Sophie Okonedo Quotes

  1. Being in the theatre is like being in a little family: you get really close.
  2. I get offered loads of unusual stuff. I just don’t do loads because I like staying at home a lot, and I’m a little bit lazy. I don’t get that thing of going from film to film that people do. It would drive me nuts, and that level of fame is quite scary.
  3. I always try to think of positive things to say about the people I portray, as it’s more helpful for me.
  4. There is a lot more opportunity now, and I welcome all the conversations we are having about diversity, about women and about class… I come from a very working-class background, and I think the class thing is still probably more tricky.
  5. When I take on a role, all I tend to do is get to know the script and ask millions of questions, and keep fine tuning what I think the character is trying to say.
  6. There are just more roles for me in America. Sadly. Because I love working in Britain. It’s my home.
  7. Sometimes I really need the money, really need to go straight to work. But if I had the absolute choice – money no object, my mortgage paid off – I’d really just work once or twice a year – but wouldn’t everybody! – or at least do a different job sometimes.
  8. Theatre has always been ahead in terms of colourblind casting.
  9. The photo shoot I always feel a bit embarrassed about because I don’t really know what to do with myself, but they usually don’t use a bad photo, so you can’t worry too much. So my main concern is that I just look a bit more like myself.
  10. When I do things that aren’t very good, I’m worse as an actor. I don’t know what I pick up – but it’s something not very nice.
  11. I’m not from an acting family. I’m from a working class family.
  12. I listen much better when I’m acting than I do in real life.
  13. I am rather partial to Shakespeare, though I haven’t done loads. But when it’s done right, there’s nothing like it. There are layers upon layers upon layers, and you unpack new things constantly. I don’t know how he knew so many things – about the world, about women, about human nature, life, death, our fears and hopes.
  14. I’ve told lots of lies in my life. I try not to lie, but I still do. It’s very difficult to get to 37 and not be ashamed of something you’ve done. But I think your life is easier, ultimately, if you’re honest.
  15. I don’t like going for more than a year without doing theatre. I don’t mind falling flat on my face so long as I feel I’m open to the possibility of something extraordinary happening.
  16. I love the industry I’m in, and it’s been really generous to me.
  17. I find it so all-encompassing when acting that there’s no room for anything else when you’re in it; you’re just locked into thinking about it all day, you go to sleep with it, wake up with it, and when I come back, I really need time to recover.
  18. With everything in my life, I don’t think too much ahead.
  19. I like gardening.
  20. I am not a practising Jew, and I am not embedded in Nigerian culture, but I have a sense of those things inside me, which is very handy for acting. There are a lot of things I can draw on.
  21. I like having the script before I start. With new plays, you’re constantly developing as you’re doing it. It’s really frightening. You don’t quite know how it’s going to end up.
  22. I never watch anything I do. I really would rather just not know at all how I come across.
  23. I’d hate to lose the character actress part of me, because, by God, the parts are much more interesting.
  24. I love being a punter.
  25. My life is not nuts. I hardly ever watch television, I don’t go out very much, so I don’t really know what’s going on.
  26. It was a dream to be on Broadway as a kid, so to actually end up there, I loved it.
  27. As a black actress, all I was offered in British film was the best friend role, whereas in TV I was offered a whole spectrum of parts.
  28. As a child, I certainly wanted to have hair that I could grow long and flip around. I no longer want that. My own hair that I have day to day is a fuzzy afro. And that’s who I am.
  29. I do love being an actress. The other stuff, the ‘fame’, well – you know what? – you don’t actually have to buy into it if you don’t want to.
  30. The tried and tested becomes very boring. There’s no way that the British equivalent of a Bryan Cranston would get the lead in a British equivalent of ‘Breaking Bad.’
  31. My first love is a wonderful script. It’s the story.
  32. Being a character actor, I can go on until I’m 70 or 80; I’m not bound to the way I look.
  33. But I’ll tell you what I’m really bad at: I don’t concentrate on what I’m doing, so I constantly lose things. I put my purse in the fridge – I’m one of those people.
  34. The repetition of the theatre means you’ve got the time to get deeply inside the person you’re playing.
  35. There’s nothing worse than actors spouting about what they think.
  36. If the writers all come from the same backgrounds, you are going to get the same sorts of characters. Get a broader variety of writers, and you get a bigger range of stories.
  37. I just get offered a lot more work in America than I do in Britain.
  38. I never suffered anti-Semitic racism because no one thought I was Jewish.
  39. To get an award for something you are having a ball doing is a real buzz.
  40. I can’t, for example, Google myself, because I am very sensitive.
  41. Anyone can play anyone in Shakespeare. I don’t think there are limits.
  42. I always find something in all the characters I play. I fall in love with them a little bit.
  43. My main form of exercise is my bike. I don’t have a car, so I cycle everywhere.
  44. I’m drawn to stories about ordinary people who get tangled up in an extraordinary event or idea or emotion. I’m not saying I don’t love films about super-people or super-doctors, but my preference is for stories about how we get through this life, what it is to be human, because I’m always struggling with it myself.

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