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Laurence Olivier Quotes

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"Acting is a masochistic form of exhibitionism. It is not quite the occupation of an adult."

"Have a very good reason for everything you do."

"Living is strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice, golden sunsets and black storms. I said that some time ago, and today I do not think I would add one word."

"I take a simple view of living. It is keep your eyes open and get on with it."

"When you're a young man, Macbeth is a character part. When you're older, it's a straight part."

"Autograph-hunting is the most unattractive manifestation of sex-starved curiosity."

"I don't know what is better than the work that is given to the actor-to teach the human heart the knowledge of itself."

"I'm rather bored by the subject-meaning me. It's a sort of a yoke, but at times you know, a yoke is a kind of comfort. And it's always there."

"The office of drama is to exercise, possibly to exhaust, human emotions. The purpose of comedy is to tickle those emotions into an expression of light relief; of tragedy, to wound them and bring the relief of tears. Disgust and terror are the other points of the compass."

"I believe in the theater; I believe in it as the first glamorizer of thought. It restores dramatic dynamics and their relations to life size."

"I believe that in a great city, or even in a small city or a village, a great theater is the outward and visible sign of an inward and probable culture."

"Surely we have always acted; it is an instinct inherent in all of us. Some of us are better at it than others, but we all do it."

"We have all, at one time or another, been performers, and many of us still are - politicians, playboys, cardinals and kings."

"We ape, we mimic, we mock. We act."

"The actor should be able to create the universe in the palm of his hand."

"I often think that could we creep behind the actor's eyes, we would find an attic of forgotten toys and a copy of the Domesday Book."

"Lead the audience by the nose to the thought."

"My stage successes have provided me with the greatest moments outside myself, my film successes the best moments, professionally, within myself."

"If he was lost for a moment, he would dive straight back into its honey."

"I'd like people to remember me for a diligent expert workman. I think a poet is a workman. I think Shakespeare was a workman. And God's a workman. I don't think there's anything better than a workman."

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