138+ Inspirational Acting Quotes From Famous Actors & Actresses

Many famous actors and actresses are dreamers, activists, and pioneers. They became successful with hard work, sacrifice, and dedication. And they have earned a little wisdom along the way. These inspirational acting quotes will leave us thinking and smiling.

Quotes About Auditioning

“My thought process has always been, I’m excited to show you what my version of this story would look like. You’re going to be able to get a little condensed show. That took the pressure off getting the job.” —Tituss Burgess

“I’ve always approached things with hunger and just enough fear. Plenty of confidence, you know, but just enough fear to work extra hard. Paralyzing fear does nothing, but the kind of fear that makes you nervous enough to really be aware and focused? I like that kind of fear.” —Queen Latifah

“We speak into existence what we are. If you keep saying, ‘I can’t,’ then you won’t. If you say, ‘I can,’ then there’s a transition that happens all around you. Me speaking life into myself ultimately has changed my life.” —Billy Porter

“Just work on the craft and don’t worry about the representation part of it. It’ll find you. The right agent, the right manager… they definitely will find you.” —Omari Hardwick

“You cannot try to get the job. Just go in there, have some fun, and do your version of that part. This is what I’m selling. If you want to buy it, that’s cool. Have some adjustments for me? That’s fine, I’ll make some adjustments, but this is basically what I want to do. That’s the attitude, sort of a ‘f*ck it’ attitude. Not f*ck you, but f*ck it.” —Sam Rockwell

“I have spent a lot of time looking at what other people are doing in their careers and comparing and I don’t think that’s healthy, you know? I think you’re on your own track. Just concentrate on yourself and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing.” —Jodie Comer

“My approach is to look at the character’s world. Often, we get so locked into memorizing lines and practicing how we’re going to say those lines, when in reality the lines are just a symbol or representation of the person. I spend a lot of time getting into the character’s life. Every character has a point of view, so what informs this character’s point of view?” —Malcolm-Jamal Warner

“Study, find all the good teachers and study with them, get involved in acting to act, not to be famous or for the money. It’s not worth it if you’re just in it for the money. You have to love it.” —Philip Seymour Hoffman

Quotes About Overcoming Challenges

“When everyone is working at such a diligent level, an intentional level, you can lean on those shoulders. The weight is not all on you, even if you are the lead. It’s a community for a reason.” —Danielle Deadwyler

“I know how wanting this profession can make people become. It can really change your brain chemistry, turn you into a different person that you maybe weren’t anticipating. I wanted to make sure I had a strong sense of identity. That always came from feeling comfortable in my own skin—the way I felt as a kid, going somewhere new all the time.” —Brendan Fraser

“Failure is part of life. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn. If you don’t learn, you’ll never change.” —Morgan Freeman

“What drove me to give voice to this dream, to step in front of the camera again not knowing what the outcome was going to be, was…fear of regret. I don’t want to live my life with regrets.” —Ke Huy Quan

“Don’t take anything for granted. And, earn it! Worship every opportunity you have. Because then, if you’re lucky, you may end up being an old man and still working.” —Javier Bardem

“Learn to live your life—there’s no recipe for it. You can’t go to acting school to learn to be a deep person with a lot of experience to draw from; you can only become that person by feeling, by getting hurt, by feeling incredibly happy, by seeing the world; those are the things that make you richer as a person and give you a much bigger bank to draw from when you bring characters to life.” —Pablo Schreiber

“If you live in the past that’s depression, and if you live in the future that’s anxiety. So you have no choice but to live in the present.” —Sarah Silverman

Quotes About The Work of Acting

“The job of an actor is to really get close to that and become a vessel for sensations, not ideas or plans or technicalities—sensations.” —Javier Bardem

“I would say that acting is one of the toughest jobs in the world to get. You have to be really focused on it, and you’ve got to do it for the right reasons. Not to be famous or rich, but because that’s what interests and moves you.” —Harrison Ford

“It stopped being about trying to be a good student. It became: What is my own relationship to this [character]? How can I diminish the line between me trying to be someone else and instead just really feel like I’m seeing the world through his eyes? I would wake up and just follow my curiosity. It became much more personal.” —Austin Butler

“When I ask if you’re talented, you’d better say yes. Not in a boasting sort of way, just a quiet confidence: ‘Yes, I’m talented. I know I am.’ You need that. And you need persistence and you need patience, and that’s not contradictory.” —Bryan Cranston

“Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.” —Meryl Streep

“I think the process of making anything is going as far afield as you can and then reconnecting to the original impulse. That’s the gig.” —Lin-Manuel Miranda

“Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It’s a bum’s life. The principal benefit acting has afforded me is the money to pay for my psychoanalysis.” —Marlon Brando

“For me, our job as artists is to serve the story, serve the director, and serve the fellow actors. And if you do that, by osmosis you’re serving yourself because you’ll get the best out of yourself.” —David Oyelowo

“When people used to ask what I did, I’d say, ‘Oh, I do acting.’ Then that shifted to me saying, ‘I’m an actor.’ It’s such a tiny little change in language, but it really feels different.” —Bella Ramsey

“Don’t ever desire to be a star. Fame is a byproduct of what you do. It’s just an accident. What you do, you must do because you love it. Because you enjoy it. Because you’re good at it. Because people enjoy watching you.” —Emma Thompson

“Out of joy comes comedy.” —Martin Short

“Stand behind whatever decision your character makes, even if it’s the wrong one.” —Sarah Snook

“When you’re in a theater, it’s about reaching the back rows. When you have a camera in your face, it’s just about knowing the size of the room.” —Corey Stoll

“There are not enough good roles to go around, so there are always those who lose out. It is part of being a performer. You must simply put it behind you and go on.” —Anne Archer

“Acting is the perfect idiot’s profession.” —Katharine Hepburn

“But what I always say is, craft is first. Craft, craft, craft. That, you can never get away from.” —Lena Waithe

“You build those emotional memories, and then you eventually have a mountain of them and you ski down the mountain, and you let the slope take you where it wants to take you. You can’t preplan. You can’t be like, ‘I’m gonna think of this memory I created at this point,’ because then your performance becomes static. But you can build it so it’s in your bones and it speaks through you. It is in the script; you just have to find it.” —Constance Wu

Famous Actor Quotes

“In any profession, it gets to be a grind. It’s not always glamorous and it’s not always fabulous, and it’s not always the script that you absolutely love. But you do it. I do it because I love it.” —Denzel Washington

“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” —Viola Davis

“The pleasure of acting is to explore life and to observe it and to have a feeling like you’re onto something, and to express it to an audience and get that feeling that we’re all kind of understanding something together.” —Philip Seymour Hoffman

“If you know you are going to fail, then fail gloriously!” —Cate Blanchett
“Acting is always a challenge, to try and make it as real as possible under unreal circumstances.” —Ian McKellen

“I was asked to act when I couldn’t act. I was asked to sing ‘Funny Face’ when I couldn’t sing, and dance with Fred Astaire when I couldn’t dance—and do all kinds of things I wasn’t prepared for. Then I tried like mad to cope with it.” —Audrey Hepburn

“The thing about performance, even if it’s only an illusion, is that it is a celebration of the fact that we do contain within ourselves infinite possibilities.” —Daniel Day-Lewis

“The best way to guarantee a loss is to quit.” —Morgan Freeman

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” —Robin Williams

“The more I do, the more frightened I get. But that is essential. Otherwise, why am I doing it?” —Judi Dench

“With any part you play, there is a certain amount of yourself in it. There has to be, otherwise, it’s just not acting. It’s lying.” —Johnny Depp

“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” —Lupita Nyong’o

“The actor becomes an emotional athlete. The process is painful—my personal life suffers.” —Al Pacino

“Every next level of your life will demand a different you.” —Leonardo DiCaprio

“I always wanted to be someone better the next day than I was the day before.” —Sidney Poitier

“I don’t believe in guilt; I believe in living on impulse as long as you never intentionally hurt another person. And don’t judge people in your life. I think you should live completely free.” —Angelina Jolie

These quotes not only illuminate the personal philosophies and experiences of these renowned actors but also offer inspiration and insight into the dedication and passion required to succeed in the world of acting.