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The fact that I was 5ft 2 as a sophomore didn`t help. I`m 6ft 1 now but still relate to those feelings. I didn`t date in high school and didn`t get my growth until college. I never got over being short.

On her religious faith and the categorizing of gay society: "Well, you know, I grew up going to church, but I was raised by my uncle who passed away with AIDS a couple of years ago. He was my mother`s best friend. And my mother`s cousin. He brought me to school every day. He helped me buy my prom dress. He made my clothes with my mother. He was like my nanny. He was my favorite person in the world. And you know, I never really mixed Christianity with how I felt about him. I am about faith and spirituality more so than religion. Doing right by others and not judging."

Damn them for giving me nothing and taking it away before I had it! Damn mother for her grandness and her indifference and her disdain of me, and damn daddy for the crazy, mixed-up life he led and the daughter he never gave a damn for, and damn uncle Lionel for treating me like the boarding-school b*tch I am, and damn aunt Ethel who doesn`t even know I`m alive, and damn me for being a silly, arrogant, affected schoolgirl! God damn us all! We deserve everything we get

"Hip-hop can be limiting and I refuse to accept limits. I`ve been training as an actor for six years. Nobody goes to acting school for six years. I mean, the college course is only four years! I absolutely trained. My acting coach is from the Stanislavsky school. It`s real - I act."

(on acting school) For a few years at school I tried to play the roles they wanted me to play, but it became less and less interesting to ponce around the place. Even now, when I sometimes think of doing a play, I think of rehearsal rooms and people hugging and everyone talking over cups of coffee because they are nervous. It`s both very touching and it makes me a little nauseous and claustrophobic. Too much talk. I don`t rehearse at all in film if I can help it. In talking a character through, you define it. And if you define it, you kill it dead.

(on researching his role as Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007)) I like to learn about things. It was just a great time trying to conceive of the impossibility of that thing. I didn`t know anything about mining at the turn of the century in America. My boarding school in Kent didn`t exactly teach that.

(on applying to theater school, the Bristol Old Vic) I picked just one because then it would be a sign from the gods if it was not meant to be.

Where I come from, it was a heresy to say you wanted to be in movies, leave alone American movies. We were all encouraged to believe that the classics of the theater were the fiery hoops through which you`d have to pass if you were going to have any self-esteem as a performer. It never occurred to me that that was the case. One of the great privileges of having grown up in a middle-class literary English household, but having gone to school in the front lines in Southeast London, was that I became half-street-urchin and half-good-boy at home. I knew that dichotomy was possible. England is obsessed with where you came from, and they are determined to keep you in that place, be it in a drawing room or in the gutter. The great tradition of liberalism in England is essentially a sponge that absorbs all possibility of change. America looked different to me: the idea of America as a place of infinite possibilities was defined for me through the movies. I`m glad I did the classical work that I did, but it just wasn`t for me. I`m a little bit perverse, and I just hate doing the thing that`s the most obvious.

(on Burt Reynolds) It`s the man`s tremendous wit that just keeps coming across. Listen, there is no acting style. Most people just play themselves. Spencer Tracy used to say to me after a scene, "Did I ham that one up?" If I said yes, he`d say, "Okay, let`s do it again." There`s that same honesty in Burt Reynolds. He`s a throwback to the old school.

("What was the most diificult time of her life?"): Probably when I was at the National Ballet School of Canada, from the ages of nine to fourteen. It`s the best dance school in the world, but an extremely competitive one, and there was a lot of pressure for a child. It had an extremely back-stabbing mentality, and there was a lot of favoritism. I wanted to be there because I wanted to be a dancer. I love to dance, and that was my dream. When you`re in that school, it means you`ve beaten out two thousand people to get there, so you`re not exactly gonna quit. But I did, at fourteen, because I basically had a nervous breakdown--I wouldn`t have been able to function had I stayed there. It was a huge decision. But I`d just about given up on my dream of being a dancer and realized that I`d completely lost myself and had no friends and was very unhappy in my life and couldn`t have continued if I`d stayed there.

"When I was in middle school, some of my so-called friends found a catalog ad I did for Superman pajamas. They made as many copies as they could and pasted them up all over school." - on his most embarrassing moment.

(on her sudden fame) "It was mad. I went into school and all of my Year were at the windows and they were all waving when I came in. And then all these camera people starting coming into the school and all the other girls were outside waving and I stayed inside and they didn`t notice me. I think they had dyed my hair at that point so it was different and I had to have security people."

(On other roles): Now that I`ve played the snotty, bossy, posh Hermione Granger, I`d like to play some American high school girl. I want to play something totally different. I want to play every kind of character and every point of view, but I`m probably going to be playing Hermione for a while.

In spite of what Draco is like, I really like school, and I miss it a lot when I`m filming. I`ve a fair idea what I want to do for my GCSEs, I will definitely be doing music.

"Too bad brooms can`t really fly. Now if you miss the bus you can`t just go in your room and fly to school with a nimbus two thousand!"

(about "don`t be an assiduous student in school"): "There is some truth in that statement. I don`t like school, which makes it easier for me not to do my homework. Evidently, my professors aren`t very happy, and being in the "Harry Potter" movies doesn`t give me any special treatment. For example, when I returned to school after Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) finished shooting, I had several hours of detention because I hadn`t done my schoolwork."

I think I`m highly normal. I`m attending school after acting, I`m going out with friends, going to the cinema - I`m just doing everything a normal teenager does. People think I can`t leave the house without being in a crowd of fans - but that`s not true. I`m able to do more things than people might think.

When I get into trouble at school I`d like to take an invisibility cloak, dr*pe it over me and sneak out the door. Or I`d like to have a 3-headed-dog because then no one would argue with me.

Up until I was 12 my sisters used to dress me up as a girl and introduce me as `Claudia`! Twelve was a turning point as I moved to a mixed school and then I became cool and discovered hair gel.

"It`s strange, somebody asked for my autograph the other day. Because I finished school and I`m not really doing anything at the moment, I was just kind of aimlessly wandering around London and these two guys who were about 30 came up and asked for my autograph. I was really quite proud at the time, and they wanted to take photos and stuff. And then they were sort of wandering around and I was kind of wandering around and I bumped into them about three times, and every single time their respect for me kept growing and growing and growing."

"After I won the Oscar, my salary doubled, my friends tripled, my children became more popular at school, my butcher made a pass at me, and my maid hit me up for a raise."

"High school is high school, but it`s not until you get out of high school that you realize that it`s just a stepping stone in life. Nothing is easy about high school. I didn`t know where I fit. There are so many cliques of people who are popular and who are not. You get too caught up trying to figure out where you fit in the whole scheme of things, but really, it truly doesn`t matter. All that matters is that you have your friends who are your friends -- period." Interview with Tim Lammers, July 2004.

Because I didn`t go to college, and because I spent my college time out in LA, it gives me a huge advantage over anyone who went to college... By the time they get out of school, I`ve already had four years of real world experience. I just feel like I have a major edge over them.

It was an accident, although I`ve been involved in some kind of theatrical function or other since I was a child: in school, music, athletics. To me, acting is the most logical way for people`s neuroses to manifest themselves, in this great need we all have to express ourselves. To my way of thinking, an actor`s course is set even before he`s out of the cradle.

I was very bookish growing up, and I studied hard at school. My parents wanted me to have an academic career. So I ended up going to the London School of Economics, and studied philosophy and psychology, which was as close to acting as I could get in the academic world.

My generation couldn`t stand me and I couldn`t stand them. In high school I was to the right of being straight. I believed in the work ethic, making money, and they all had this beef with the nation. Vietnam disappointed me because we didn`t win.

"I`ve always been kind of a loner. Continue to be. So, in that sense, Ryan and I are the same. I played football in Texas, but I didn`t really hang out with the jocks. I did honors courses, but I didn`t hang out with those kids, either. I sort of had my own group I hung with occasionally, but I`ve always been kind of by myself." - When asked about his high school experience.

"I don`t use any particular method. I`m from the lets-pretend school of acting."

I never had a real job either. I sort of fell out of school and ended up playing guitar.

"My stepfather stepped in when my dad stepped out. The guy that took me to school. He was the guy that took me on holidays. The guy that picked me up when I fell down. He was the guy that taught me about life. So for me he was my father. You know, a lot of people don`t like to hear that but on my behalf it`s true."

"You can think of Hollywood as high school. TV actors are freshmen, comedy actors are maybe juniors, and dramatic actors - they`re the cool seniors."

How I hated this school, and what a life of anxiety I lived there for more than two years. I made very little progress in my lessons, and none at all at games. I counted the days and the hours to the end of every term, when I should return home from this hateful servitude and range my soldiers in line of battle on the nursery floor. The greatest pleasure I had in those days was reading. When I was nine and a half my father gave me `Treasure Island`, and I remember the delight with which I devoured it. My teachers saw me at once backward and precocious, reading books beyond my years and yet at the bottom of the Form. They were offended. They had large resources of compulsion at their disposal, but I was stubborn. Where my reason, imagination or interest were not engaged, I would not or I could not learn.

I am a really bad test taker. I can get straight As in school, but I get nervous on test.

"I`ve always loved rock music. I went to ballet school and had orange hair. I`ve always been out there."

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school."

"At home, (we play) a lot of Disney stuff -- Raven, High School Musical soundtrack. My kids love Beyonce, but there are a few songs I can`t let them listen to -- they`re so materialistic! They`re all about chinchilla coats and BBS Slims (cell phone). I`d rather have them listening to a protest song!"

(about her daughter Lourdes) Sometimes she doesn`t want me to come to certain things because she knows everyone is going to pay attention to me and then they`ll treat her differently. I took her to school on the first day last year, and all these kids were buzzing around. She came home that day and she was really irritated and kind of bummed out, like people were playing this contest -- what would it be like to be Madonna`s daughter?

"It`s not like we`re the most intelligent bunch, but as far as street sense - hanging out, doing drugs, partying, girls and sh*t like that - we know and understand a lot. It`s like we purposely put ourselves through street school. I didn`t know how to pick up ckicks, so I used to stand outside the Rainbow and watch how this goes down."

"At drama school I always picked the really evil roles. It`s a great way to deal with your everyday emotions."

Well I was in Russia. I wasn`t allowed to be religious. My whole family was in the holocaust. My grandparents passed and not many survived. After the holocaust in Russia you were not allowed to be religious. So my parents raised me to know I was Jewish. You know who you are inside. You don`t need to tell the whole world. You believe what you believe and that`s what`s important. And that`s how I was raised. My family was like `you are Jewish in your blood`. We can celebrate Yom Kippur and Hannukah but not by the book. We do it to our own extent. Because being in Russia...Bar Mitzvahs weren`t held. When I was in school you would still see anti-Semitic signs. One of my friends who grew up in Russia, she was in second grade. And she came home one day crying. Her mother asked why she was crying and she said on the back of her seat there was a swastika. Now this is a country that obviously does not want you. So my parents raised me Jewish as much as they could and came to America. I love my religion. I think it`s a beautiful religion but I took parts of it that I want for myself. I don`t need to go to temple. I will, but I don`t need to.

“I didn`t do that well in school, although I was voted "The Biggest Flirt." I played sports I was on the tennis team and also the baseball team. But the coolest thing I did was that I dressed up as our school mascot, Freddie Bird, for all of the football games.”

I usually make fun of myself. One time I really liked a girl, and the Razor Scooter had just come out. It was the first day of middle school and she was walking by herself. So my plan was to go around the corner and hop the corner, jump in the air--and do it right in front of her. I hopped too early, and I fell on my face! I think it`s better to laugh at yourself.

(On playing football in school) I gave it up because, in one game I was doing really well, but then I fell and hit my head and I wanted to stop, but they wouldn`t let me. Then I ended up scoring a point for the other team and everyone was getting at me, and I was like, "I can`t handle this pressure!"

Although I avoided dramatics - and everything else - in school. I wanted to be a success on the stage, the screen, or the radio. So I saved my money and when I had bus fare and $16.82 over, I told my mother, Clara, I was going to leave home. She was heartbroken, but she believed in me.

Attending an all-girls school has its advantages, there are no inhibitions. You can walk to school with your zit cream on and your hair in rollers and nobody cares.

I don`t read any magazines or newspapers any more, because I find it really scary and I get really scared when I`m followed by photographers. I have, on many occasions, broken down in tears because I find it terrifying. I dropped out of school when I was 16 so there`s nothing else that I can do.

Three years after that I was diagnosed as dyslexic, and we struck a deal: I was allowed to start acting on condition that I would read constantly and get good grades at school.

"I always wanted to be less tall. When I was at school I was the same height as all of my girlfriends and then suddenly I was turning 12 and almost overnight I got really tall. I became the height I am now from one day to another... and everyone else stayed short. Boys don`t want to be seen with a girl that is taller than them. It was totally isolating because I was different from my friends."

I`m strong and opinionated. Those qualities brought me a lot of problems since I was a little girl in school, saying `I don`t agree` and fighting with the children. It`s part of my curiosity for life.

"Teens are always shown as one dimensional. They`re stereotyped. When I was in high school, I cared about more than getting a date or making the team."


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