You know, young actors say all the time, 'Should I use my own life experience?' And my response is, 'What choice do you have?'
There's nothing in the world more silent than the telephone the morning after everybody pans your play. It won't ring from room service; your mother won't be calling you. If the phone has not rung by 8 in the morning, you're dead.
I've been alienating my public since I was 20 years old. When 'American Buffalo' came out on Broadway, people would storm out and say, 'How dare he use that kind of language!' Of course I'm alienating the public! That's what they pay me for.
My tendency as an actor was to correct people, was to say, 'What if we tried it this way, what about if we tried that way?' That's terrible habit for an actor, but that's a good habit for director. So I became a director.
Films have degenerated to their original operation as carnival amusement - they offer not drama but thrills.
I'm afraid of only two things: being lazy and being cowardly.
My dad was a labour lawyer, and the ideas that I grew up with - bad management, bad capitalism, robber barons - when I applied this to my own life, I saw that we are all on both sides of the coin.
The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always, 'What does the protagonist want?' That's what drama is. It comes down to that. It's not about theme, it's not about ideas, it's not about setting, but what the protagonist wants.
Mixed martial arts was invented by Brazilians, whose families had been trained by the Japanese. Those Brazilians came to the U.S., where their invention was bought out, gussied up and presented to the world, which found it good.
I didn't knowingly meet a conservative until, to my shame, I was 60 years old and sat down and said, 'Wow, I don't understand what this guy's talking about, but he has a great civility about him. Perhaps I better investigate this thing.'
Roll back the clock, and every possession of every great country started with a crime.
If, indeed, a firearm were more dangerous to its possessors than to potential aggressors, would it not make sense for the government to arm all criminals, and let them accidentally shoot themselves? Is this absurd? Yes, and yet the government, of course, is arming criminals.
Listen, here's the thing about an English degree - if you sat somebody down and asked them to make a list of the writers they admire over the last hundred years, see how many of them got a degree in English.
I know very well what it is to be out of work and to be cheated by employers and I know what it is to be an employer.
I always thought the real violence in Hollywood isn't what's on the screen. It's what you have to do to raise the money.
There is a profound and ineradicable taint of antisemitism in the British.
Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.
Here's what happens in a play. You get involved in a situation where something is unbalanced. If nothing's unbalanced, there's no reason to have a play. If Hamlet comes home from school, and his dad's not dead and asks him if he's had a good time, it's boring. But if something's unbalanced, it must be returned to order.
There's no such thing as talent; you just have to work hard enough.
I'm afraid of only two things: being lazy and being cowardly. I get up early in the morning and go to work. I love to write.
Policemen so cherish their status as keepers of the peace and protectors of the public that they have occasionally been known to beat to death those citizens or groups who question that status.
The individual is not only best qualified to provide his own personal defense, he is the only one qualified to do so: and his right to do so is guaranteed by the Constitution.
I understand that computers, which I once believed to be but a hermaphrodite typewriter-cum-filing cabinet, offer the cyber literate increased ability to communicate. I do not think this is altogether a bad thing, however it may appear on the surface.
War is tragedy. The great war stories are tragedies. It's the failure of diplomacy. 'War and Peace,' 'A Farewell to Arms,' 'For Whom the Bell Tolls.' Those are some of the greatest tragedies.
The government, for example, has determined that black people (somehow) have fewer abilities than white people, and, so, must be given certain preferences. Anyone acquainted with both black and white people knows this assessment is not only absurd but monstrous. And yet it is the law.
In a world we find terrifying, we ratify that which doesn't threaten us.
Conservatives believe in smaller government and in the power of the electorate. So I think that we're less likely to try to use a dramatic forum to warp people's political views.
In practice we, in the world, must do business with each other.
A play is basically a long, formalistic polemic. You can write it without the poetry, and if you do, you may have a pretty good play. We know this because we see plays in translation. Not many people speak Norwegian or Danish or whatever guys like Ibsen spoke, or Russian - yet we understand Chekhov and the others.
Each culture has its own form of staged combat, evolved from its particular method of street fighting and cleaned up for presentation as a spectacle, e.g. savate, Cornish wrestling, karate, kung-fu.
Liberalism is a religion. Its tenets cannot be proved, its capacity for waste and destruction demonstrated. But it affords a feeling of spiritual rectitude at little or no cost.
People ask me, 'What do you do?' And I tell them I'm a writer, but always with the silent reservation, 'I am, of course, not really a writer. Hemingway was a writer.'
The so-called assault weapons ban is a hoax. It is a political appeal to the ignorant. The guns it supposedly banned have been illegal for 78 years. Did the ban make them 'more' illegal? The ban addresses only the appearance of weapons, not their operation.
American football seems to resemble soccer in that one scores by putting the ball through the opponent's goal; but football, truly is about land. The Settlers want to move the line of scrimmage Westward, the Native Americans want to move it East.
A good film script should be able to do completely without dialogue.
Obama is a tyrant the same way FDR was a tyrant. He has a view of presidential power that states: the government is in control of the country, and the president is in charge of the government. He's taken an imperial view of the presidency.
Being among my people is a delight. We Jews live among ourselves. I love it.
A stage play is basically a form of uber-schizophrenia. You split yourself into two minds - one being the protagonist and the other being the antagonist. The playwright also splits himself into two other minds: the mind of the writer and the mind of the audience.
One person may need (or want) more leisure, another more work; one more adventure, another more security, and so on. It is this diversity that makes a country, indeed a state, a city, a church, or a family, healthy. 'One-size-fits-all,' and that size determined by the State has a name, and that name is 'slavery.'
The surprise is half the battle. Many things are half the battle, losing is half the battle. Let's think about what's the whole battle.