Sometimes you succeed and sometimes you don’t.
Acting is ephemeral. You can’t hang it on a wall. You can’t throw it off. And you can’t bring it out of a closet. It’s there one night and it’s gone the next, at least with stage acting anyhow.
If I had my druthers, I would do only stage work.
I would rather do a play because it’s instantaneous. You go on the stage, and you know whether it’s happening or not. Somebody asked me ‘What is acting?’ And I said, ‘Acting is listening.’ And if you ain’t listening, nobody’s listening.
I never turned down anything and never argued with any producer or director.
I think I’ve done 200 plays and 125 movies, so I’ve been very lucky to have made a living at acting.
I was born a character actor.
I lack confidence as an actor.
I was doing judo before anybody knew it existed in this country.
Dancing came easy for me. Acting came hard.
There’s no nobility with war. It’s tear-’em-up destruction that leaves you frustrated, bitter and angry… If you really knew what it was like for an hour, you wouldn’t want anyone to go through it.
You’re out there on a high wire without a net, and that’s the way actors operate. They have to be fearless about how they work and they have to create a life for the audience in 90 minutes and make them believe.
Of course, I’m not often the top dog, but sometimes it’s better not to be top dog, because you last longer. If a movie or play flops, you always blame the lead. They say, ‘He couldn’t carry it.’ They always blame him. But they rarely blame the second or third banana.
You make the money in movies and TV so you can do theater. I do a play a year… somewhere.
I can’t count how many of my friends are in the cemetery at Normandy, the heroes are still there, the real heroes.