Xavier Dolan Quotes

  1. We are all different human beings, and we all have different backgrounds, and we stem from different social strata. That is what defines how you hear people talk, how you want to quote them when you speak. We all have different fears and doubts and complexes and this is what shapes the way we see other people. Especially characters.
  2. Men are born privileged in the scale of things – I’m generalizing, but it’s true. Women have to define themselves in the eyes of men. They have to fight for their rights, especially in a society that will pretend that there is no fight or no battle, that it’s a cliche, that feminists are reactionary, all these things.
  3. Six years, I didn’t act. Then I wrote myself a role – I won prizes all over the world.
  4. I’ve been recording forever. I’m a watcher. I’m a stalker. I love everything about people. It’s always been a passion for me to observe.
  5. I got a part in a package of commercials for this big drugstore from the age of 6 to 10. For four years I shot those commercials, and old ladies would stop me on the street and grab my cheeks. That’s how it started.
  6. I have a strange relationship with influences because mine are mostly literary or painters or poets, who I’ll even quote. I don’t do tributes to cinema.
  7. I don’t find it hard to direct myself. I can easily think of me as a horrible performer or a good performer. I work with actors who cannot stand watching or looking at themselves, which is not my case. I can have an eye and perspective on whether I’m terrible or good enough for me.
  8. Music was the only voice of cinema for a very long time before we had sound; it’s organically linked to cinema itself.
  9. When I first got to Cannes, I was very insecure about everything, so I put on this extravagant facade. Can you blame me? I was 19.
  10. No one knows me in the States because the movies have been released in such an awkward, irregular fashion, all by different distributors. There is no continuity.
  11. I feel like Adele is a diva. Not in the bad way. She is one of the greatest voices of this industry and of her own art. What she offers is so unique that she’s risen to such a status that very few artists can enjoy.
  12. I have struggles in screenwriting that lead me to a third act that’s always more or less efficiently wrapped up in a fourth act that’s trying to give closure to too many things.
  13. My extreme characters are in a state of rebellion or who are being ostracized or being misunderstood, or misfits or trying to fit in and fighting for their rights to love, live, and co-exist. They sort of mirror my own demons.
  14. It’s ludicrous to think people work for you: ‘a film by…’ doesn’t exist. Directed by, maybe, but it’s a film from a collective, a group of people whom you consult and seek your counsel and advice and vice versa, too.
  15. Homosexuality is like an inside baseball thing. It’s like a gag that people share; ‘How is your husband?’ But when it comes to bringing diversity to a broader audience, suddenly it’s a different road. It’s what we call ‘a risk.’ Isn’t it our responsibility to elevate the standards and change people’s perceptions?
  16. For me, ‘Mommy’ was about developing very humane characters that would be very credible and endearing and work onscreen.
  17. When I saw Bryan Singer’s ‘Usual Suspects,’ I knew how it was going to end because I’d seen ‘Scary Movie.’ Which is not the preferred order of things, but that’s how it is because my childhood was ‘Home Alone,’ ‘Matilda,’ ‘Batman Returns,’ ‘Jumanji,’ ‘Secret Garden,’ ‘Jack,’ ‘Mrs. Doubtfire,’ ‘Titanic.’ Only family films from the ’90s.
  18. It’s become a habit to make films where the father is absent. My father impresses me, but the father figure does not.
  19. My first language is French. I just love words so much, and in French it feels like I can say whatever I want however I want.
  20. A lot of directors say, ‘Do whatever you want, and I’ll just change it on set.’ But I love being involved in every part of production. It’s very exciting. It’s like an empire of creation: Everybody is working so hard to respect a vision and an idea, and it’s very weird and inspiring at the same time.
  21. I plough all my money into my next film, so I never actually have any money. It’s always invisible.
  22. Facts are, directors are not thinking of me; they think I only act in my films, because they’re stupid. Or they think I’m a control freak, that I will try to, I don’t know, pimp their scripts and just change everything, which I will never do.
  23. ‘Titanic’ made me want to tell stories… To have all these characters and costumes and have ambition and think big and have dreams… It came at a very troubled period of my life.
  24. I’m very much a hypochondriac, worried about dying, and not having enough time to work with the people I want to work with and being fulfilled as an actor.
  25. What I’m interested in is how your career choices can affect your private life, romantically or with your mom, your relatives, your friends, your hometown, and how media manipulates information – not newspapers or blogs, but the magazines that people impulse-buy that tell you what’s hot and who’s not.
  26. I don’t really mind not being a part of a film – because if there is no part for me, I will never force myself upon a film. I feel like it’s just a distraction. If it is not organically incorporated into the story, it just feels like a stupid appearance, like a sort of wink. I hate that.
  27. The father figure doesn’t impress me. I have a very friendly relationship with my father, but that wasn’t always the case. My mother had custody, and I only saw him every other weekend. I never knew him well enough for him to inspire me.
  28. Adele’s look is meticulously thought through and completely of her own traits. She has such a powerful beauty, such an emotional voice, and the kohl, the hair, everything feels organically molded to her personality.
  29. I hadn’t watched any Hitchcock movies when I made ‘Tom at the Farm,’ except for ‘Vertigo’ when I was 8 years old. I don’t have a sophisticated film knowledge, but I have seen the legacy of classic movies in broader entertainment.
  30. There might be a proper age to know how to tell a story, but there’s no proper age to start telling them.
  31. For me, hipsterism is for one to appropriate the codes of a social class or another milieu that wasn’t theirs originally, in order to define their personality through something different and unique. Which is why a lot of hipsters live downtown, and they’re dressed as farmers. Then you have the Oscar Wilde hipster: the dandy.
  32. Film-making is not liberating. It drains a lot out of you, and it’s fulfilling only temporarily. It’s a very thankless thing at times. When you’re spending all that time on a film, you don’t want 40,000 people to see it – it’s just not enough. You dream of more.
  33. Of all the labels and tags and epithets people have forced upon me, there’s one I don’t dislike. I get called the ‘enfant terrible.’ In every article, it’s always there. So I have to give that a meaning.
  34. I’m just trying to blur this very clear line we’ve drawn and are drawing over and over and over again between communities. Saying those are queer films and those are films. I would love for that line to disappear. For that frontier to be abolished once and for all.
  35. The nature and the DNA of IMAX has been redefined in the past years to shoot these huge blockbusters. But I think that it’s not the sole purpose of IMAX to capture cars exploding in your face.
  36. I was a very violent kid. I think movies and writing and art have been a way of channeling this.
  37. It was a privilege to direct the music video for Adele’s beautiful, heartbreaking song, ‘Hello.’ When I first heard it, all the images appeared clearly in my head – and her trust and generosity allowed me to work with abandon artistically and emotionally, like she always does. It made me extremely proud.
  38. The motivation for making movies is that people actually see them.
  39. When you’re adapting, you are working on someone else’s problem that they have already solved. The work has been fine-tuned and read countless times, and you’re just arriving at the end and taking what you want, so of course it is the regal way to moviemaking. Plays are just the ideal scripts – the structure is there and waiting for you.
  40. Sometimes I find it tiresome to write actions and describe the scene in a very intricate way so that every crew member understands where we are going – that I can find a little bit long and tiresome. But dialogue is just all my life. There’s no way I could ever be challenged, not challenged, but I’m always so happy to write dialogue.
  41. In ‘Laurence Anyways,’ Nathalie Baye is Laurence’s mother, and she is quite an awful mother. Still, she is the only one in the end who truly accepts her daughter.
  42. I don’t personally do movies for myself and a faction of very cerebral cinephiles – I do it for everybody and wish for the largest amount of people to relish whatever they find they can relish in.
  43. That I am today the face of Louis Vuitton almost seems like a twist of fate. You dream back to front, wanting the rewards before putting the work in. And then you work, get on with life, and just sometimes these childhood dreams have a way of catching up with you. This is a true privilege for which I am eternally grateful.
  44. I love doing costumes. The costume is an actor’s first line, so it’s gotta be right!
  45. It’s important to see how people see your work and how they feel about it. I know a lot of directors who are like, ‘I never read reviews,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah I can tell.’
  46. I design all of the costumes for my movies, actually.
  47. The problems I have with a flawed script are always revealed in the editing room.
  48. I don’t think the way I portray mother’s and son’s relationships has anything to do with my age or generation. It has to do with what I lived with my own mother and what it’s transformed into and the point of view it has given me on mothers and women. The way I was brought up with women. It’s all about personal background.
  49. To me, the idea of success is to be able to work with people you admire.
  50. I think great artists have no time to waste with having disproportionate egos and irrational requests. They’re too focused on their work to actually lose themselves in hysterical spirals where they become monsters or tyrants.
  51. All my life, I heard, ‘Stop daydreaming,’ ‘Get over yourself,’ ‘You’ll never get there,’ ‘Aim lower,’ ‘You’ll hurt yourself,’ from teachers, family, and friends.
  52. I’ve fondly dreamed of becoming the face of an important brand since I was a child, in the same way that others dream of becoming an astronaut. I dreamed of this as I first and foremost dreamed of becoming an actor and would look up at these huge posters of celebrities while driving along motorways or crossing under bridges.
  53. Cinema is a thankless industry where sometimes to appear on the cinematic scenery is a thing for late bloomers and people who are very patient. The places are accounted, and the space is often unwelcoming. Money is rare, and independent voices are muted by the almost complete absence of risk takers.
  54. I don’t have mom issues or dad issues. I think I have found peace about many things in my past. I have forgiven and asked to be forgiven.
  55. The scene of independent cinema is already a large scene in America, and not in a negative way, but it’s cluttered. It’s very populated with just American films, so the room left for foreign movies is not extremely vast. The American public also does not really read. They don’t read subtitles. But we’re like that in Canada, too.
  56. Here’s the thing with the costumes for ‘Mommy’: Given the background and social strata that the characters come from, you can’t really imagine that they’ve gone shopping lately, so we went for that very normcore, fashionless era in history, the early 2000s, which was completely transitional.
  57. I think of ‘Mommy’ as very simplistic or not simplistic, but I wish for the style to actually work with what you see onscreen and what you feel in that very moment. I hope we did not disrespect the characters by being too flamboyant when it’s not necessary.
  58. Orson Welles was lazy. He was a late bloomer.
  59. ‘Heartbeats’ is a film on people magnifying and subliming reality when they’re in love. Hence the overstylized look, the aesthetics, the robes, the dresses, the vintage, hipster-ish look: All of this is voluntary. I’m not a hipster. I’m not!
  60. My aunt Julie was a production manager, and she heard of an opening. Some show was looking for children to run around the house or whatever. I auditioned and got the part, and I showed up in all of my monstrous energy, bouncing everywhere like an electron.

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