melissa leo quotes


An actor has to be very, very careful, as one of the most wonderful props - and actors love props - is a cigarette. There's so much to do with it: you can bring it up to your face, play with the smoke. It's just the greatest - ever since I was 16 and in acting school in England, I've been playing around with cigarettes.


Well, I don't think of myself as a feminist at all. As soon as we start labeling and categorizing ourselves and others, that's going to shut down the world.


I haven't had a lot of experience with glamour. I've never had to mask myself, as many now not-so-young actresses have had to do. Female actors in that regard have a different lot in life than male actors.


I am a smoker, I'm ashamed to say. I had given it up for many years, then picked it up again. It's a horrible habit. I struggle with myself all the time. And I love to smoke.


I have some close friends I keep in touch with. I knit. I watch a little too much TV. I ski, if the weather's right for that. If I can find a group of buddies, I go rock climbing.


I mean, the unfair treatment of women and black people and Indians and other groups, that's real. Mistreatment of other people because 'I'm better than you are' is such a sad part of the world.


I think there has only been one time in my entire career that I've ever gone back to shoot a scene. And it was a scene that, when we were shooting it, we knew that it wasn't working. We knew there was a disagreement between the actor and director. So, we went back.


I think the funny thing about acting for me - and I hold it in a very holy, spiritual way - not to be overly fundamentalist about it, but it's that important to me - is that it is an ancient healing art.


To play someone when the character masks their own emotions, doesn't understand their own emotions, has no release for their own emotions, and yet is full of emotion - that is a much harder character to play than someone who has somewhere to put it.


Through all of this lovely interviewing, and nice things people say, and the rest of it, I have learned that I am an actor. That is my profession. That is my job. That is how I make a living. So I am just out there making a living.


Ever since Marilyn Monroe was transformed from one of the prettiest girls you could ever hope to see into an icon, everyone has been trying to repeat that icon. And now the entire industry is filled with, and by and large run by, wannabes.


I do get a fair amount of scripts; I got 'Frozen River' kinda just that way. I have a hard time turning my back on anybody who says they have something for me.


You know, when I got started on television in the '80s, you would go to the costume department, and if you were a female they put you into a skirt. And you had a pocketbook, usually a shoulder bag.


My body has done for me all these years things I couldn't ever even dreamt to do for characters. It's a tool, molecularly speaking, and I need to take care of it.


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