Edward Norton Quotes

“The best films of any kind, narrative or documentary, provoke questions.”

“It must be good to be in Germany and France, because I have completely forgotten what it is like to be proud of your government.”

It must be good to be in

“I tend to relate to a character in terms of the arc: what’s interesting is where he starts versus where he ends up.”

“It’s dismaying to see the unilateralism that the government is doing.”

“The more you do your homework, the more you’re free to be intuitive. But you’ve got to put the work in.”

“At this point in my life I’m not bent on proving anything, really.”

At this point in my life

“All people are paradoxical. No one is easily reducible, so I like characters who have contradictory impulses or shades of ambiguity. It’s fun, and it’s fun because it’s hard.”

“It’s better for people to miss you than to have seen too much of you.”

“Life, like poker has an element of risk. It shouldn’t be avoided. It should be faced.”

“Sometimes we don’t see certain things until we’re ready to see them in a certain way.”

Sometimes we don't see

“When people come together too young, they try to become one person. As you get older, you realize that you don’t want to become one person because then you lose the person you are.”

“I’ve always thought of acting as more of an exercise in empathy, which is not to be confused with sympathy. You’re trying to get inside a certain emotional reality or motivational reality and try to figure out what that’s about so you can represent it.”

“Instead of telling the world what you’re eating for breakfast, you can use social networking to do something that’s meaningful.”

“I don’t have anything to prove to anybody, which is a lovely place to be.”

I don't have anything to

“The more you can create that magic bubble, that suspension of disbelief, for a while, the better.”

“I like it when the deeper you go with the character, the more you see the layers start to peel away.”

“Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige, my friend.”

“My greatest hope is that we transcend the most fearful thing, which is that we are rapidly degrading the ecological systems on this planet that support everything we are doing and all life on it.”

My greatest hope is that

“You can’t control everything that comes to you.”

“I grow tired of intelligence having such a limited manifestation in movies – “intelligence” usually meaning coastal, with a certain level of formal education.”

“People think because I went to Yale that that implies privilege, and it is a privilege in the sense that it’s an incredible opportunity.”

“The elegance of staying with a moment, without needing to stop and change all the lighting, made [the alternative] seem lazy and indulgent.”

The elegance of staying

“A lot of why I do something is just the novelty of the experience.”

“I like to get into a lot of things besides movies. I’ve been very involved with a few specific efforts. We built this park in New York and it’s been a very successful project… I worked on a conservation project in East Africa… Too much of this type of stuff can get you wrapped up in your own work and I love it.” –

“I like to get into a lot of things besides movies. I’ve been very involved with a few specific efforts. We built this park in New York and it’s been a very successful project… I worked on a conservation project in East Africa… Too much of this type of stuff can get you wrapped up in your own work and I love it.” –

“People say you can’t make movies about your politics or the environment. And, generally speaking, I completely divide those sides of my brain.”

People say you can't make

“If you feel like someone just knows what this is about to their core, they’re going to have that special confidence in it.You stop looking at the seams and they start inhabiting the same space and start interacting with each .”

“There are tens of thousands of charities and hundreds of thousands, getting towards millions, of people now using it. And when I flip through it, I’m just blown away by people.”/blockquote>

“I studied French forever, and when do I ever speak French? I clearly should have studied Spanish. I wish I had stuck with music, because that would still be great. I really wish I had learned to surf earlier in my life.”

“I almost forgot what it’s like to be proud of my government.”

I almost forgot what it's like

“I never think that a film should answer questions for you. I think it should make you ask a lot of questions.”

“Sometimes creativity is a compulsion, not an ambition.”

“I don’t smoke and I don’t want to smoke. I am not a fan of gratuitous smoking in films.”

“Screenplays aren’t written to be read, they’re written to be made into movies.”

Screenplays aren't written

“You always end up getting involved in things because of, you know, the strange things your life brings you into contact with.”

“I’ve observed over and over that people seem to get a much deeper sense of fulfillment out of something they’ve done as an act of service than out of the things they do for themselves.”

“Every little thing that people know about you as a person impedes your ability to achieve that kind of terrific suspension of disbelief that happens when an audience goes with an actor and character he’s playing.” –

“I’m not particularly precious about the theatrical experience any more.”

I'm not particularly precious

“In drama, I think, the audience is a willing participant. It’s suspending a certain kind of disbelief to try to get something out of a story.”

“I’m not a very methodologically pure actor. Almost every time that I start, I feel completely at sea. Always at the beginning I feel like a fraud, really, because I’m never sure how to get started.”