I was born with a need to be the center of attention, and, of course, you`re the center of the world when you`re acting.
I`d never been content in America.
My family said that I wanted to act even when I was a child living on a tea plantation in the jungle in India.
Happiness is the absence of suffering. I think it`s an interesting way of looking at it. I think the absence of suffering exists very rarely in the world we live in.
I think I`ve got something when I`m onscreen, but that`s nothing to do with acting or talent.
I don`t think I would have been a good mother. Being a parent brings immense responsibility. It`s a Herculean task. It would be almost too much for me.
As I became very defined in my personal politics, I turned down some films that I slightly regret now; I`m not going to say what they were.
The film company wants you to look fantastic, and borrows clothes and diamonds from designers and jewellers for you to wear. I will not do that again. It is a pernicious pastime. Models wear designer things, so you become like a salesperson. There are actual signs outside the ceremony that say, `Turn around.` Why? Because they want you to advertise the dress. I don`t want to be involved in an advertising jamboree.
The little things that made up the fabric of the first six years of my life were suddenly ripped away, and I didn`t have anyone around me who loved me. Not one single person.
I met such interesting people with Warren Beatty, whom I would never have met otherwise. And the film Shampoo stands the test of time. I cherish all those days. But I could not hack LA. Hollywood was basically a throwaway society, run by publicity machines.
I`m terribly dependent on him, like a baby to its mother, so we travel backwards and forward to be with each other. - On her relationship with Warren Beatty
The status quo and the media is doing everything it can to fry children`s brains and make them grow up maladjusted.
What`s most gratifying to me is Sarah Polley getting a nomination for screenplay adaptation. I was afraid she wouldn`t be recognized. I wondered if they were going to get this great piece of work. I`m very glad I did it because it`s a terribly important issue. We`ve got to face the fact that we`re living longer. This is the comeuppance of wishing for immortality. Back in the day we weren`t so obsessed about them (Oscars) in England. I didn`t know about the Academy Awards. I didn`t know what it was. I got the smell of the thing that it was terribly important but I wasn`t interested in it, but I figured maybe I could get something out of this. I told them I would go if my boyfriend and I could get a holiday in the desert. It almost feels the same today.
Living in America, I became aware of many issues and went through a period of politicization.
I cannot even talk about waste without being indignant. My introduction to Hollywood was a society that used it, sniffed it and threw it away. We`ve become a bit like that ourselves in the past 30 years. There`s an attitude among the successful people of spend and spend, flaunt and flaunt, and don`t think of anyone else.
Early on, I found the attention completely embarrassing. I`d cringe if I saw my picture on the cover of a magazine.
I regret that I wasn`t the kind of person who could enjoy celebrity. It embarrassed me too much.
Always a foot soldier, never a general. - on the prospect of ever directing a film
I basically put myself into directors` hands and let them tell me what to do, and the more they told me what to do, the more I liked it.
We showcased a utterly immoral, grotesquely greedy, decadent society that we felt was imminent.- On making Shampoo (1975) with Warren Beatty and Robert Towne
Altman works in such an interesting way, letting things occur in the film even if he didn`t particularly plan them.
It felt, to me, like a permanent c*cktail party, without the drinks. Acting took me away from real life to a pretend life. I wanted that real life back. I am not a dedicated actress, I`m afraid. I never have been.
When I came back to Britain, I realized that I was no longer a very young woman. I had to meet my new consciousness, my new age, with roles that reflected it somewhat.
It`s quite hard for me being an actress because I actually don`t like attention.
I remember becoming aware of women`s issues and inequality. It became glaringly clear to me when I was living in America that women are regarded as less intelligent than men.
Children can only take so much, and they deal with it however they can.
I`ve never quite understood why people marry; marriage is just an invented structure.
All women are aware of that moment when suddenly the boys don`t look at you. It`s a fairly common thing, when suddenly you no longer attract that instant male attention because of the way you look. I never really knew how to enjoy beauty, but it took the form of a subconscious arrogance, expecting things, all muddled up with celebrity. Then you begin to deal with it. In the 1970s I was amazed to be talked about as a 60s sex symbol. I wasn`t that person, as if I were a doll from the past. I had to learn to come to terms with that. It`s funny, it`s silly, the ridiculousness of having asked so much of celebrity. Then it becomes really interesting and very much part of the excitement of the life you`re living now, knowing you`re approaching the end of it.
It takes me time to realize things; I`m a speedy person but a slow thinker.
I did things like Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait. I don`t know what those films were about. The women I played in them were not very empowered.
I see stardom very clearly as a construct that`s been created in order to sell things.
I`m not in the advertising business, but I think it would be very nice if people went to see the film Hamlet, because it was made with love and integrity.
In the Sixties you did not know you were going to get older. But you do and you are. People become much dearer. When I see someone like Warren, with his four kids, there is that wonderful recognition of the life we have led. And a terrific sense of mortality, which is like a blessing almost: you suddenly realize what life is about.
I never will have peace of mind. I`m not constructed that way. Some things in life can be horrible.
I found films to be turbulent and stressful. They have caused me an enormous amount of anxiety, because I do not have a lot of confidence. You are working, intellectually and mentally, and you are having to be with people and socialise all the time. Actors like it, on the whole, but I was not born with that quality. I am very quiet and would much prefer to talk to a few people rather than a crowd.
I was utilized because I have a certain face that works well in cinema, and I`m used to making myself look as good as possible.
Men don`t want any responsibility, and neither do I.
Most of the time I spent in America, I was having a love affair with some American or other. I was just passing through but stayed because of these chaps.
I started noticing how stained the pavements are in London. The pavements in Beverly Hills aren`t used; in London, they`re used for everything. It doesn`t matter how much they`re cleaned, they still reflect light.
There were some films I refused because the feminist aspect was a bit wonky.
Some people enjoy celebrity. I admire those who do, because if you`re going to go through it, you might as well enjoy it.
Time has been savage in its relentless eating up of the years. Have I made the most of it? I have had an endless struggle not to be a coward about things. I know what I feel, but hate being looked at, hate doing anything in public, hate making speeches ...
I could never really see the point of being high-profile when I loathed it so much. Every now and then, you can go to something like an Oscars ceremony, but nobody is holding a gun to your head. The rules were the same 40 years ago as they are now. You can either choose your spotlight - or you can stay at home.
I met such interesting people with Warren Beatty, whom I would never have met otherwise. And the film Shampoo (1975) stands the test of time. I cherish all those days. But I could not hack L.A. Hollywood was basically a throwaway society, run by publicity machines.
It is a complicated business, and we are very insecure, we actors. We all feel - and fear - we are going to be found out at any moment. Someone is going to point and say, "You are really not very good, are you?"
I am innumerate. I had great earning years, but it went through my fingers. I no longer have a career to build. So I do a few things to pay the bills. I cannot complain. I am comfortable, my God.
Hollywood doesn`t give a damn about me, and it is not going to change the way people think. Let`s be realistic: you want to see people like Johnny Depp on the red carpet, or Angelina Jolie, a young woman I admire. That is the place for beautiful young people.
If I don`t make films, no one is going to write about me. And most people have forgotten who I am anyway. My life is not interrupted because I am more or less anonymous.
(on fame) All that concentrated adulation is terribly corroding.
(on the prospect of her directing a film) Always a foot soldier, never a general.
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