In her novel about a late-19th-century actress, “In America,” Susan Sontag wrote, “She had loved being an actress because the theatre seemed to her nothing less than the truth. A higher truth. Acting in a play, one of the great plays, you became better than you really were.
“You said only words that were sculpted, necessary, exalting… You could feel yourself being improved by what was given to you, on the stage, to express.”
Penélope Cruz appreciates that power.
Asked in an interview what she likes best about acting, she said, “I like how much freedom you have to use your imagination and discover your character and discover so many things about human behavior and yourself.
“You learn from life and relationships so there is always more and more to learn.
“We are all so complex and mysterious and I like to study that. There’s a beauty to human confusion. It’s very difficult to put into words, but to me it’s so liberating. It’s a big addiction.” [Venice, Dec 2006/Jan 2007.]
Daryl Hannah said what she loves about acting is “you discover how that person, your character, would respond to those circumstances, not your imposition of how that person would respond.”
She got into acting, like many other talented people, because she was “really shy,” she said.
“I wanted to live in my imagination. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be and acting gave me the opportunity to do a lot of different things. And I wanted to disappear from myself, be in disguise.. I like to watch people, I like to analyze behavior, I don’t like to be watched.”
Juliette Binoche thinks, “As actors, I think we are responsible for making people more aware of their inner world.”
[Read comments about her drawing and painting by actor, dancer, poet, painter Juliette Binoche in post: Multitalented Creative People.]
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Acting coach Larry Moss once noted, “Acting is about showing people what it is to be human, both the beauty and the ugliness.
“If that interests you, and you want to be able to pay the price to feel all that, and educate yourself, and work hard, and do it when you don’t want to, then you have a chance to be a working actor.”
He is author of The Intent to Live: Achieving Your True Potential as an Actor.
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See more quotes, books, articles on how acting helps explore human behavior on the page Nurturing mental health: acting