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" You know, young actors say all the time, 'Should I use my own life experience?' And my response is, 'What choice do you have?' "
" Art and mass entertainment and propaganda, they can all be plotted on the same graph, but there is a difference. "
" 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.' "
" I grew up in a tough neighborhood and we used to say you can get further with a kind word and a gun than just a kind word. "
" You get rich through luck. You get rich through crime. You get rich through fulfilling the needs of another. You can be as greedy as you like. If you can't do one of those three things, you ain't going to get any money. "
" There's something in me that just wants to create dialogue. "
" When we leave the play saying how spectacular the sets or costumes were, or how interesting the ideas, it means we had a bad time. "
" 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.' "
" The essence of jiu-jitsu is philosophy. "
" I've been alienating my public since I was 20 years old. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" It's upsetting to be a man in our society. "
" It's hard to write a good play because it's hard to structure a plot. If you can think of it off the top of your head, so can the audience. "
" I'm greedy and ambitious like everybody else. "
" I look back on my liberal political beliefs with a sort of wonder - as another exercise in self-involvement - rewarding myself for some superiority I could not logically describe. "
" The liberals in my neighbourhood wouldn't give away Brentwood to the Palestinians, but they want to give away Tel Aviv. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" I love the British. "
" I've always been fascinated by the picaresque. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" My greatest fear is that the audience will beat me to the punch line. "
" People may or may not say what they mean... but they always say something designed to get what they want. "
" I used to think I'd like to be a fireman - in fact, I still would - and the only drawback I could see was coming back to the firehouse, after a day of fighting fires, and still having to put in an eight-hour day writing. "
" I won't ever do e-mail. "
" I'm not an ascetic. "
" It's only words... unless they're true. "
" There is a profound and ineradicable taint of antisemitism in the British. "
" I don't think there's any information to be gotten from television. "