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Gene Wilder Quotes
Gene Wilder Quotes
"A lot of comic actors derive their main force from childish behavior. Most great comics are doing such silly things; you'd say, 'That's what a child would do." "Actors fall into this trap if they missed being loved for who they really were and not for what they could do - sing, dance, joke about - then they take that as love." "And after three sessions like that, they took out seven million stem cells. Then you go into the hospital in isolation and they do - I did four - I had full body radiation in the morning and late afternoon four days, and then heavy chemo for five days." "And in 'Frisco Kid' and in 'The Woman in Red' I had to ride badly. Then you have to really ride well in order to ride badly." "And so I think that if you want to say you're a method comic actor, yes - without getting into what method is - but a Stanislavsky comic actor, yes. Because I'm trying to do it the same I would." "And that's not an easy task, being in bed with a sheep, especially if you make the sheep nervous. I'm not going to go on, if you know what I'm talking about." "And the people who made it had predicted that it would do something like $2.2 or $2.7 million domestically. Well, it did $40 million the first round or $60 million first round and $40 million the second round. It was an amazing film." "And then he said would you like to play that part in the movie? I said absolutely. He said all right, all right. So don't take anything in the fall without checking with me." "And they wait until those stem cells start to grow. And I'm one of the lucky guys. They said you're the poster boy because everything took. What I'm saying is you can't guarantee. In my case, it did work." "Anyone with cancer and their families and their friends, free of charge, to get emotional support - emotional and psychological support." "But the acting process - create a human being - was real, not only to the audience, but real to me." "Every time I was happy it (God) seemed to rear - well, I say his ugly head, but I don't know if it was a he or a she." "Gig Young got into the costume, make-up, on the way to the jail cell, and foam started coming out of his mouth. He was on the wagon suddenly and withdrawing. And Mel thought he was acting some method acting. He said good, keep doing what you're doing." "Gilda went to the wellness community when she was here. Her cancer therapist Joanna Bull urged her to go, and she didn't want to go. And she finally went. She came home singing and dancing. She says, it's wonderful." "He was a very shy man. But, like a lot of us, when the camera's rolling, he's not shy. Or if he had one too many to drink." "I am desperately in love with a woman named Karen Wilder, who happens to be my wife of 10 years." "I didn't set out to shock. I said, 'Just tell the truth' and see how it comes out. I used to be a milksop, beat around the bush, not speak frankly. Now everyone says, 'Don't ask Gene, because he'll tell you." "I didn't want to have to get up and make the speech. Sure, I wanted to win, if they had said, I was in England doing something and - accepting on behalf of Gene Wilder, here's Mel Brooks, or something. You know, that would have fine." "I don't drink that much, but when he went to a party and he was nervous, 20th Century Fox is giving a big whatever, he'd start shouting things out, and cursing and - but he was an angel. He was almost literally an angel on earth." "I don't mean to sound - I don't want it to come out funny, but I don't like show business. I love - I love acting in films. I love it." "I had one brave contribution to make to Gilda. I was so incredibly dumb, it was hard to believe, because I thought she was going to pull through until three weeks before she died." "I have a doctor friend, and I said what is neurotic to you? And he said my definition is trying to correct a wrong." "I hope this comes out right - but it's a little bit like sex, you know. When you meet someone and the chemistry is there, you don't know why, you don't know how, but it's there. I met him the night before we did our first scene. We hugged." "I just say, well, go about your business. Do the best you can. You'll probably get another job, but anyway, go." "I kept thinking about that large doctor, sweaty, who brought my mother home after the first heart attack. He said, 'Don't ever get angry at your mother, that might kill her.' That set off my demons I think." "I like - it's not that I want to be someone different from me, but I suppose it partly is that. I love creating a character in a fantastical situation, like Dr. Frankenstein, like Leo Bloom, a little caterpillar who blossoms into a butterfly. I love that." "I love acting, especially if it's a fantasy of some kind, where it's not just realistic, it's not naturalism. I love acting in the '30s, too. I mean 1930s." "I love doing the murder mysteries. But I know I'll always be better and happier when I'm doing a comedy." "I love movies because you have another shot at it. Let me try something else. And you try something completely different. And I love that part of it." "I love the art of acting, and I love film, because you always have anther chance if you want it. You know, if we - if this isn't going well, you can't say - well, you could say - let's stop. Let's start over again, Gene, because you were too nervous." "I never improvised in a film before. In classes I did, but not in a film. But with him, I always improvised. Because if you don't you're not going to be anywhere, not with Richard." "I never thought of it as God. I didn't know what to call it. I don't believe in devils, but demons I do because everyone at one time or another has some kind of a demon, even if you call it by another name, that drives them." "I never thought she was going to die. I always thought she'd pull through. I suppose it was divine ignorance because when she saw that I wasn't afraid she was going to die, it took a lot of fear away from her. She told me that." "I never used to believe in fate. I used to think you make your own life and then you call it fate. That's why I call it irony." "I said, honey, just let them decide. Yes, I know. But I got to get out of here. I've got to get out. She knew that she wouldn't be coming back up in the same form. And when she did come back up, she was on a morphine drip. So she knew it." "I started writing, just casually writing, the ironies in my life - the strange accidents that turned the corner of where my life was going to." "I told them everything that was wrong with the script. And they said we agree with you. I said, I'll tell you what. I'll write, start from scratch. I'll write the first 20 pages. You like it, I'll go on. You don't like it, you don't owe me a penny. And we'll part friends." "I wanted to do - there was this film called 'Magic' that Anthony Hopkins did. And the director wanted me. The writer wanted me. Joe Levine said no, I don't want any comedians in this." "I write funny. If I can make my wife laugh, I know I'm on the right track. But yes, I don't like to get Maudlin. And I have a tendency towards it." "I'd like to be like the catcher in the rye and catch them and tell them. That's an impossible task, but maybe some actor reading it will say, 'That's like me." "I'd like to do a comedy with Emma Thompson. I admire her as an actress so much. I love her. And I didn't know it until recently that her whole career started in comedy." "I'm in complete remission. I'm alive and well." "I'm not a comedian. But that's what it needed, was someone who was trying to be funny, but was really tragic." "I'm not so funny. Gilda was funny. I'm funny on camera sometimes. In life, once in a while. Once in a while. But she was funny. She spent more time worrying about being liked than anything else." "I've turned down lots of movies, but none that I felt sorry about. Some that I wish I had done, that I wasn't offered." "If Richard had read the book, or had someone read the book to him, I think he would be not at all upset by anything that I said about it. He could say, 'I wish he hadn't told that story that I was late to the 'Stir Crazy' set." "If you ask any of the people on the crew or the cast, ask Sidney Poitier, it wasn't a secret. But all the loving things - when we first met, the respect we had for each other - I hope we still do. He's the one who taught me to improvise in front of a camera." "It was like a flower that's blooming. I went out a second time with her to a restaurant with a tape recorder. And the third time I said leave the tape recorder at home. And that's time I was in love. And then we got married 10 years ago." "Karen isn't like that at all. She's always - well, she's much healthier than I am. I mean emotionally." "Marty Feldman carried a cigarette lighter around his chest. He smoked three packs a day. He was in Mexico doing a film, locked the door. And he got a heart attack and no one could get in. And when they got to him, it was too late." "Mel wanted me to come during previews. I thought it was magnificent. I was scared. I thought, 'I'm not going to like it, I'm not going to like it.' As soon as the curtain went up and the first laugh came, I said, 'This is going to be great.' And it was." "Mike Medavoy called me and said, I think I can sell this. What do you think about Mel directing? I said, yes, I'd love it. But you're whistling Dixie, because he won't direct something he didn't conceive of." "No, not out - well, sometimes - and 'Young Frankenstein' they laughed out loud and ruined a few takes." "Oh, she died very well. But she wanted to - she wanted to get out. On the day - the last time I saw her alive and talking, she was on a gurney with her skirt and blouse on. They wanted to take her down and she tried to jump off the gurney. I got to get out of here, I got to get out of here." "She had symptoms, fogginess, fell asleep while we were driving in a car - she wasn't driving; I was driving - and then wake up and she was fine. She said, oh, I've got to see a doctor, and we went to a doctor." "She said the words that changed my life. You go ahead, Darling. I know you love me. You know I love you. You're awfully tired - we were going to go to France - go and get a rest, and I'll be here when you get back." "She takes me into this room to see what I could get from lip reading - speech reading they call it - by looking at a monitor. And I looked at the monitor and it's her face on the monitor and then they did just her lips. And I guessed." "She'd pull herself out of bed, put a little make-up on, put a skirt and blouse on, be driven to the studio, record her book, come home and get back into bed." "So I wrote 20 pages for Richard and me. They said that's the film we want to make. I said now I've got to do my research." "So my idea of neurotic is spending too much time trying to correct a wrong. When I feel that I'm doing that, then I snap out of it." "That's what I was waiting for for two-and- a-half years. And when I got to France, I said, well, this is crazy. I should marry this girl. You know, she's grown up. In the two-and- a-half years, she's grown up." "The big catalyst was seeing my sister, when I was 11, doing a dramatic recital. When I saw her on the stage and everyone listening to her so patiently, quietly, that's all I wanted: for someone to look at me and listen to me, but in some beautiful and artistic way." "The only thing I said was my definition of Pryor as sullen was because you never knew with him. He was so sweet, at times angelic, and he would become so morose, and you'd say, 'Why, with all that talent?" "The other thing he said, which surprised me, was, 'Try to make her laugh.' I had never tried consciously to make anyone laugh before, I was 8 years old. I think that was a small catalyst." "There were some things that were too hard, yeah. I didn't talk about the last parts of Gilda because it was too painful, and I didn't want the book to be about that, only about how it related to what I was talking about. If I left anything else out, it would be to spare feelings." "They give you a day of rest and then they come in with that bag of stem cells thawed out. They sing happy birthday, and they inject these new stem cells into your blood stream again. And you're miserable for about 10 days." "They thought she had Epstein Bar Virus, and the doctor said, if there is such a thing. For 10 months, she went undiagnosed. And then finally she was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer." "They were offering him $250,000 or $25,000 or whatever, to direct this. And he said, yes. He called me. He said, what are you getting me into? I said, nothing you don't want to get into. I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. Next day they, we signed Mel." "Three weeks before she died, I could see that she wasn't going to make it. And she knew it too. And she recorded her book, 'It's Always Something' three weeks before she died because she wanted it to be on record." "We called it - I called it Gilda's Club, because, that's what Gilda would like. And it's a wonderful place. And it took - I thought it would take a year, a year-and-a-half. It took about four-and-a-half years to get the money to get it going." "We did the first scene, and he said something, and I something - and it wasn't in the script - after the camera started rolling. And it went very well. And he said, did you know you were going to say that? I said, no. Did you know you were going to say that? He said, no." "We went fishing on the surf, came back, had dinner, and then Anni and I sat down and he read 30 pages of 'Springtime for Hitler.' That's what it was called then." "Well, that was with Richard, and I don't think it would have happened to me alone if I didn't have Richard." "Well, then he said would you like to come to Fire Island with Anni and me? I'll read you the first 30 pages of a movie I'm writing. And I went to Fire Island." "Well, you know, success is a terrible thing and a wonderful thing. If you can enjoy it, it's wonderful. If it starts eating away at you and they're waiting for more from me, or what can I do to top this, then you're in trouble. Just do what you love. That's all I want to do." "What I meant by child in that case was the love that you were looking for that you didn't find when you were a kid. You're fooled by the applause into thinking that they love me. They really, really love me." "Whatever anyone might have read in the book, that was only the start. It got much worse after that. It was very difficult." "Woody makes a movie as if he were lighting 10,000 safety matches to illuminate a city. Each one is a little epiphany: topical, ethnic, or political." "You sit in a chair. They hook you up, this arm, this arm. You watch television or read a book. They draw out the blood, go through a machine, extract stem cells, and then they put the blood back in, not the stem cells, just the blood." "You'd think that it would be impossible, and yet it saved me. She was upstairs, throwing up. I'm trying to write 'See No Evil, Hear No Evil' and take a break every 20, 30 minutes to see how she was doing."