I don't honestly think people know what acting is.

Hopefully, as I get older in the business, I make my choices more accurately, and I perhaps know from either the script or the first meeting that it isn't going to work.

There was one titanic guiding light on the film set, and I was in the presence of a true Mahatma, in the deepest and most profound sense of the word.

I'm convinced that had I not changed my name, I don't think I would have had quite the same career curve that I eventually had.

In cinema, the leading player is the director.

I think I'm more bonded, emotionally and in a craft sense, to films that tell extraordinary stories about extraordinary destinies.

I think that various styles and methods and approaches are an invention of people who don't understand the process of acting and who try very hard to label things.

I just loved playing a man who was unafraid of making an idiot of himself in the process of falling in love. I found that admirable.

There have not been any troughs as regards my work. There's never been a trough of my assurance.

I would like to make it known, on this program, loud and clear, that I would absolutely embrace with all five of my arms being a Bond villain.

I honestly have no strategy whatsoever. I'm waiting for that script to pop through the letterbox and completely surprise me.

I think that you can fall into bad habits with comedy... It's a tightrope to stay true to the character, true to the irony, and allow the irony to happen.

I'm very in love with the fact that the camera is revolted by acting and loves behaviour.

I try and reduce myself to an almost blank slate and hope to God that I am creative.

I think that all of us either lose touch with the child inside us or try and hold onto it because it so precious to us and it's such an extraordinary part of our lives.

As a singer, I might have fallen among thieves. I wonder if I'd still be alive by now.

I think Romeo and Juliet is uplifting. That's how much a son wishes to avenge his father. That is how much two young people can love each other.

All the great writers root their characters in true human behaviour.

With narration, you have to be very accurate with your voice. It's a good exercise to do.

I have a rather naive approach, I think, to my job.

The hierarchy of class in London was rigid. It was like a religion. It still is to a certain extent.

Fifteen years before I became a screen actor, I was in the theatre. A lot of my work was comedy, which I loved doing. It's harder.

In England, it's now Sir Ben. Mister has just disappeared. It's not even on my passport anymore. They've taken Mister away from me.

Well, it's wonderful to be identified strongly with my work.

If I were to play somebody who ran a fish and chip shop, I would not work in a fish and chip shop for three months. Staring at chips is not going to help me in my performance.

I think the cinema you like has more to do with silence, and the theater you like has more to do with language.

I do remember, as a child, that I always imagined, when I was maybe 6 or 7, my fantasy was that everywhere I went I was being followed by an invisible film crew.

As an actor there's no autonomy, unless you're prepared to risk the possibility of starving.

One of the greatest things drama can do, at it's best, is to redefine the words we use every day such as love, home, family, loyalty and envy. Tragedy need not be a downer.

There is so much to do on a film set. It is an extraordinarily invigorating and wonderful place to be, when things are running well.

I was fortunate as a young actor, to go straight to the RSC, where I learned that being an actor can bring with it wonderful responsibilities.

I think that most actors, and they're a very strange lot actors, very strange people, but I think that they attempt to keep in touch with the child.

The many many imponderables come together when a film opens and for all sorts of reasons it may or may not succeed.

Movie magic is movie magic and acting magic is acting magic.

But comedy I'd love to do as much as humanly possible.

Hamlet is an astonishing intelligence.

John Lennon and Ringo Starr liked my songs. I used to write songs and they heard me sing songs on stage in London.

I've never had to turn my hand to anything for monetary gain, other than pretending to be somebody else. I'm deeply fortunate.

If your best friend has stolen your girlfriend, it does become life and death.

The camera does not like acting. The camera is only interested in filming behaviour. So you damn well learn your lines until you know them inside out, while standing on your head!

That hunger of the flesh, that longing for ease, that terror of incarceration, that insistence on tribal honour being obeyed: all of that exists, and it exists everywhere.

There's so much crap talked about acting.

I have never felt bereft of anything.

But filming is good for you, because the crew isn't allowed to laugh. You can't get addicted to getting the laugh.

I think if I were to go back on stage I might be in great danger of acting.

It is better for me to serve a charity as an actor or a voice, rather than at a luncheon being just a celebrity.

Somewhere in your career, your work changes. It becomes less anal, less careful and more spontaneous, more to do with the information that your soul carries.

Filming is so much to do with rhythm, as is music, and if it isn't there then you know in the end nobody can save it really, they can't.

I always try to find something I admire about every character I play.