78 Quotes of Eddie Marsan About Acting

” The trick to acting is not to show off, it’s to think the thoughts of the character. “
” What I love about the East End is that there’s a great perseverance, determination and courage. What I dislike about it is that there is sometimes a celebration of ignorance. “
” I’m used to being in front of camera and knowing what to think. But if you’re asking me to be me, I get very self-conscious. My job isn’t to be me. Being an actor, people think you can do a eulogy at a funeral, a speech at a wedding. I find all that very nerve-racking. “
” Mr. Norrell is like a librarian trying to do magic… That’s the story of my career, really. I stand next to good looking men and make them look better! “
” My business is not to show anybody anything; my job is just to do it. “
” I consciously decided not to be a ‘London’ actor. Those gangster movies made a lot of East End actors think they were movie stars. And I was very aware that they were going to go out of fashion. “
” I have friends who are leading men, and they’re only ever allowed to play leading men of a certain type. But as a character actor, there’s a wider variety of projects available. On the big Hollywood films, all they care about is having their lead in place, so it’s actually easier for someone like me to slip in. And I’m happy to do so. “
” When you’re the youngest and the only boy, you get spoilt but you get told you’re spoilt so you don’t get to enjoy it very much. I was the only man in the house because my parents divorced and my dad moved away when I was 13. “
” There’s no great mystery to acting. It’s a very simple thing to do but you have to work hard at it. It’s about asking questions and using your imagination. “
” I went swimming the other day and my wife was watching and she said, ‘You know, it’s funny, it’s when you’ve got no clothes on, no one recognizes you.’ I said, ‘What are you saying? That I should do more love scenes?’ “
” I sometimes think if I had gone to Oxford or Cambridge and looked like a handsome young guy who could be in an Evelyn Waugh novel or something, I’d be a massive movie star. But there’s a longevity to what I do. It’s more reliable. Someone isn’t deciding that I’m the next big thing. “
” I used to do a lot of comedy. I don’t know what happened. I think it’s my face. “
” I see all these people talking about acting as a great spiritual thing. It’s not. There’s no great mystery to acting. It’s a very simple thing to do, but you have to work hard at it. It’s about asking questions and using your imagination. “
” The trick to acting is not to show off; it’s to think the thoughts of the character. I was lucky because when I started acting, it was doing jobs above pubs. I learned to act in anonymity, so by the time people saw me, I knew what I was doing. I was crap for years, but no one saw me being crap. It’s a trade you learn. “
” I want to be respected as an actor. There’s my ego. But I don’t have a great need to be liked by an audience. “
” I come from a place where there’s violence and inarticulacy. I worked in a pub from the age of 12 or 13. I used to see people smashing glasses over each other. I was never tough. I was scared of them. “
” I was approached to do something for seven years, and it was a quality project. I did seriously think about it, but I didn’t want to be away for six months of the year. I’ve never done the L.A. thing where you go and have loads of meetings; I can’t say to my wife, ‘I’m going to wait by a pool for six months.’ “
” When I think of character actors, I think of Spencer Tracy; I think of Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall. When I was a young lad watching films, my eyes were on them – watching ‘On the Waterfront,’ my eyes are on Rod Steiger and Karl Malden, not on Brando. “
” I’ve never played a gay character on screen, so that would be interesting. I’ve never played a gay character, and that would fascinate me because I’m not gay, so that would interest me. “
” I’d love to play a Bond villain. Yeah, I’d love to play a Bond villain. Everyone always says this to me; they always say, ‘You’ve got to be a Bond villain’, ‘We’re going to make you a Bond villain…’ But they’ve never, ever approached me, I’ve never had a whiff of it. I think I’d love to play a Bond villain; I’d have great fun. “
” I’m not one of these actors who can make a bad script good. Some actors, a script can be terrible, and they can bring something to it and make it really special. I can’t. “
” My idea is just to do something different each time; the next thing I do has to be completely different to the thing I’ve done before – that’s what I try and do, because you know, I’m an actor, not a film star. “
” I wanted to work with Bryan Singer because I like his films. “
” With a face like mine, I’m never going to play a character who conquers the universe, I’m going to play characters who are subject to forces bearing down on them. My career’s based on how we are rather than how we wish we were – they get the good-looking boys in for that kind of role. “
” I was brought up in a house full of women; the first time I realised no one was interrupting me was when I was on stage – that’s probably the subconscious reason I became an actor. “
” I wasn’t one of the ones voted most likely to succeed when I was at drama school, but I persevered and concentrated on the acting rather than going to the right parties and getting the right agent. Eventually, after ten years, it paid off. “
” Mike Leigh taught me about making choices – as an actor, you choose between being honest and clever, and with Mike, it’s always about being honest. I learned how to behave on a film set from Jim Broadbent. He was a great example of someone with a fantastic career who kept his feet on the ground. “
” I’m the guy who plays human beings. I understand why the characters are doing what they’re doing. When you play a villain, you don’t play a villain: you play a human being doing what he thinks he needs to do to get what he wants. “
” Different races never fazed me because coming from Bethnal Green, I’d been around people of different races forever. Different class? That was much harder. “
” As a working-class actor, leaving school with no qualifications, being a printer and then becoming an actor and then working with people who to a certain extent had had a leg up. I never had that advantage. It’s less an artistic need to express myself and more a need to prove myself. “
” I’ve got four kids to feed and a wife to provide for. It’s a worry but a great responsibility as well and one I relish. “
” I love the fact that everyone’s trying to be good-looking in L.A. – then I turn up and I get work. “
” I’m used to playing characters who have a lot to say but don’t know how to say it. “
” The characters in ‘Ray Donovan’ are not very articulate – we’re the worst Irish family you could ever live next to in L.A. “
” Magic symbolises the subconscious – that part of us that is creative and powerful that we sometimes don’t tap into. “
” I always think of Gilbert Norrell as being Salieri to Jonathan Strange being Mozart. “
” I’m not a great fiction reader. I love history. I love history and philosophy. “
” I’ve got four kids – I unblock a toilet every day. “
” It’s a very fascinating thing for an actor to play somebody who is suffering, and you have to express the suffering, but in an inarticulate way and sometimes a dysfunctional way, through violence. “
” I wouldn’t have been interested in making a show just about Hollywood, ’cause I find Hollywood boring. I find people and families very interesting. “
” When you watch ‘Ray Donovan,’ you think that it’s about Hollywood, about scandal, about stars, and about trying to keep secrets. That’s true, but that’s also just the means by which you reveal secrets of the people suffering every day life. “
” When I was a struggling actor, I worked for a party company. One of my friends from school was working for an advertising agency, and I turned up to one of his company’s parties dressed as an alien to collect tickets on the door. “
” Private education can give you confidence, which is marvellous; a sense of entitlement isn’t. “
” If you’re confident, then it helps you live up to your potential, but if you believe because you went to a certain school it means you’re entitled to have a particular career, you’ll fall flat on your face eventually. “
” I come from a council estate in Tower Hamlets, and by no means am I the only person who has done well – one of my friends is head of year in a great school in Twickenham. Another is a writer; another is an artist, a musician. “
” I thought ‘Lock Stock’ was a good film. I thought ‘Lock Stock’ was a good film because I think it was a one-off before it was imitated a hundred times. “
” My career is playing the guys who go, ‘Boo.’ That’s what I do. “
” I could not be one of those actors who stays in character all day long. I’d go mad. “
” If your character doesn’t express himself or doesn’t feel confident expressing himself, then you don’t express yourself. “
” When I was doing fringe theatre, my ambition was to do repertory. When I got to rep it was to do national theatre; then it was t,o get a couple of parts in television. I never had this great desire to overreach myself. I was too busy enjoying acting. I was just obsessed with it. “
” I know what I try to do. I try to be professional, turn up, not make too much fuss, do the job. “
” I’m like a mechanic. If you break down and phone the AA, they’ll come to you whether it’s raining or snowing. That’s what an actor should do. “
” I have my career and my family, and that’s it. “
” You turn up on set, and somebody who has come out of Oxford, has done a BBC course, is telling you how to act. You think, ‘Do me a favour. Go and make a coffee.’ “
” I didn’t do well at school, and I don’t have lots of academic reference points. “
” I knew very early on that I wasn’t Brad Pitt. “
” I knew what kind of actor I was going to be, and I looked for inspiration to people like Alec Guinness, Cyril Cusack, Timothy Spall and Jim Broadbent. I looked at them and thought, ‘They play human beings as they really are.’ “
” As children, we all hold on to the myth of omnipotence. Comics are successful because kids identify with superheroes. They’ll read a book or watch a TV programme and say, ‘I’m that guy.’ And that guy is always the one in control. “
” ‘Ray Donovan’ is very dark and very serious. As actors will tell you, the darker and more serious the material, the more jokes that go around set. It’s a counterbalance. “
” The hardest thing to do and most miserable films are comedies. “
” I’m very blue collar myself. So it was easy for me to embody that in a sense. It’s much harder for me to embody Norrell than it is to embody Terry Donovan. “
” I’m a great believer that actors are very similar to session musicians. You wouldn’t ask a session musician, ‘How do you play jazz,’ and then, ‘How do you play classical?’ They just do it, because if they don’t do it, they don’t eat. “
” Art is the job of the privileged. “
” You can’t write a screenplay if you’ve been doing a zero-hours contract. Which means that the people who write drama, the people who commission dramas, and the people who direct dramas all come from a small circle of society. “
” You’re not going to have something set on a council estate that explores all elements of human existence, the variety of experience inherent in any community. “
” I always define egotistical thoughts as the thoughts I think other people have of me. “
” If you leave me waiting ’round for hours and then call on me to do something, I need to be able to do it straight away. That’s my job, like your job is to do what you do. “
” When I first started doing press, one of the things people started pushing was this idea that I’d somehow escaped something. And I was really offended, because I hadn’t escaped anything. “
” My friends I grew up with were so supportive to me. And I’m not the only one who’s done well. “
” I love Bethnal Green and where I’m from. Nothing there, especially the people, ever held me back, but I never felt that I was successful there. “
” I wasn’t that hard. I wasn’t that tough. I wasn’t that funny – I looked like me. “
” Acting was a way of me finding myself, which I think is the case of a lot of actors, regardless of where they come from. “
” Paddy Considine is a great friend of mine, and he is a natural actor because he is an artist, and I’m not an artist. If I ever blow my own trumpet, it’s as a craftsman. “
” I don’t look like Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise. When you put me on the screen, the women don’t want to make love to me, and the men don’t want to be me. “
” I get a lot of people saying to me, ‘Oh, you’re the actor who plays the nutters,’ and I’m not. I’m the guy who plays human beings. I understand why the characters are doing what they’re doing. When you play a villain, you don’t play a villain: you play a human being doing what he thinks he needs to do to get what he wants. “
” I listen to a lot of jazz. I’m a big Sinatra geek. I love Chet Baker. “
” I had a good job as a printer in the East End. Before the unions destroyed it, that job was very lucrative. “
” Major film stars tend to do a film and then have a couple of months off. I’m not a major film star; I’m a jobbing actor. “