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Albert Brooks


What's interesting about books that take place in the future, even twenty years in the future, is that many of them are black or white: It's either a utopia or it's misery. The real truth is that there's going to be both things in any future, just like there is now.




Be generous and you can be the best person who ever lived.




I've always been in the middle of making my own movies, so taking acting jobs that take me away from that has been impossible.




You know, I became a director out of necessity. I was writing comedies, and I couldn't find anybody to deliver it correctly.




When I audition, I understand what it takes and the insecurities that come with it. If I do anything, I put actors at ease. I used to tell directors who weren't actors, the best thing they could do was take an acting class for a couple of months. Just to understand.




One of the things I like about a character: I always think it's fascinating when a character can turn on a dime and go from one emotion to another. I like watching that.




I think anger and laughter are very close to each other, when you think about it.




I'm a strong fellow.




'Drive' came to me because the casting director knew my manager and called and said, 'You've always talked to me about Albert wanting to play the heavy. I think he should read this.' My ears just perked up.




I guess 'The Player' was a pretty good L.A. movie. And 'Chinatown.' Was there ever a better L.A. movie about a certain period in L.A.? That was terrific.




I come from the place where I am thinking 'I have put my blood on the pages.'




Nobody will leave any place unless they're forced out. That's the nature of humans. Once you're there, you're there. I've never seen anybody get up voluntarily and leave any place.




Well, you know, with every character, if you're going to expose yourself, you've got to figure out every detail that you're going to play. So there's no character that you can just go put on his shirt and be fully prepared.




My mom was a professional. My dad and mom met each other in a movie called 'New Faces of 1937.' My mom went under the name Thelma Leeds, and she did a few movies, and she was really a great singer, and when she married my dad and started to have a family, she sang at parties.




I've done performances in movies that I was immensely proud of and the movies didn't take off like a rocket at Cape Canaveral, it didn't take off.




My friend Harry Nilsson used to say the definition of an artist was someone who rode way ahead of the herd and was sort of the lookout. Now you don't have to be that, to be an artist. You can be right smack-dab in the middle of the herd. If you are, you'll be the richest.




If you look at the best-seller list for American fiction, they're all sequels to detective stories or stories about hunting serial killers. That's what's called American fiction these days.




When I went to acting school, the kids that got the best grades were the kids that could cry on cue. But it didn't really translate into careers for any of them, because the external is the easy part.




Movies are an expensive business.




Even if you didn't see the movie, you'd see two words you'd never seen put together before - comedy and Muslim. Comedy is friendly - it's the least offensive word in our language.




Listen, there are some movies that are set in stone and the writer or the director does not want to change, but I've never worked on a movie, including my own, that didn't take advantage of a rehearsal process.




Bullfights are hugely popular because you can sit comfortably with a hot dog and possibly watch a man die. It won't be me, but I can sit comfortably and watch it.




I take anything other than 'you big pig!' as a compliment.




I've always been the king of silence. I've always been a minimalist comedian. I've taken my influence from Jack Benny, who was the king of that... I've always done 'less is more.'




Once you sign on as an actor, you know, you don't go to the editing room, you don't see how they cut, you don't see how they score, you don't see how they cast the rest of the movie.




I'd still like to see 'Survivor' minus the planned show-biz parts. That would be the purest form of show business - I want to see someone so hungry that they eat somebody else's foot.




As an actor, if you're just sitting and staring and you don't know who you are in your own mind, it's vacant. And sometimes the camera is an X-ray machine, it can pick it up.




I just like making people laugh, and buried in that I like to bring up topics and start discussions.




I'm not a big fan of the post-Armageddon stories, where Denzel Washington is walking around in a torn coat.




There's always the standard six people you can hire that have played all these villains in Hollywood. Instinctively, when they come on screen, you know what's going to happen. You don't know the story, but you know what they do.




When I was younger, I wasn't concentrating on good days. I was managing a career and trying to have a good year. It would always 'lead' to something, which never leads to anything except death, where everything leads to. And then as I got older, and then I had my kids and everything, I began to appreciate a great Wednesday.




You never do a movie and not want it to work. You accept whatever it is. You have to, but nobody in their right mind would not want the movie to be getting talked about at the end of the year.




I'm not Elvis. I don't get chased by paparazzi.




When I die, if the word 'thong' appears in the first or second sentence of my obituary, I've screwed up.




I'm a member of the Academy, but I don't know who all the other Academy members are. It's not like a politician who knows who is in the Iowa caucus.




I had a very wise person tell me that he thinks marriage, when you're younger, you keep thinking you can fix things. That's what people do. And you can't really fix anything. It shouldn't be a massive difficult thing every day. Life's difficult enough.



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