”

“Kindness and politeness are not overrated at all.  They’re underused.”

“My idea in terms of managing a narrative, or in thinking in my creative life, is that you could easily argue that the past, the present, and the future all occur simultaneously, and if you can postulate that, then you’re not strictly bound to a linear narrative.”

“What appeals to me?  There are things, points of view, uses of the language, habits of dress, ways of thought and believing that came to me from my grandparents and came to them from theirs.  Things that are of good use in any situation, no matter what the future may hold.”

“I don’t get it.  If you’re saying, ‘Tommy Lee, you don’t fit the image of the East Coast, social elitist wealthy people who comprise Harvard,’ the only thing I can say is you have no idea what comprises Harvard.”

“I always told my children when they whined, ‘Only the boring are bored.'”

“Acting is fun for me and it doesn’t really matter how, whether it’s hard work or easy work, it’s always fun.”

“Damn right, it’s fun.  There’s good company.  It’s creative.  It’s adventurous.  Combines high adventure and art with intellection.  It’s more fun than polo.  It’s like going undefeated in football.”

“I hope people will leave the movie theater with the idea that their time has been well improved.”

“I’m an actor, I’m always looking for work.  I was born to do that.”

“I started when I was in the second grade.  The entire elementary school in Rotan, Texas, presented a theatrical production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  And the part of Sneezy fell to me.  It was a big deal for me, and I’ve been devoted to being a good actor ever since.”

“I saw a play in rehearsal, and that felt pretty comfortable.  It felt pretty good.  And I said, ‘That’s probably something I want to do.'”

“I don’t need much of a character in my life.  I’ve already got one; my family knows who I am, and I don’t have a reason to make an impression on the world around me unless it’s in a professional context.  Acting is not a personal experience; it’s a job.”

“As an actor to watch an audience of people howl together in a single mind as a result of work you’ve done together with friends is a privilege.”

“I’ve worked with more than 50 directors and I’ve paid attention since day one.  That’s pretty much been my education, apart from studying art, history, and shooting with my own cameras.  I’ve seen 50 different sets of mistakes and 50 different ways of achieving.”

“I’ve worked with some very good directors and some very bad ones.  I learned a great deal from both.  From the bad, untalented people, you learn what not to do.  And when you work with very highly talented people, you want to emulate them.”

“If military movies were automatically successful we’d make nothing but military movies.  But seriously, patriotism is one thing that all Americans have in common.”

“It’s a very happy occasion for me to be producer, writer, director, actor – very happy.  My motivation, of course, is lust for creative control.  I want everybody’s job!  I don’t have time for craft service, but I would do it if I had time.”

“It makes me feel like a very special person, that I’m able to make my living with my imagination.  I developed a big respect for my calling while I was in school, and it remains with me to this day.”

“You know, I don’t really think you have to play nice guys.”

“I’ve made some bad movies.  And I really enjoyed it!”

“I’m kind of pleased with myself that I’ve got a tailor on Savile Row.  I’m 68 years old.  I deserve it.”

“It’s no mean calling to bring fun into the afternoons of large numbers of people.  That, too, is part of my job, and I’m happy to serve when called on.”

“The quality of one’s emotional life changes over the years, doesn’t it?  But the basic instincts and desires, greed and hope, seem to remain constant.  In the larger scope of things, there’s a sense of fulfillment to living a creative life.  So I guess that’s what keeps me going.”

“I probably watch less than one hour of television a week.  And when I do watch television it’s usually a football game.  Sometimes I’ll watch a news broadcast for a few minutes.  Otherwise I don’t have time.”

“I’m an introspective guy when there’s money in it.”

“I’m always happy to have a job.”

“I don’t do anything that is not fun.  I just don’t do it.”

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