Richard Jenkins Quotes

  1. Losing a parent makes you realize how temporary everything is – you’re looking through someone’s whole life in a drawer, and they’re very simply gone.
  2. I like relaxed sets. I like to feel that I can make a mistake without feeling like I’m costing somebody money. I like a sense of freedom. I like it when people are open and are willing to let you do your work.
  3. I can’t think of a lot of bad directors I’ve worked with, really.
  4. A Western would be good. I’d love to do a Western.
  5. In college, I was teetering on the edge: Do I want to be an actor? Do I not want to be an actor? And then I saw Michael Caine in ‘Alfie,’ and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s what I want to do with my life,’ even if I knew I’d never reach that level of proficiency.
  6. ‘My character wouldn’t do that.’ That was always my favorite thing people say: ‘My character wouldn’t do that.’ I said, ‘Well, it says right here in this script your character does that.’
  7. When I go to the movies, I want to see a human being dealing with their lives. That’s all I ask.
  8. Any time you die in a film, it’s not real, so it’s all kind of fun.
  9. Sometimes you read things that people don’t even notice in a performance, that you just are moved by or understand that this actor is really living his or her life on the screen. The first time I realized that was when I watched Brando in ‘On the Waterfront.’
  10. I always loved movies. I wanted to be in them! I always saw them and said, ‘How do you do that?’ It seemed like going to the moon. It was not a rational thought, but that’s the only thing I wanted to do.
  11. I like not knowing what’s around the corner. It’s always been that way, and maybe that’s one of the reasons why I’m an actor.
  12. I was an only child, and I spent a lot of time alone. My dad was an only child, too, so we didn’t have a big family, and I was really close with both of my parents. Like any kid, I thought I knew more than they did.
  13. When I was a kid, I loved horror films. I used to stay up on Saturday night to watch.
  14. If I’m playing a bad guy, and I’m playing him evilly – I’m making him evil; I’m being evil because I want the audience to understand that he’s bad – or if I have a line that’s funny, I do it in a comedic way, that, to me, is a lie. It’s dead when I watch it.
  15. There’s nothing like walking onto a Hollywood sound stage.
  16. I love it when a director says, ‘I don’t know.’
  17. I understand being alone. I understand not liking it, wishing for something else.
  18. But I loved making ‘Eat Pray Love,’ and I loved working with Julia Roberts.
  19. I worked with Mike Nichols. First time I worked with Mike Nichols, I just really loved this man.
  20. You find movies when you need them. They may not always be the best films, but they speak to you.
  21. When there is tension, arguments and money problems, it’s tough to do your work. Some people thrive on that. I don’t.
  22. It’s like, in movies where you talk to the audience 90 percent of the time, it’s – you kind of want to stay away from that stuff. But, you know – but to write exposition brilliantly is hard.
  23. I don’t watch the dailies. You want to just turn in your resignation when you watch the dailies.
  24. There’s a lot of jobs that you can do that you can be miserable at. Making movies should not be one of them.
  25. Sometimes, I can read a great script, and I don’t like the part, or I don’t think I’m right for it. I mean, there are times I’ve read really great parts and think there’s so many other actors who could do this better than me. And I just say no to it.
  26. When I was about 12, I came home from middle school and told my parents I wanted to be an actor. My father didn’t say it to me, but he told my mom, ‘No. I’m not going to allow that. He’ll starve to death.’ I grew up in a small town in Illinois where being an actor was not something people did.
  27. There’s a lot of great directors that I want to work with, but as soon as I mention them, I never get a chance to work with them.
  28. There are so many things that go into a movie that it’s amazing that anything gets made anyway.
  29. The truth is you only have yourself to offer. And when you come to that realization, it’s terrifying, because you think it’s probably not enough.
  30. I don’t consider myself a comedian, but you work with some comedians, and sometimes these guys are incredible on their feet – it’s just amazing – and that’s not what I do. But it’s always fun, and I don’t really care as long as the character is interesting.
  31. We all have movies for times in our lives when we really need something.
  32. I’d like to play the whale in ‘Moby Dick.’ If I keep eating, I may end up getting there.
  33. Rehearsal for film is tough. Until the camera’s there, everything changes.

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