Be brave enough to
live life creatively. The
creative place where
no one else has ever been.
You have to leave the city
of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your
intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll
discover will be
Laugh at yourself, but don't ever aim
your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places,
don't leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go
into unexplored territory.
Some of the greatest things, as I
understand, they have come about by
serendipity, the greatest
I was always interested in figuring
things out. I'd do
experiments, like combining things I found around
the house to see what would happen if I put them together.
I come armed with a really good
ignorance. I don't strive toward ignorance. I come by it naturally.
challenging your own
assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub
them off every once in while, or the light won't come in.
I found I wasn't asking good enough
questions because I assumed I knew something. I would box them into
a corner with a badly formed question, and they didn't know how to
get out of it. Now, I let them take me through it step by step, and
It's really clear to me that you can't
hang onto something longer than its time. Ideas lose certain
freshness, ideas have a shelf life, and sometimes they have to be
replaced by other ideas.
The meaning of life is
smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be
wise than to be smart.
Marie Curie is my hero. Few people
have accomplished something so rare ‒ changing science. And as hard
as that is, she had to do it against the tide of the culture at the
time ‒ the prejudice against her as a foreigner, because she was
born in Poland and worked in France. And the prejudice against her
as a woman.
Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.
You can't be aware of everything. You'd fall down the stairs if you
were aware of every intricate thing involved in going down stairs.
When people are laughing, they're generally
not killing one another.
In the midst of the sense of tragedy
or loss, sometimes
laughter is not only healing, it's a way of experiencing the
person that you've lost again.
Here's my Golden Rule for a tarnished
age: Be fair with others, but keep after them until they're fair
Anyone I know who's almost died has
come out of it, at least for a while, looking at things differently.
I used to not want to die in any way
but in my sleep when I was a young man. I'd like to die awake now,
if possible, with people around me who love me.
I'm most at home on the stage.
As an artist, as an actor, as a writer, you have to use what's
personal to you. You have to be personal about your work; otherwise,
it doesn't ring true.
A really great actor, in a lucky performance, can transform himself
or herself. I've seen actors do that. But often it's a mechanical
transformation, which isn't as interesting, and you've got to be
careful how you go about something like that, I think.
When an actor plays a character, you want what that character wants.
Otherwise it doesn't look authentic.
Backstage life is terrific training for an actor, seeing shows from
Awards can give you a tremendous amount of encouragement to keep
getting better, no matter how young or old you are.
I think when you're acting, you usually don't have to know too much
beyond how to pronounce the words you're saying.
The one thing I think I've noticed about shows that are supposed to
be funny on television is that they've sort of become routinized, so
there's an awful lot of mannerisms and joke lines that are sort of
there to trigger laughter, rather than give actors a chance to play
You can watch actors create their illusions, but if you don't see
where they get the pigeons from, you don't really know how they're
I don't really worry about the size of the part much any more. It's
nice to have more time to work on the character, and to have big
scenes to play. But if there's something playable there, and if it's
interesting to do, then that's nice.
It's a funny feeling to work with people who you consider your
colleagues and to realize that they actually are young enough to be
I really don't like plays or movies that service propaganda.
All I've ever tried to do is play real people.
Really top-notch directors, I've often worked with them just to see
how they work.
When I got recognized as a writer, when I got the Emmy, I was more
excited than the Emmys I had gotten as an actor.