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Cary Grant

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I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until finally I became that person. Or he became me.
--
As quoted in "Quotable Cary" at American Masters (25 May 2005)

 
Cary Grant

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How does a person learn earnestness? Is it having an earnest person dictate something to him so that he can learn it? Not at all. If you have not yourself learned in this way from an earnest man, then imagine how it goes. See, the learner concerns himself (without concern there is no learner) about some object with his whole soul, and in this way the certainty of death becomes an object of concern. Now the concerned person turns to the teacher of earnestness, and thus death is indeed not a monster except for the imagination. The learner now wants this or that; he wants to do it thus and so and under these assumptions-“And it is bound to succeed, is it not so?” But the earnest person answers nothing at all, and finally he says, yet without mockery but with the calmness of earnestness, “Yes, it is possible!” The learner already becomes a little impatient; he suggests a new plan, changes the assumptions, and concludes his speech in a still more urgent way. But the earnest person is silent, looks calmly at him, and finally says, “Yes, it is possible!” Now the learner becomes passionate; he resorts to pleas or, if he is so equipped, to clever locutions-indeed, he perhaps even insults the earnest person and becomes totally confused himself and everything around him seems to be confusion. But when with these weapons and in this condition he charges at the earnest person, he has to endure his unaltered calm gaze and put up with his silence, because the earnest person merely looks at him and finally says, “Yes it is possible.” This is the way it is with death. The certainty is the unchanging, and the uncertainty is the brief statement: It is possible. Every condition that wants to make the certainty of death into a conditional certainty for the wisher, every agreement that wants to make the certainty of death into a conditional certainty for the person making up his mind, every arrangement that wants to condition the certainty of death as to time and hour for the one who is acting, every condition, every agreement, every arrangement runs aground on this statement: and all passionateness and all cleverness and all defiance are rendered powerless by this statement-until the learner sees the error of his ways. But the earnestness lies just in this, and it was to this that certainty and uncertainty wanted to help the learner. The certainty is allowed to leave open the question of what it can be, like a universal caption over life, instead of being the endorsement of the particular and the daily by usage, as happens with the help of uncertainty-then earnestness is not learned.

 
Soren Aabye Kierkegaard
 

My father loved us so much, but he's the kind of person that chokes you. He doesn't leave you your own pleasures. If you think or feel one way and he feels the other way, he won't accept it. My mother wanted to work. People wanted her to do movies, but he just wanted her to be at home, be a mother, be a wife, be this Venus, this planet he could land on anytime.

 
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What you lack is the right connections, and that is what I've brought you here to make: connections. A person who is worth nothing must introduce you to a person worth next-to-nothing, and that person to another, and so on and so forth until finally you can step across the threshold, almost one of the family.

 
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The perception of you is one thing. You're this famous person, and now you're this famous person who's a bombshell. So all of a sudden, that's the only way I get jobs. So I have to become the part. And they're telling you this is the way to do it. One director actually said to me, "I want to hear you talk dumber and faster." ... He thought it was funny for the girl to be dumb. I finally said, "That's it, man — I can't do this anymore." I'd go to meetings during the filming of a movie, and the directors would ask, "What do you think of the script?" I'd say, "It has a lot of problems." They were confused. That's not what they wanted from me. ... So I was not very popular. At one point I said, "I don't want to do this — it's not my dream." And so I said, "I'm going to start a company. I am going to create projects for me. I'm going to create projects for other Latin women." Because I got to a point where I was whining all the time. I was miserable. I was desperate

 
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I wanted to see that grizzly f**ker. I wanted to see him flower. I wanted to see him blossom under the fact of love. I wanted to see where the sonnets came from. They came from the same pen of despair that wrote Timon of Athens— I wanted to see that guy. I wanted to see that guy with the sensibilities of a man that could create a body of work that would last century after century. I wanted to see that... I wanted to play that character. I loved the script. I mean, it was an incredibly well observed script about actors. That's why I thought it was so cool.

 
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