Quotes by John Hurt

I'm horribly self-critical.
- John Hurt
Life is full of ironies and paradoxes.
- John Hurt
I think fame makes people a bit nervous.
- John Hurt
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I have done quite a lot of outsider figures.
- John Hurt
I say you play a part, you don't work one.
- John Hurt
Everyone I've ever played has been flawed.
- John Hurt
I don't know whether I inspire anything in anyone.
- John Hurt
Human beings are very good at adapting to what happens.
- John Hurt
I didn't consider myself to be pretty, not at all.
- John Hurt
I've never felt that anger is a very powerful emotion.
- John Hurt
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I find it hard to imagine that anyone could be intimidated by me.
- John Hurt
I'm not accustomed to doing films without seeing the script.
- John Hurt
We're all just passing time and occupy our chair very briefly.
- John Hurt
I see myself as an interpretative actor rather than a creative one.
- John Hurt
Not everyone wants to see children's films, comics, and supermen.
- John Hurt
Film is not literature - the image on screen is the information you get.
- John Hurt
My surname certainly suggests a man whose destiny has always been injury.
- John Hurt
I've been incredibly lucky with the directors I've worked with.
- John Hurt
I'm very much of the opinion that to work is better than not to work.
- John Hurt
The clergy is in the same business as actors, just a different department.
- John Hurt
As Beckett said, it's not enough to die, one has to be forgotten as well.
- John Hurt
I gave up religious thinking a long time ago and am really just an agnostic now.
- John Hurt
I love the uilleann pipes and listen to Ronan Browne who's an uilleann piper.
- John Hurt
Everything that came to me, in terms of the ritzier side of performing, was a plus.
- John Hurt
I have lots of favourite memories but I can't say that I have a favourite film.
- John Hurt
I'd love to be one of those people who, whenever you see them, you feel pleased.
- John Hurt
I like entertaining. I adore it. I feel I'm in the right place. Without question.
- John Hurt
Everybody's got to work with Roger Corman. You can't leave out that experience.
- John Hurt
Society is constantly recalibrating, redefining what it considers to be moral and immoral.
- John Hurt
I don't care about the length of anything I play, as long as it's a good character.
- John Hurt
I was completely crazy and mad when I was young. I was absolutely in love with the dissolute.
- John Hurt
I like the physical activity of gardening. It's kind of thrilling. I do a lot of weeding.
- John Hurt
One thing that is likely to make you lose touch is if you keep in touch with the past too much.
- John Hurt
I don't like it when people shout on stage without any particular reason. It carries no weight.
- John Hurt
Each day, as you get older, there is a new perspective on life. It's a progression of some sort.
- John Hurt
Pretending to be other people is my game and that to me is the essence of the whole business of acting.
- John Hurt
It's quite a dangerous career move to go wilfully on making films that may not find a distributor.
- John Hurt
I've done all sorts of children's things before, but none as big as 'Harry Potter.'
- John Hurt
For everything that you find dreadful, there's usually something that is rather marvelous as well.
- John Hurt
Really, I'm only alive out of curiosity. I'm very curious about where we're all marching.
- John Hurt
Acting is an imaginative leap, really, isn't it? And imaginations prosper in different circumstances.
- John Hurt
I never had any ambition to be a star, or whatever it is called, and I'm still embarrassed at the word.
- John Hurt
Half the stuff I have done which has been successful would never have been made if it had been shown to focus groups.
- John Hurt
Everybody, I think, that was in 'Harry Potter' was certainly introduced to an enormous lot of young people.
- John Hurt
I think people should be protected from being made to feel that they want to know what somebody famous had for breakfast.
- John Hurt
I turn up in Los Angeles every now and then, so I can get some big money films in order to finance my smaller money films.
- John Hurt
'The Naked Civil Servant' was as important for me as 'Easy Rider' was for Jack Nicholson. No question.
- John Hurt
My parents felt that acting was far too insecure. Don't ask me what made them think that painting would be more secure.
- John Hurt
Essentially, I am an actor for hire. I am not a rarified creature. I do all these different things, and they all interest me.
- John Hurt
Picasso was hugely innovative, and, wow, did he have facility, amazing ability, but I don't think he painted a masterpiece.
- John Hurt
I didn't want to teach. I wanted to act. It was quite a long and difficult road to get there but very thrilling when I did.
- John Hurt
I'm not really a big musical fan. I enjoyed 'West Side Story' when it came out, but it gets a bit tired in the end.
- John Hurt
My father's a clergyman, and he was in the mission field for a certain amount of time in British Honduras, which is now Belize.
- John Hurt
I've lived publicly and never hidden behind closed doors. Therefore, if I have gone over the top sometimes, it has been visible.
- John Hurt
The English National Opera does have some terrific productions, which are accessible, and they're not too ridiculously expensive.
- John Hurt
I seem to watch less and less television. The best thing in 'Downton Abbey' is Penelope Wilton. She is always worth the watch.
- John Hurt
If I'm in theatre, cinema doesn't even cross my mind. Similarly when I'm making a film, theatre doesn't cross my mind.
- John Hurt
It would be difficult to have any unfulfilled ambitions because I don't have any ambitions. I've never been that kind of performer.
- John Hurt
To me, nothing ever feels like a sure thing. I cling to that because it's very important you don't ever think anything is a sure thing.
- John Hurt
Parents are the worst teachers, if they are good at it and you're not. My father thought I was the densest offspring he could have produced.
- John Hurt
Also the wonderful thing about film, you can see light at the end of the tunnel. You did realise that it is going to come to an end at some stage.
- John Hurt
I remember once when I told Lindsay Anderson at a party that acting was just a sophisticated way of playing cowboys and Indians he almost had a fit.
- John Hurt
I've done some stinkers in the cinema. You can't regret it; there are always reasons for doing something, even if it's just the location.
- John Hurt
The difference between anger and deep remorse - remorse is much fatter. It's a deeper feeling altogether. Anger is too easy an escape for my money.
- John Hurt
Actors are not always the best judges. We have a peculiar idea of what we think we are, and sometimes it's best left to others to decide what we play.
- John Hurt
Early on, I didn't intend to have children. I thought it was too difficult a world for them. But then it happened, and I am thrilled to have them now.
- John Hurt
If you do an interview in 1960, something it's bound to change by the year 2000. And if it doesn't, then there's something drastically wrong.
- John Hurt
It's an immensely competitive business, and I can tell you the older you get, the parts are fewer, and the people who are proven performers are greater.
- John Hurt
I first got involved with Mel Brooks through 'The Elephant Man.' Everybody knows now, but they didn't know at the time that he was the producer.
- John Hurt
Things come in a quieter way to me. It's not laziness, and it's not diffidence. I just know how far you have to bend for work. That's important for me.
- John Hurt
I knew I wanted to act from a very young age - from about nine, really - but I didn't know how to go about it. I had no idea. The world was a much bigger place then.
- John Hurt
Ultimately, the film industry has always pushed out its biggies, and I don't have a problem with that. I just wish that we'd spend more time nurturing the smaller ones.
- John Hurt
I first decided that I wanted to act when I was 9. And I was at a very bizarre prep school at the time; to say 'high Anglo-Catholic' would be a real English understatement.
- John Hurt
I've worked with people from Fred Zinnemann, John Huston, through to Richard Fleischer, all of those boys from Hollywood and so on, and Sam Peckinpah and then the Mike Radfords.
- John Hurt
If I'm doing a play, 30 to 40 percent of the people that come to the stage door have pictures of 'Alien' for me to autograph. And usually, the photos are pretty gory ones.
- John Hurt
I don't think you automatically become an enlightened person because you are a daddy. But they will change you, of course - their understanding of you puts you in a different place.
- John Hurt
I'd never done any Beckett before 'Krapp,' and I haven't done any of his other plays since. I've always felt that 'Krapp' is an autobiographical piece.
- John Hurt
I never quite understand why we watch the news. There doesn't really seem much point watching somebody tell you what the news is when you could quite easily listen to it on the radio.
- John Hurt
I put everything I can into the mulberry of my mind and hope that it is going to ferment and make a decent wine. How that process happens, I'm sorry to tell you I can't describe.
- John Hurt
I am not an enormous believer in research being the be-all and end-all. I get suspicious when I read about actors spending six months in a clinic, say, in order to play someone who is sick.
- John Hurt
I have died in so many spectacular ways, and I remember shooting them all, too. I imagine all those deaths will flash in front of me when I'm on my death bed, faced with the real thing.
- John Hurt
My mother's father drank and her mother was an unhappy, neurotic woman, and I think she has lived all her life afraid of anyone who drinks for fear something like that might happen to her.
- John Hurt
Nudes are the greatest to paint. Everything you can find in a landscape or a still life or anything else is there: darkness and light, character dimension, texture. I painted heads too, of course.
- John Hurt
I'm somewhat old-fashioned, and I still talk about playing a part. I don't talk about my work - 'I've seen some of your work' - there's not much work in it, is there?
- John Hurt
My criteria when looking for a role is that I will do anything that stands the chance of succeeding on the level it is intended to. After that, if it's a part I can do something personal with.
- John Hurt
I think love can be really tough. Because it involves ultimately an honesty to the nth degree that you are capable of. Once said, you've lost your deposit. It's best if you don't say it.
- John Hurt
Acting is an imaginative exercise. It would be odd if you didn't try to identify with the roles you play, but I think I can differentiate between where my imagination is leading me and where I actually am.
- John Hurt
I think you can get better in mathematics on a school level, but when you're talking about being a mathematician, I think that's definitely a gift of genes or whatever, you know? Whatever your pool is.
- John Hurt
I've always felt, and I think I'm qualified to say so because I've won a few awards, that it's a terrible shame to put something in competition with something else to be able to sell something.
- John Hurt
I can't say that I wouldn't prefer to make small films, basically because I think they are probably more interesting in terms of the material. But every now and again, it's quite good to do a big one.
- John Hurt
Punk recognised the fact that the establishment had no room. There's no point in saying you've got the establishment wrong because they hadn't got the establishment wrong, they'd got it absolutely dead on.
- John Hurt
There's an awful lot of hanging around when you're doing science fiction. Going down and waiting for them to set up, being told to go back to your dressing room while they change the track and the lighting and so on.
- John Hurt
How my film career happened, I don't know. It was unplanned. I'd been in films and TV throughout the Sixties and early Seventies, but it was really 'The Naked Civil Servant' in 1975 that put me on the radar.
- John Hurt
I've never changed the way I live. I still walk the streets; I don't give a damn. And everyone's very nice to me. But this new idea of being famous for no reason at all? I can't actually get my head round it.
- John Hurt
I've never guided my life. I've just been whipped along by the waves I'm sitting in. I don't make plans at all. Plans are what make God laugh. You can make plans, you can make so many plans, but they never go right, do they?
- John Hurt
The first thing you have to get used to in any kind of acting is the ability to make a fool of yourself. If you haven't learnt how to make a fool of yourself, you shouldn't be on the boards. That's absolutely what it's all about.
- John Hurt
There are situations where you are left robbed of all quality of life, and I believe it is entirely up to you how you want to deal with that. You can follow the dictates of religion if that is what you believe in, or you can take a personal decision.
- John Hurt
I mark a script like an exam, and I try not to do anything under 50 per cent. Similarly with the part. And also film is a peculiar thing, parts don't necessarily read in script form anything like as well as they can do when it comes to materialising.
- John Hurt
I'm fascinated by the business of belief, obviously, because it's so ever present with humanity anyway. And, you know, when you have science, which constantly talks of proofs, you have religion, which constantly talks of beliefs and faith and so on.
- John Hurt
We are all racing towards death. No matter how many great, intellectual conclusions we draw during our lives, we know they're all only man-made, like God. I begin to wonder where it all leads. What can you do, except do what you can do as best you know how.
- John Hurt
Very, very broadly speaking, you can put directors into two areas: One for whom you work, and the other with whom you work. And I prefer the latter, for obvious reasons. It's a great relief to feel that you're working with someone rather than for someone.
- John Hurt
I'm essentially the result of other people's imagination. And that's fine. Because of other people's imagination, I've played parts I would never have thought I could do. Still, I've never had a hankering or an ambition for any particular role.
- John Hurt
The things that I've enjoyed most are not really science fiction. They are not much fun to make because there are so many toys involved. They are fun for directors who like toys, like Ridley Scott, but they are not a lot of fun to make. A lot of hanging around, changing this and that.
- John Hurt
I'm not interested in awards. I never have been. I don't think they are important. Don't get me wrong, if somebody gives me a prize, I thank them as gratefully as I know how, because it's very nice to be given a prize. But I don't think that awards ought to be sought.
- John Hurt
You can't lose your concentration at all. And there are times when you're on the stage, and you've got silence, which is wonderful, but you have to have the confidence to make you realize it's fine. You can't suddenly wobble and think, 'They're not interested.'
- John Hurt
I knew I didn't want to pursue an academic career at all, which, of course, my father would have loved me to have done. I didn't want to go to university. The only other thing I could do was paint, and so I went to art school because they couldn't conceive of how one would be an actor.
- John Hurt
Where humanity is going to find itself in, say, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years would be very difficult to predict, I think. There are moments, of course, when you think that it's going from bad to worse, but there are other moments when you think that human efforts are really flowering into something really fantastic.
- John Hurt

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