I am the American Dream. I am the epitome of what the American Dream basically said. It said you could come from anywhere and be anything you want in this country. That's exactly what I've done.
Sitting at the table during Color Purple and looking up and suddenly realizing I was acting in front of Steven Spielberg, was pretty cool. It was pretty good.
Most of all, I dislike this idea nowadays that if you're a black person in America, then you must be called African-American. Listen, I've visited Africa, and I've got news for everyone: I'm not an African.
I think the idea that you know who your inner self is on a daily basis, because... you know. What's good for you 25 years ago may not be good for you now. So, to keep in touch with that, I think that's the first ingredient for success. Because if you're a successful human being, everything else is gravy, I think.
When I was doing ensemble theater and comedy work, I felt I had some talents. But when I started doing my shows in Berkeley and found that I could be funny on my own, I was shocked.
It's being willing to walk away that gives you strength and power - if you're willing to accept the consequences of doing what you want to do.
I'm fighting the label of 'Black' actress simply because it's very limiting in people's eyes, especially people who are making movies.
And I don't believe that I have to stay on one side of the fence or the other. I don't believe that there is any good career move or bad career move. I believe there are only the things that make me happy.
All I really want to do is just keep acting, and some of it will stink, and some of it will be really good, and maybe when I'm 85 and presenting an Oscar like Bette Davis did, I can look back and say, 'It was okay, I did all right.'
There are roles I am never considered for. Meryl Streep roles, let's say. Why not? I really wanted to do 'Ironweed,' for example, because the depression era in this country was one of the best for multiracial people, because everybody was poor. Everybody lived in the tents, and under buildings, and under gratings, together.
When I started, I knew I didn't fit any visual that anyone was going to lie down and take their clothes off about. Work doesn't come to me; I go out and look for it.
I have the strangest time to get cast in anything. 'Ghost' was the same thing. Six months I had to wait for them to decide they had seen everybody possible. Why not? What limits me? I'm black? Oh, am I black?