Quotes by Frances McDormand

I am an ordinary person.
- Frances McDormand
I can do a good John Wayne.
- Frances McDormand
No actor has complete freedom.
- Frances McDormand
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I never trusted good-looking boys.
- Frances McDormand
I have a very short attention span.
- Frances McDormand
Guess what? I am an ordinary person.
- Frances McDormand
You just have to play the character.
- Frances McDormand
I have not mutated myself in any way.
- Frances McDormand
Yale? I was at Yale on a scholarship.
- Frances McDormand
I know I'm profane. And outspoken.
- Frances McDormand
Follow us on:
The only power you have is the word no.
- Frances McDormand
Who can worry about a career? Have a life.
- Frances McDormand
There's something healing about tears.
- Frances McDormand
I'm really interested in playing my age.
- Frances McDormand
I am not a director or a writer, but a filmmaker.
- Frances McDormand
I'm attracted to male gestures and sexuality.
- Frances McDormand
I like hard rock, and classic rock, and even metal.
- Frances McDormand
I read books. Remember those? I read them, on paper.
- Frances McDormand
I buy books, I have shelves of books. I love to read.
- Frances McDormand
Adulthood is not a goal. It's not seen as a gift.
- Frances McDormand
I went to high school in a steel town in Pennsylvania.
- Frances McDormand
With aging, you earn the right to be loyal to yourself.
- Frances McDormand
I wasn't into sports, but I was really into Shakespeare.
- Frances McDormand
Long-format television is a better way to tell a female story.
- Frances McDormand
I like being my age. I kind of have a political thing about it.
- Frances McDormand
People love to drop in 'you betcha' as often as they can.
- Frances McDormand
A movie set actually can be a good place to have a family atmosphere.
- Frances McDormand
I want to be revered. I want to be an elder; I want to be an elderess.
- Frances McDormand
I never read books - and still don't read books - to develop them.
- Frances McDormand
I love flying by the seat of my pants, going at something instinctually.
- Frances McDormand
I haven't wanted to play a mother for a long time because I am one.
- Frances McDormand
All the skills of housewifery are the ones I'm using as a producer.
- Frances McDormand
I can't do the frappuccino. It's too sweet. I need it straight.
- Frances McDormand
Unless it's a flat-out farce, an actor can't play comedy on film.
- Frances McDormand
I think that ageism is a cultural illness; it's not a personal illness.
- Frances McDormand
Cinematic icons of the police detective are more male role models than female.
- Frances McDormand
We don't need a lot of initiatives for women in film; what we need is money.
- Frances McDormand
I would disagree that America is any more racist or ridiculous than anywhere else.
- Frances McDormand
If you want to talk about cultural appropriation, we have to go back to the Greeks.
- Frances McDormand
The fact that I'm sleeping with the director may have something to do with it.
- Frances McDormand
I'm not really that interested in going back to playing small supporting roles.
- Frances McDormand
Unless I'm on a stage, I don't want to be the event in someone's day.
- Frances McDormand
That's another great thing about getting older. Your life is written on your face.
- Frances McDormand
In my theater work, I've had much more three-dimensional, broader-stroke characters.
- Frances McDormand
We wrote 'Olive Kitteridge' as six hours, and they asked us to make it in four.
- Frances McDormand
My politics are private, but many of my feminist politics cross over into my professional life.
- Frances McDormand
Movie stars have careers - actors work, and then they don't work, and then they work again.
- Frances McDormand
One of the reasons I am successful as a producer is that I've been a very successful housewife.
- Frances McDormand
I swear a lot; I always have. So does my husband. Our son, surprisingly, does not swear much at all.
- Frances McDormand
At least three times a week, I'm approached by someone who says something about 'Fargo.'
- Frances McDormand
Everybody dresses like a teenager. Everybody dyes their hair. Everybody is concerned about a smooth face.
- Frances McDormand
It's much easier to play supporting roles because that's what I do in my life: I support my son.
- Frances McDormand
I've never been someone who needs a lot of takes or enjoys a lot of takes. I like the fast thing of it.
- Frances McDormand
Something happened culturally: No one is supposed to age past 45 - sartorially, cosmetically, attitudinally.
- Frances McDormand
I'm not really interested in promoting 'Olive' as a series about depression or mental illness.
- Frances McDormand
There is simply too much of my life that is involved in my work that I couldn't replicate in any other way.
- Frances McDormand
I want to separate my professional life from my personal life. I want to live a normal life and be a normal mother.
- Frances McDormand
I was very good until I left home to go to a little college in West Virginia, and then I started to break some rules.
- Frances McDormand
Here's what I have at my advantage: I've never been a personality. I've always been a character actor.
- Frances McDormand
If you take it as a compliment that you don't look your age, then you're really shooting yourself in the foot.
- Frances McDormand
I'm not an actor because I want my picture taken. I'm an actor because I want to be part of the human exchange.
- Frances McDormand
We are on red alert when it comes to how we are perceiving ourselves as a species. There's no desire to be an adult.
- Frances McDormand
I don't think of myself as a movie star and I can pretty easily convince other people that I'm not a movie star.
- Frances McDormand
I tried taking a year off when Pedro was a toddler because I really wanted to be around, but it wasn't good for any of us.
- Frances McDormand
The crew on 'Three Bilboards,' by the way, is one of the best I've ever worked with. And that's not hyperbole.
- Frances McDormand
It could be partly my taste. It's just my belief that there are female characters that will benefit from not being vulnerable.
- Frances McDormand
Certainly, a lot of the films I've worked on have ended up good movies, but they haven't always been the best experiences.
- Frances McDormand
Getting older and adjusting to all the things that biologically happen to you is not easy to do and is a constant struggle and adjustment.
- Frances McDormand
What's wrong with Hell's Kitchen? You don't change a neighborhood by changing its name. You change it by building a school.
- Frances McDormand
Growing up a preacher's kid wasn't the easiest thing. Everybody's always watching you to see how you'll behave - or misbehave.
- Frances McDormand
In comparison to other women in the world, perhaps I'm seen as smaller. But I've never had a problem thinking of myself as a large woman.
- Frances McDormand
I will go to my grave being known as Marge Gunderson. It'll be on my gravestone if I have one. I don't mind that, because it was a great character.
- Frances McDormand
I'm from working-class, blue-collar America, and I don't believe that people in that socioeconomic strata wait until they're 40 to have children.
- Frances McDormand
Unfortunately, any girl - unless you're playing the action hero - is going to end up at some point handcuffed, gagged, and waiting for the hero to save her.
- Frances McDormand
I'm not a depressive, but I certainly have mood swings. It's an occupational hazard, I would say, and I'm glad I'm in the occupation I'm in.
- Frances McDormand
You can't make a rule about it. The minute you make a rule, it's like putting your wedding pictures in 'In Style' magazine - you're divorced.
- Frances McDormand
I have friends who are movie stars, and I think it's just as hard a job as being a working actor. But it's a different job, and it's not the one I want.
- Frances McDormand
If, when I leave this earth, I'm remembered for 'Fargo,' so be it. But I think old Marge Gunderson is gonna get a run for her money with Olive Kittredge.
- Frances McDormand
It's kind of a subversive act to tell a story of a woman past a certain age, to develop a four-hour movie based on a marriage and a story of two people past middle age.
- Frances McDormand
It's a scary thing going into the workforce with a $50,000 debt and you've been trained as a classical theatre actor. There's always a depression in the theatre.
- Frances McDormand
I've got a rubber face. It has always served me very well and really helps, especially as I get older, because I still have all my road map intact, and I can use it at will.
- Frances McDormand
I don't think you can ever completely transform yourself on film, but if you do your job well, you can make people believe that you're the character you're trying to be.
- Frances McDormand
Most women's pictures are as boring and as formulaic as men's pictures. In place of a car chase or a battle scene, what you get is an extreme closeup of a woman breaking down.
- Frances McDormand
My feminist training was that this was your goal, to be a self-sufficient woman, but that is a miscalculation. It's just not the way we work. We work in dialogue with the community.
- Frances McDormand
My father was a minister, and it was more my mother that had the responsibility of making sure the family put out an outward of appearance of living what he was preaching. She was the PR.
- Frances McDormand
I'm a character actress, plain and simple... Who can worry about a career? Have a life. Movie stars have careers - actors work, and then they don't work, and then they work again.
- Frances McDormand
I was too old, too young, too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, too blond, too dark - but at some point, they're going to need the other. So I'd get really good at being the other.
- Frances McDormand
I've made a professional reputation playing working-class, middle-class, American women. There's a real sense of stoicism and pragmatism and strength and lyricism of a woman like that.
- Frances McDormand
Female characters in literature are full. They're messy: they've got runny noses and burp and belch. Unfortunately, in film, female characters don't often have that kind of richness.
- Frances McDormand
It's like some weird excuse for high school kids to vomit. It's not good. It's stupid. I'm sure that's not what St. Patrick's Day is supposed to be about, but who knows.
- Frances McDormand
A 90-minute time frame is not long enough to tell a good female story, and that's why long-format television has become so great for female storytelling and for female performers and directors and writers.
- Frances McDormand
I'm trained in the theater, and acting, for me, is about the imaginative life I create for myself, not about basing it on something real. I think that whatever I create becomes the reality for the audience.
- Frances McDormand
I learned how to read in second grade, and I entered a summer contest at my local library in Chattanooga, Tennessee. If you read more books than anybody else, you got your Polaroid up on the bulletin board, and I did.
- Frances McDormand
I haven't done much press for many reasons, but mostly because it's not an interesting dialogue about work that's been done. It's turned into something else. It's become this ridiculous other thing.
- Frances McDormand
I think awards are good for the movie. They can bring a new audience to the movie. I've always claimed that things like that don't get you work. Work gets you work. That's my blue-collar, protestant work ethic.
- Frances McDormand
When you lose a spouse, you're a widow or widower; when you lose your parents, you're an orphan. When you lose a child, there's no word in the English language for that position, that place that you're left.
- Frances McDormand
KWMR is my radio station, and I intend to have a job there as I get older. That's what I'm lobbying for. They don't need me. They've got plenty of people. But let's see if I can make myself indispensable.
- Frances McDormand
It was really fascinating for everyone involved in 'Fargo' that Marge Gunderson became the iconic character she did. I think it was something about the cultural zeitgeist and what was happening with women in the workplace.
- Frances McDormand
I've given just as much of my life to that, and I practiced it with the same zeal, as I have acting. And I think that many of my skill sets from being a housewife I used for producing. Because you don't stop until it's done.
- Frances McDormand
There's only two givens with choosing acting as a profession: one is you will always be unemployed, always, and it doesn't matter how much money you make, you're still always going to be unemployed; and that you have no power.
- Frances McDormand
Even though I'm an actor, I've gone to productions where there has been someone whose work is known in film, and you can't take your eyes off them. It unbalances the production. Whether they're good or not, it doesn't matter.
- Frances McDormand
I went to my school careers counselors and said I wanted to be an actor, and they didn't know what to do. They showed me catalogues with pretty campuses and said, 'Oh, look, there's a theater building. Why don't you go there?'
- Frances McDormand
My name is Frances Louise McDormand, formerly known as Cynthia Ann Smith. I was born in Gibson City, Ill., in 1957. I identify as gender-normative, heterosexual, and white-trash American. My parents were not white trash. My birth mother was white trash.
- Frances McDormand
Because of my own insecurities about the way I look, I do sometimes sabotage the looks of my characters by making them as homely as possible. I've never done a glamour part. I'd like to some day, though I don't know if I could pull it off.
- Frances McDormand
My position has always been that the way people age and the signs that we show of aging is nature's way of tattooing. It's natural scarification, and the life you lead gives you the symbols and the emblems of your life, the road map you followed.
- Frances McDormand
I think that there's a clinical mental illness called depression, but I believe that post-industrial America has been narcotized by progress. There's a cultural malaise - mental illness or no - that everybody suffers from at some point in their life.
- Frances McDormand
We appreciate quiet living. It's not exactly a Hollywood way of life - I couldn't stand living out in Hollywood because you can never escape from the business. All people ever do is talk about movies. At least in New York you can have some other life.
- Frances McDormand

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