"I've been talking to [Nelson Mandela] for years. He was asked if 'Long Walk to Freedom' became a movie, who would he want to play him, and he named me. It's been a forgone conclusion that at some point or other, I would play him."
—Morgan Freeman, "Invictus"
"I struggled with the auditioning process at the beginning, for sure. It's always kind of weird when you're doing a scene for those who are hiring. You have to audition, and a lot of times it's a sterile room and you're standing on an X mark and it's somewhat unnatural. Then, after a while, I started seeing it more as a rehearsal rather than an actual audition. That helped, and I started feeling more comfortable with it."
—Michael Fassbender, "Inglourious Basterds"
"I didn't really have the kind of empathy for what the soldier was going through, just by virtue of the fact that I didn't really know anything about it. Once I met with the soldiers, I can tell you it really flipped the script for me. I'm still pretty adamant that both of these wars going on now are oil wars, which Bush and company felt were important to securing Middle East oil. That notwithstanding, I feel I am against the war but fully supportive of the warrior. I just want to keep an open heart and mind toward them."
—Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"
"I don't get to give one eye to the camera and go, 'We all know I'm cooler than this guy, right?' There were scenes that I would end, and in my mind I'm like, 'Oh, I fuckin' sucked.' 'Cause in my head, I'm thinking, 'That wasn't funny.' "
—Patton Oswalt, on taking a dramatic turn, "Big Fan"
"I'm a good director's actor. I want to serve them. I don't go in there with my own agenda. I want to find out what they're after and deliver."
—Clive Owen, "The Boys Are Back"
"When I got west and started to do more films, I really fell in love with this medium of storytelling. Now, that doesn't mean that I'll never do a play. I love theater, and I think it's incredibly difficult. But right now, that muscle is probably pretty weak."
—Chris Messina, "Away We Go," "Julie & Julia"
"I read [Bobcat Goldthwait's] script, thinking maybe I would help him out and do a cameo. But it was so excellent and so unique, I called him and said, 'I'd be really interested in playing Lance, if you wouldn't mind.' "
—Robin Williams, "World's Greatest Dad"
"I didn't need to be the lead of the movie; I don't care about that first-billing bullshit. Sanborn was, to me, the most dynamic character. I felt he had the arc of simple humanity. That was something I felt I hadn't been able to do, and as a young black actor you hardly ever get that opportunity."
—Anthony Mackie, "The Hurt Locker"
"I tried to show his vulnerability, but at the same time I didn't want to be an apologist. He did treat people badly. He was a flawed human being, as all geniuses tend to be."
—Christian McKay, on playing Orson Welles, "Me and Orson Welles"
"One of the first questions I was asked when I got the part was: 'Sam Mendes does comedy?' And I thought to myself, 'Not to be mean, but what an ignorant question.' My response was literally, 'Yeah. It's Sam Mendes, all right? He can pretty much do anything, so let's just sit back and wait.' "
—John Krasinski, "Away We Go"
"They asked me if I was interested in auditioning, and I said, 'Why not?' The whole time, we were thinking, 'I'm never going to get the part, but look at this! We get to go to Astoria [for an audition] and now L.A.!"
—Max Records, "Where the Wild Things Are"
"Longevity is my goal. So how do you sustain a career over decades? What can you control? The only thing you can control is how good you are as an actor, and that includes auditioning. You have to be good every time out, right away. You have to be in the right place at the right time and then deliver."
—Jeff Daniels, "The Answer Man," "Away We Go"
"I knew it would be a challenge. I was aware of how many different versions of failure there were open to me."
—Hugh Dancy, on playing a man with Asperger's disease, "Adam"
"I started asking myself hard questions: Why am I doing this? Do I actually enjoy this? And the answers all led me away from law school. The problem was, I just didn't have another plan."
—Demetri Martin, "Taking Woodstock"
"There is unfortunately no correlation between hard work and success, and the word 'deserve' has no place in the acting business, unfortunately."
—Chris Pine, "Star Trek"