SUITE RETOUR Page 1 Page 2 Page 3. . . Son Métier
"I call the large film camera 'the one-eyed moose.' peers his eye through his circled fingers, mimicking a camera lens"
"I guess the only way I get things done is to do a 'lot' of them! When I'm going at break-neck speed, I seem to get much more accomplished."
"I always read any reviews about my own work. I think it's important to know the worst !"
"Villains are very, very boring to do. They're so much easier than heroes."
"I would love to do some comedy. To make people laugh is the greatest gift of all."
"It's very rare I've been able to get into the 20th century. When I turn from 1899 to 1900 I jump for joy. I did in Rebecca, I got into the '30's then. I have done some modern stuff but I'm so thrilled I over-act like crazy. I've got pockets! I'm so used to wearing tights all the time that when I put my hands in my pockets I nearly fall over. I'm so unused to playing a modern guy. It all started because I was a classical actor, I was trained that way. When I left drama school, I wanted to do Shakespeare, I loved the words, I really fell in love with them, I loved the sound of them. So, most of my training was classical. "
"Maggie Smith used to have excellent skin. Have you seen her face lately? In a few more years, they'll have to unfold it to find out who she used to be."
"I remember when Sir Alistair Cook said to me, many years ago, about 1981, before we started, he said that the three most memorable people in the last hundred years are Churchill, Hitler and Sherlock Holmes. Now this was meant to encourage me.I was terrified! “Well, that’s really done it now.” I mean, I didn’t want to play the part in the first place because I thought I would fail! ‘Cause there had been so many people playing it before. But to think that one of those three people never existed at all is extraordinary !"
"I'd worshiped him from afar from my childhood, from the moment I saw Henry V. He was really the reason I came in to the profession, I think." (à propos de Sir Laurence Olivier)
"The most important thing when you're working with greatness is to learn from it, not challenge it." ("Olivier at Work" - 1989)
"And I said, 'I want to be an actor vewy, vewy much.' Guthrie was kind of overwhelmed at this idiot. I remember I was wearing my brother's coat to make me look bigger. And he said I could have a walk-on part in 'Tamburlaine'. 'Or,' he said, 'you should go with that 'r' sound to Central School,' which I did. About 10 years later I worked with him on Broadway when I played Troilus for him. Trrroilus! 'As true as Troilus,' I had to say."(sa rencontre avec le metteur en scène de théâtre Tyrone Guthrie)
"I learned from Alec Guinness how disciplined you have to be to sustain a role... He's also very human. He does not like the audience. If someone coughs, he sends his man with cough drops to Row J, Seat 5. Once, on a rare hot day, someone in the front row was using the program as a fan. Guinness knocked it out of his hand with a cane. He totally destroyed the illusion of blindness!"(son travail avec Alec Guinness dans "A Voyage 'Round My Father" - 1971)
"No, not now. It's all changed... I did that in Canada. I went to Canada and I did a production of 'The Tempest,' in 1982. I produced it, directed it, and played Prospero. I hobbled away afterwards. I was exhausted. I also did it with Robin Phillips, the great Robin Phillips, who is still in Canada. We did a year of--company theatre, it was called--in Greenwich. Again, I tottered away. And I think my services would be most appreciated by possibly the new young Olivier, Kenneth Branagh, and I may, at a given moment, go and offer my services and say 'Can I sweep the stage?' or "Is there anything I can do for you?" I think I should join a company, not create one, and make my contribution that way as a--whatever--a talking head, whatever. 'Pick my brains. Do you want to know anything about 'Lawrence Olivier' , my mentor? Is there anything that he said that might help you?' One thing, of course, Olivier said, 'Every actor should have a full orchestra at his beck and call, vocally, and the body of a god.' And he had both and he was 57 at the time. So people could sort of bounce off me." (son projet de créer son propre théâtre - 6 Novembre 1991)
"I always tell the director that he should think of me as brand new. I want all the fresh input I can get." (Mai 1992)
"With directors, I am like Bambi ! I just lay down and say, 'Tell me what to do'."
Sherlock Holmes
"You-Know-Who" ("Qui-Vous-Savez" surnom de Sherlock Holmes)
"For a man who never existed it's extraordinary to celebrate a birthday." (pendant la pièce "The Secret" écrite pour le centenaire de Holmes)
"He's an upholder of the law. He's also a law unto himself. In other words, he releases people and Scotland Yard says 'How could you do that?' He also loves children because I've wondered where his love is channeled. Because no one can be that unemotional. So whenever I can, I have the Irregulars around. I think Holmes loves children."
"I've always thought I was miscast. He's the exact opposite to my own personality. I'm outgoing. I'm gregarious. I love dancing. I love to wear bright colours. I love people. Holmes does not love people. Of course, he's brilliant and I'm not."
"I can not play this man. He is like quicksilver, just a head of my consciousness. I can't reach him. I think I'm nearly there, and it slips away. And it dazzles me. And of course, he's such a giant, such a genius, such a bore, such an isolated damaged penguin. I hate him. So, it's a real treasure hunt you see."
"As a person I'm hooked, but as an actor I'm confused by playing a man who lives by his brain. I keep asking the lighting man on the Sherlock Holmes set to light my forehead to see if there's anything inside!"
"Holmes is so still and I'm like Jiminy Cricket."
"Holmes is such a cool cat. I much prefer to play romantic extroverts with long, flowing hair and passion in their souls."
"The provocation with Holmes is the fact that he's described by Doyle as a man without a heart - all brain... and that's very difficult to play, or even indicate.”
"Well...unbelievably, we've never seen Doyle before. Now, don't ask me why that is, I don't understand. All these years, no one has done his stories. They've done derivatives. They've taken the names of Holmes and Watson, but they've never done his stories. I cannot think why. At least that gave me something to do."
"And what is so extraordinary to me is that no one's done Doyle before, and I find that bewildering !" (Novembre 1991)
"I was talking about becoming. What I mean by that is an inner life. Watson describes You-Know-Who as a mind without a heart. That's hard to play, hard to become. So what I did was to invent an inner life. I mean, I know what his nanny looked like, for example; she was covered in starch. She probably scrubbed him, but never kissed him. I don't think he probably saw his mother until he was about eight. Maybe caught a touch of the fragrance of her scent and the rustle of her dress. I guess collage days were fairly complicated because he was quite isolated. He probably saw a girl across the quadrangle and fell in love, but she never looked at he closed that door. And he became a brilliant fencer, of course, as we know, and a master at boxing...brilliant athlete...and many more little tiny little details which I have to kind of make up to fill this kind of well...that Doyle so brilliantly left out".(l'enfance de Holmes imaginée par Jeremy - interview Novembre 1991)
"There may have been this beautiful girl, that he fell flat for, but she didn't look at him. So that broke his heart and he thought, 'Well, I'm not going to be rejected again' so that's why he's the way he is."
"And of course Holmes is such a giant, such a genius, such an... isolated damaged penguin."(vétu de noir et blanc, Holmes évoquait un pingouin blessé)
" After being made up for Sherlock Holmes you have to spend the rest of the day walking around looking like a damaged penguin or an undertaker. Even my colleagues give me a wide berth. You look so gloomy." (Boston Globe Magazine - 8 Decembre 1991)
"The other thing is, of course, if you go into the canteen for lunch dressed like what I call the 'damaged penguin' no one will really sit with you, because you look like death warmed-up. When you've got the mask on, and the black hair and the black suit, you really are frightfully cheerful to have lunch opposite."
"So, all these things you can get from Doyle, and when other actors who play Holmes and just pop on the deerstalker, and his cape and the pipe and walk straight through it, puff...puff...puff... - and get on with the next thing - that's probably the safer way to train - but it's not exactly being true to Doyle. It's just an image, like a cliché, which is not real."(à propos du stéréotype holmésien)
"I discovered all sorts of things that I could do if I had had the opportunity to do it. So I said 'yes!', with enormous temerity, and a certain amount of fear, and an element of excitement." (sa décision de jouer Holmes après avoir relu le Canon - interview Novembre 1991)
"We approached the scripts. I said, 'But you've asked me to do Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. These aren't Sherlock Holmes Doyle's stories.' I mean, the adapters had gone so far away. And the script editor said, 'Jeremy, you're here to act. Just get on with it'. And I tipped the table over and my Dover sole landed in his lap. And that was the beginning of the tousle. I used to take the whole canon with me to... the beginning of each film, and fight for Doyle. After about a year and a half I said, 'Listen, if you don't start taking care of me I may lose interest', because it was such a tussle. But than Granada Studios stepped in and were so remarkable and wonderful and gave me two weeks rehearsal instead of the one. So the first week I could fight for Doyle and the second week I could work with my fellow actors. And that's basically how it's been ever since".
"The trouble with adapters is, of course, that it's not a natural job. Adapting things means that you really haven't got a creative idea of your own. You're making some money on the side. They consequently, all the time, try and do their own thing. I sit there and read the script and I say, 'But don't you think Doyle is better?' That's been the problem all the way through-trying to do Doyle."
"Holmes could be rude, impatient, abrupt, and his intolerance of fools was legendary. I tried to show all this, all of the man's incredible brilliance. But there are some cracks in Holmes' marble, as in an almost-perfect Rodin statue. And I tried to show that, too."
"I made terrible mistakes. I'm so miscast; I'm a romantic-heroic actor. So I was terribly aware that I had to hide an awful lot of me, and in so doing I think I look quite often brusque, or maybe sometimes even slightly rude. In fact Dame Jean Conan Doyle, Doyle's daughter, who's a great personal friend of mine, did once say to me, 'I don't think my father meant You-Know-Who to be quite so rude', and I said, 'I'm terribly sorry, Dame Jean, I'm just trying to hide me'.
"I don't really mind actually. I must be very grateful to Arthur Conan Doyle because we are in the deepest recession in England, and only five percent of my profession are at work. I'm one of them at work, so I'm not knocking it."(sur le fait d'avoir été choisi pour jouer Holmes)
"Well, the stories leap from the printed page. I mean, when it says, 'Holmes crawls through the bracken looking for a clue like a golden retriever,' you can see it with your mind's eye. When you do it, it's hysterically funny. I've even had people in the studio, when I had suddenly crawled across the floor, say, 'Not another of those.' And that's the lighter side."
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