I wanted to do - there was this film called `Magic` that Anthony Hopkins did. And the director wanted me. The writer wanted me. Joe Levine said no, I don`t want any comedians in this.
I write funny. If I can make my wife laugh, I know I`m on the right track. But yes, I don`t like to get Maudlin. And I have a tendency towards it.
I don`t mean to sound - I don`t want it to come out funny, but I don`t like show business. I love - I love acting in films. I love it.
I`d like to do a comedy with Emma Thompson. I admire her as an actress so much. I love her. And I didn`t know it until recently that her whole career started in comedy.
Actors fall into this trap if they missed being loved for who they really were and not for what they could do - sing, dance, joke about - then they take that as love.
And in `Frisco Kid` and in `The Woman in Red` I had to ride badly. Then you have to really ride well in order to ride badly.
(on Mel Brooks): A loud kind of Jewish genius - maybe that`s as close as you can get to defining him.
Woody (Woody Allen) makes a movie as if he were lighting 10,000 safety matches to illuminate a city. Each one is a little epiphany: topical, ethnic or political.
I`m not so funny. Gilda (Gilda Radner) was funny. I`m funny on camera sometimes. In life, once in a while. Once in a while. But she was funny. She spent more time worrying about being liked than anything else.
I never thought of it as God. I didn`t know what to call it. I don`t believe in devils, but demons I do because everyone at one time or another has some kind of a demon, even if you call it by another name, that drives them.
(on Mel Brooks) We are not interested in polite titters, we want the audience rolling on the floor and falling about. Mel works on his feet -- it`s a hit and miss, hit and miss, hit and miss. Then in the editing he will take out the misses!
I`m not so funny. Gilda was funny. I`m funny on camera sometimes. In life, once in a while. Once in a while. But she was funny. She spent more time worrying about being liked than anything else.
I love the art of acting, and I love film, because you always have anther chance if you want it. You know, if we - if this isn`t going well, you can`t say - well, you could say - let`s stop. Let`s start over again, Gene, because you were too nervous.
A lot of comic actors derive their main force from childish behavior. Most great comics are doing such silly things; you`d say, `That`s what a child would do.`
And that`s not an easy task, being in bed with a sheep, especially if you make the sheep nervous. I`m not going to go on, if you know what I`m talking about.
Great art direction is NOT the same thing as great film direction!
So my idea of neurotic is spending too much time trying to correct a wrong. When I feel that I`m doing that, then I snap out of it.
(on the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) movie, telling Daily Telegraph): It`s all about money. It`s just some people sitting around thinking "How can we make some more money?" Why else would you remake Willy Wonka? (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971))