Laurence Olivier Quotes

“The humility to prepare and the self-confidence to bring it off.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Don’t waste your time striving for perfection; instead, strive for excellence – doing your best.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Have a very good reason for everything you do.” ~ Laurence Olivier

Have a very good reason

“The art of persuasion. The actor persuades himself, first, and through himself, the audience.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Surely we have always acted; it is an instinct inherent in all of us. Some of us are better at it than others, but we all do it.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Striving for perfection is the greatest stopper there is. You’ll be afraid you can’t achieve it. It’s your excuse to yourself for not doing anything. Instead, strive for excellence, doing your best.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Use your weaknesses; aspire to the strength.” ~ Laurence Olivier

Use your weaknesses

“No matter how well you perform, there’s always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it’s lousy.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Don’t be afraid to be outrageous; the critics will shoot you down anyway.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Shakespeare – The nearest thing in incarnation to the eye of God.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Acting is a masochistic form of exhibitionism. It is not quite the occupation of an adult.” ~ Laurence Olivier

Acting is a masochistic form

“Acting is illusion, as much illusion as magic is, and not so much a matter of being real.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Lead the audience by the nose to the thought.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“I don’t know what is better than the work that is given to the actor-to teach the human heart the knowledge of itself.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“What is acting but lying and what is good lying but convincing lying?” ~ Laurence Olivier

“We ape, we mimic, we mock. We act.” ~ Laurence Olivier

What is acting but lying and

“I believe that in a great city, or even in a small city or a village, a great theater is the outward and visible sign of an inward and probable culture.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Acting is an everlasting search for truth.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“What is the main problem of the actor? It is to keep the audience awake, and not let them go to sleep, then wake up and go home feeling they’ve wasted their money.” ~ Laurence Olivier

What is the main problem

“Above all, you must remain open and fresh and alive to any new idea.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Living is strife and torment, disappointment and love and sacrifice, golden sunsets and black storms. I said that some time ago, and today I do not think I would add one word.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“If I wasn’t an actor, I think I’d have gone mad. You have to have extra voltage, some extra temperament to reach certain heights.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“There is a spirit in us that makes our brass to blare and our cymbals crash-all, of course, supported by the practicalities of trained lung power, throat, heart, guts.” ~ Laurence Olivier

There is a spirit in us that

“Life is enthusiasm, zest.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“When you’re a young man, Macbeth is a character part. When you’re older, it’s a straight part.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Acting, is not a profession for adults.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Without acting, I cannot breathe.” ~ Laurence Olivier

Without acting, I cannot

“We used to have actresses trying to become stars; now we have stars trying to become actresses.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Of all the things I’ve done in life, directing a motion picture is the most beautiful. It’s the most exciting and the nearest than an interpretive craftsman, such as an actor can possibly get to being a creator.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“I often think that could we creep behind the actor’s eyes, we would find an attic of forgotten toys and a copy of the Domesday Book.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“My stage successes have provided me with the greatest moments outside myself, my film successes the best moments, professionally, within myself.” ~ Laurence Olivier

My stage successes have provided

“If he was lost for a moment, he would dive straight back into its honey.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“If you’re an artist, you’ve got to prove it.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“I’m rather bored by the subject – meaning me. It’s a sort of a yoke, but at times you know, a yoke is a kind of comfort. And it’s always there.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“You think you’re an artist; prove it” ~ Laurence Olivier

You think you're an artist

“I believe in the theater; I believe in it as the first glamorizer of thought. It restores dramatic dynamics and their relations to life size.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Art is a little bit larger than life – it’s an exhalation of life and I think you probably need a little touch of madness.” ~ Laurence Olivier

“Autograph-hunting is the most unattractive manifestation of sex-starved curiosity.” ~ Laurence Olivier

Autograph-hunting is the

“Work is life for me, it is the only point of life-and with it there is almost religious belief that service is everything.” ~ Laurence Olivier