Rory Kinnear Quotes

  1. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t become an actor. If perhaps I’d stayed on at university and become an academic.
  2. If you’re working in theatre, you have all your days to spend with your children.
  3. Without being overtly political about it, if people with severe disabilities are calculated in societal terms purely as a monetised unit, in terms of how much they cost in terms of care, you lose an important sense of who they are and the effect they have.
  4. I used to go to Sheen High Street with my dad on a Saturday, and there was a butcher next door to the fishmonger. I hated the smell of the fishmonger, but I found the smell of the butcher’s much more appealing. And I liked the big knives. I thought it looked like a decent job.
  5. Had my dad not been short and fat and balding, there’s no doubt his career would have been very different. But he could do lots of stuff and made a very good career out of it. He had an incredible work ethic because he lost his father when he was very young, and the family had to pull together.
  6. The truth is that from the age of 14, I felt about 40, and for that reason, I felt that I would never succeed as an actor until my looks caught up with my actual age.
  7. I get antsy if a year goes by without doing a play. I don’t go to the gym, so this is my way of trying to live longer.
  8. I’m not that bothered about press nights as an actor or, particularly, by what people say about me, because I see myself as a reasonably small cog.
  9. I’m glad to have shown myself able to do other things rather than people thinking, ‘Oh, he’ll just do the same as his dad.’ Dad was a brilliant actor, but it just so happened he was five foot five and a half, fat and bald.
  10. If you look at a painting that you love by one of the great masters, every time you go back to it, you see something different – a different attitude or brushstroke. ‘Hamlet’ is like an entire gallery of old masters.
  11. I’d not really ever expected to play anything like ‘Hamlet.’ I hadn’t seen myself as a natural Hamlet, whatever a natural Hamlet is, and I quickly realised there is no such thing.
  12. For a while, I dallied with the idea of the law – I didn’t really know what it was, but I thought it sounded sensible. And as a child, I wanted to be a goalkeeper. Or a butcher.
  13. There are a lot of actors out there who are able to engage with something in themselves which isn’t necessarily their brain. But personally I find it very intellectually satisfying: doing your research and then burrowing as deeply into character as you can. I’m a naturally inquisitive person, too, and acting does feed into that.
  14. The more rarefied a life you live, the easier it is to think that those who don’t share it could be demonised. To find the common humanity becomes more of a struggle the more you surround yourself with nice things.
  15. When you’re 15, you’re not really talking about the vicissitudes of fate and failed love and poetry and swordfighting – not a lot is necessarily touching on your own personal experience.
  16. Because my dad died when I was young, and I have a severely disabled sister, I couldn’t really push the envelope at home.
  17. Having gone to a public school, I thought I knew about posh people. But I didn’t know anything until I went to Oxford.
  18. When I was about 12, I spent the summer writing four plays on my dad’s old typewriter for a school play competition. And I wrote little comic bits at secondary school and at university.
  19. In some ways, I’ve been left with this great ‘idolic’ image of my father, but there’s a sense of absence, too. You miss his advice and, also, his getting to know the person I have become.
  20. However democratic and egalitarian we kid ourselves into thinking society might be, I think that sense of entitlement operates as basically and viciously as it always did.
  21. It’s quite easy for schisms to develop in societies, in villages, cities or countries.
  22. I’m not a snob… there’s room for entertainment that reaches a lot of people and can be really good, but you don’t just have to be one kind of actor.
  23. The nice thing about doing a weekly record is you’re rehearsing all week and working on getting the script better. Come Friday, when it’s time to actually film it, you feel like you’ve done most of the work!
  24. I sort of understand why there is a brotherhood of Hamlets. It’s a nice part of acting; you do get to be part of gangs.
  25. I love music, and I once thought about doing a choral scholarship, but the people put me off.
  26. I think having a dispassionate eye is a good way of making art. When you don’t know the structures of a place, you are unencumbered.
  27. When I was 15, I was asked to do ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ at school, and it fundamentally changed my life. It’s obviously an extraordinarily diverse and potentially electrifying part. It’s a big leading part, and I hadn’t really played anything like that before; I was the one doing the comedy side bit.
  28. Both Othello and Iago seem a bit cracked. If you spend 15 years being responsible for death and destruction, that sense of suppressed horror is strong.
  29. Drama aids self-discovery like nothing else. In removing it from our schools, we remove the inestimable benefits of it from our society. No amount of studying oxbow lakes was ever going to help me emotionally through the death of my father.
  30. I always loved acting – though what I did in my teens was probably more eclat than elan. But I wasn’t sure about doing it professionally.
  31. If you lose a parent, no matter at what age, every five or 10 years you have a different way of missing them and a different way of getting on with your life.
  32. Writing will remain a passion project.

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