`Sugar Coated Delusions`

December 1, 2005

James Dean Quotes

Filed under: Main — melfabro @ 4:22 pm

The following are quotes by Dean himself.

“You can’t do the things I’m doing. I can flirt with death and come through”

“To grasp the full significance of life is the actor’s duty; to interpret it his problem; and to express it his dedication. Being an actor is the loneliest thing in the world. You are all alone with your concentration and imagination, and that’s all you have. Being a good actor isn’t easy. Being a man is even harder. I want to be both before I’m done.”

“Racing is the only time I feel whole”

” Change is the nature of genius.”

“Studying cows, pigs and chickens can help an actor develop his character. There are a lot of things I learned from animals. One was that they couldn’t hiss or boo me. I also became close to nature, and am now able to appreciate the beauty with which this world is endowed.”

“Whatever’s inside making me what I am it’s like film. Film only works in the dark. Tear it all open and let in the light and you kill it.”

“Since I’m only 24 years old, guess I have as good an insight into this rising generation as any other young man my age. And I’ve discovered that most young men do not stand like ramrods or talk like Demosthenes. Therefore, when I do play a youth, such as in Warner Bros. Rebel Without A Cause, I try to imitate life. The picture deals with the problems of modern youth. It is the romanticized conception of the juvenile that causes much of our trouble with misguided youth nowadays. I think the one thing this picture shows that’s new is the psychological disproportion of the kids’ demands on the parents. Parents are often at fault, but the kids have some work to do, too. But you can’t show some far off idyllic conception of behavior if you want the kids to come and see the picture. You’ve got to show what it’s really like, and try to reach them on their own grounds. You know, a lot of times an older boy, one of the fellows the young ones idolize, can go back to the high school kids and tell them, “Look what happened to me! Why be a punk and get in trouble with the law?Why do these senseless things just for a thrill?” I hope “Rebel Without A Cause” will do something like that. I hope it will remind them that other people have feelings. Perhaps they will say, “What do we need all that for?”If a picture is psychologically motivated, if there is truth in the relationship in it, then I think that picture will do good. I firmly believe Rebel Without A Cause is such a picture.”

“Old Hemingway squeezed the juice out of life… I’m not going to live past 30.”

“When an actor plays a scene exactly the way a director orders, it isn’t acting. It’s following instructions. Anyone with the physical qualifications can do that. So the director’s task is just that – to direct, to point the way. Then the actor takes over. And he must be allowed the space, the freedom to express himself in the role. Without that space, an actor is no more than an unthinking robot with a chest-full of push-buttons.”

The following are quotes about Dean.

“In Texas, one disgustingly hot night during the filming of Giant, he and I ate a full jar of peanut butter, a box of crackers and six Milky Ways, and drank twelve Coca-Cola’s!” Mercedes McCambridge (Luz Benedict) from her autobiography, “The Quality of Mercy”

” Before James Dean you were either a baby or a man. There was nothing in-between…” Sal Mineo

“I think he didn’t understand what he was all about. He was very frustrated because he felt there was something within himself that he didn’t understand. He knew that he wanted to go some place and the place he wanted to go to – he didn’t understand that either. And he was reaching for someone to help him find out whatever it was he wanted to reach.” Eartha Kitt

“He wanted to do everything for us, buy us presents – just keep us. Any bills we had we would pay. We were young and had our own careers and our pride and we could’t handle it. Jimmy had our love anyway – he didn’t have to start buying it.” Actress/girlfriend Elizabeth ‘Dizzy’ Sheridan

“He didn’t comb his hair. He had a safety pin holding his pants together. He was introspective and very shy.” Natalie Wood

‘ There was something suicidal in his nature. but I don’t think it was a conscious thing.” Carroll Baker

“Dean was never a friend of mine, but he had an idèe fixe about me. Whatever I did, he did. He was always trying to get close to me. He used to call up. I’d listen to him talking to the answering service, asking for me, leaving messages. But I never spoke up. I never called him back.” Marlon Brando

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