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Acting...
by Elia Kazan

Acting...
was the biggest charge I ever had.
What other artist has it so good? Approval so quick?
- Elia Kazan

The writer, when he is also an artist,
is someone who admits what others don't dare reveal.
- Elia Kazan

I've lost many of my best friends...
I'm going to satisfy myself now, not the critics,
not even my friends.
- Elia Kazan

I question the value of stars.
I think they're overrated.
They get too much money, too much praise.
- Elia Kazan

 

There is only one thing I respect in so-called Broadway actors...
and that is their competitive sense.
- Elia Kazan

I will say nothing to an actor that cannot be translated into action.
- Elia Kazan

I was always a self-conscious person.
- Elia Kazan

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The Communists automatically violated the daily practices
of democracy to which I was accustomed.
- Elia Kazan

Stylized acting and direction is to realistic acting
and direction as poetry is to prose.
- Elia Kazan

Every fighter has one fight that makes or breaks him.
- Elia Kazan

I would rather do what I did than crawl in front of
a ritualistic Left and lie the way those other comrades did betray my own soul.
- Elia Kazan

The thing about Brando was that I'd make these directions,
and he'd walk away.
He'd heard enough...
to get the machine going.
- Elia Kazan

I was not what you'd call a first-class actor,
but I did all right.
- Elia Kazan

You've got to keep fighting - you've got to risk your
life every six months to stay alive.
- Elia Kazan

You have to remind people of their own struggles.
It's a responsibility.
- Elia Kazan

I was not a collective person or a bohemian;
I was an elitist.
- Elia Kazan

I was both very successful and very left;
the living demonstration of how you could be on the
left and still be in the gossip columns and be envied for the money you made.
- Elia Kazan

Miller didn't write Death of a Salesman.
He released it.
It was there inside him, waiting to be turned loose.
That's the measure of its merit.
- Elia Kazan

When you know what an actor has, you can reach in and arouse it.
If you don't know what he has, you don't know what the hell is going on.
- Elia Kazan

The first thing you should do with an actor is not
sign a contract with him.
Take him to dinner.
And take him for a walk afterwards.
- Elia Kazan

Whatever hysteria exists is inflamed by mystery,
suspicion and secrecy.
Hard and exact facts will cool it.
- Elia Kazan

I gave my life to the Group Theatre,
because in it I'm building something for myself.
What I build, I am.
- Elia Kazan

I like directors who come on the set and create something
that's a little dangerous,
difficult or unusual.
- Elia Kazan

The belief that the good in American society will finally win out...
I don't believe any more.
- Elia Kazan

I joined the Communist Party late in 1934.
I got out a year and a half later.
- Elia Kazan

A good director's not sure when he gets on the set what he's going to do.
- Elia Kazan

I don't remember anything anybody said in any Jack Ford picture.
Nothing happens except action.
- Elia Kazan

For years after I resigned, I was still faithful to their way of thinking.
But not in the American Communists.
- Elia Kazan

I'm going to make a film where not one word is really important.
I'm going to make it all action.
- Elia Kazan

I was very intense.
I think it's a privilege to be an actor.
- Elia Kazan

To be a member of the Communist Party is to have a
taste of the police state.
It is a diluted taste but is bitter and unforgettable.
- Elia Kazan

I value peace when it is not bought at the price of fundamental decencies.
- Elia Kazan

The motion pictures I have made and the plays I have
chosen to direct represent my convictions.
- Elia Kazan

Anybody who informs on other people is doing something
disturbing and even disgusting.
- Elia Kazan

I have no spy stories to tell, because I saw no spies.
Nor did I understand, at that time, any opposition
between American and Russian national interest.
- Elia Kazan

The makers of entertainment must try,
in our field, to be honest and grown-up.
- Elia Kazan

I didn't have that much confidence.
Maybe it looks that way.
I'm glad it does.
- Elia Kazan

The essence of the stage is concentration and penetration.
Of the screen action, movement, sweep.
- Elia Kazan

I said to Tennessee, this thing is becoming the Marlon Brando show.
- Elia Kazan

I think there should be collaboration,
but under my thumb.
- Elia Kazan

I'm small, but I'm neither compliant nor agreeable.
- Elia Kazan

I knew the exuberance of playing before an admiring
audience and hearing my secret voice.
- Elia Kazan

Our relationship was cursed by the fact that we agreed on everything.
- Elia Kazan

Hey, you must be doin' good, 'cause I never hear from you.
- Elia Kazan

I was an outsider...
but I was also sympathetic with people that were struggling to get up,
because I struggled to get up.
- Elia Kazan

The physical life of the scene is determined by whether
the set squeezes people together or whether the set
has an escape place in it.
- Elia Kazan

You have no idea how fragile an actor's self-worth is.
- Elia Kazan

I may be getting old, but not foolish.
- Elia Kazan

I wouldn't go up on a stage now if you paid a thousand
dollars for one minute of acting.
It's a nasty experience.
You're up there all by yourself.
You're so damn exposed.
- Elia Kazan

I was taken in by what might be called the Hard Times
version of the Communists' advertising or recruiting technique.
- Elia Kazan

I used to spend most of my time straining to be a nice
guy so people would like me.
- Elia Kazan

I was even superior to the Communists and when they didn't go along with me,
I quit them.
- Elia Kazan

The more ambivalent you are and the more uncertain you are,
then you can get something that you cannot anticipate.
- Elia Kazan

The world was like a huge red carpet out ahead of me to be walked on.
And it stretched on and on, no end.
- Elia Kazan

I was the hero of the young insurgent working class art movement.
- Elia Kazan

I owe Bankhead a gift; she made a director out of me.
- Elia Kazan

I spoke without fear of contradiction.
I simply did not suffer self-doubt.
- Elia Kazan

I truly believe that all power corrupts.
Such is probably the thinking behind every political
film ever made in Hollywood.
- Elia Kazan

You can't just sit there and do the lines.
You have to do something revealing or unusual.
- Elia Kazan

What's called a difficult decision is a difficult decision
because either way you go there are penalties.
- Elia Kazan

Every picture that is successful has one little miracle in it.
- Elia Kazan

I was the true future.
I understood Communism better than they did.
- Elia Kazan

I want to thank the Academy for its courage and generosity.
- Elia Kazan

A film director has to get a shot, no matter what he does.
We're desperate people.
- Elia Kazan

Very often the Group actor is a critic when he's acting
and an actor when he's criticizing.
- Elia Kazan

I hate the Communists and have for many years and don't
feel right about giving up my career to defend them.
I will give up my film career if it is in the interests
of defending something I believe in,
but not this.
- Elia Kazan

There was no doubt that there was a vast organization
which was making fools of all the liberals in Hollywood and taking their money,
that there was a police state among the Left element
in Hollywood and Broadway.
- Elia Kazan

A person acting from a motivation
of contribution and service
rises to such a level of moral authority
that worldly success is a natural result.
- Marianne Williamson

No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers
of acting and reasoning as fear.
- Edmund Burke

Manage the remarkable balance between acting
from your heart and close to your gifts
with completing the obligations
that your labor and tasks require of you.
Leverage opportunity AND seize joy.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

The creation of something new
is not accomplished by the intellect
but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity.
The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
- Carl Jung


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