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Quotes / Classically Trained Extra

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Live-action TV

Michael Dorn: [imitating Patrick Stewart] "Fifteen years in the RSC, is this where I am?" And as, you know, time went on, he'd add another 10 years to the RSC.
Jonathan Frakes: [imitating ship shaking] "25 years in the Royal Shakespeare Company for THIS?!"
Star Trek: The Next Generation, 25th Anniversary reunion

"What's wrong, Captain Picard?" "WHAT'S WRONG?! I'm a serious Shakespearean actor! And I'm talking to the ambassador of the fucking worm people!"


It is always said of (Patrick) Stewart that his strength as an actor is his ability to deliver bad dialogue with utter conviction. I say it is time to stop encouraging him. Here's an idea: Instead of giving him bad dialogue, why not give him good dialogue, and see what he can do with that?


David Warner: So, what do I do the rest of the film?
Harry S. Plinkett (as Shatner): You stand there.
Warner: ...Okay, well, do I say anything then?
Plinkett: No.... at one point you might look concerned, or somethin'. But that's about it.
Warner: Okay, so let me get this straight: I have no lines. I just stand here. Well, what's my motivation?
Plinkett: I dunno. Pretend you're on line somewhere.
Warner: You mean in a queue?
Plinkett: Yeah, you're in a queue. You're in a queue to get in the tube— look, get the fuck outta my face, I'm busy!
Warner: (Well, this film's a bit rubbish, ain't it?)

Web Original

"The new trailer has everything from staged fighting to staged yelling to staged wine throwing to staged glass throwing to Harry Hamlin looking like he’s thinking to himself, 'And to think, I was on fucking Mad Men'."

When actors state that they are sick of being reminded of a single part they have played in a show like Doctor Who at every stage door they ever walk out of I don’t necessarily think they are being ungrateful. For an actress with a distinguished career like Sheila Hancock it must be galling to be constantly prompted that she was once dolled up like a drag queen and hammed her way through three dodgy episodes of a television show that was succumbing to illness and about to drop dead.

you should consider yourself lucky that you can't hear the hate in William Shatner's voice when he reads this god damn script. Shatner is reading these lines like they're on a ransom note that didn't get to him until his kidnapped children were already killed.

Chris: The exchange between Luthor and Superman is actually one of the high points of the movie.
David: It’s almost like the energy of Superman I leaking through in some sort of alchemical accident. But, I mean, you could probably just stick those two characters by those actors in a bare room and ask them to ad-lib for 90 minutes and it would have been an insanely better film than this.

An interesting thing about Roger Moore’s Bond films is the fact that the best baddies tended to pop up in the worst films...Part of me wonders why Michael Lonsdale got landed with some of the best lines of the Moore era, while Christopher Walken and Christopher Lee found themselves cast in two of Moore’s weakest films.

I was really excited when I heard Kal Penn was going to be in it, because I just assumed he was going to be Jimmy Olsen — which I still maintain would’ve been awesome. Instead, he’s the guy who drops the crystal in the water, and I don’t think he has a single actual line in the entire movie. Such a waste.
Chris Sims on Superman Returns

Underrated actors Lance Henriksen and Paul Winfield turn in fun performances as the two policemen who are trying to crack the case of the recent spate of murders going on. While they don't have that much to do in the movie, their performances are very memorable, from the funny conversations they have to their constant bickering, one just gets the general idea that these guys have been friends for a long time. Like [Michael] Biehn and [Linda] Hamilton however, it's just too bad these guys haven't had the best careers.
David Hollands on The Terminator

Director Seagal: OK, Michael, you’re the Bad Guy. So act really, like, Evil here.
Caine: But look, Steven. You know that, in my character’s mind, he’s not the bad guy. To him, he’s the hero, see. He believes totally in what he’s doing, and in his right to do it. In fact, to him, your character is the bad guy, not he.
Director Seagal, after staring at Caine for a very long time without changing expression: OK, Michael, you’re the Bad Guy. So act really Evil here. Oh, and more Awe when he sees me enter the room.
Jabootu on On Deadly Ground

Poor Ewan McGregor. No one told him how terrible these movies were going to be. Look at him. He's the only one who doesn't know. Even R2 is like'' 'Beep boop, horseshit script, boop, whistle'.

Professor Trelawney: I used to be a Shakespearean actor.
Rest of Adult Cast: Join the club.

Unleashing nuclear hellfire and killing thousands of innocent people? I’ll drink to that. I’d be extremely shocked if it took Max von Sydow more than a day to film this part. I’d compare his take on the role to the likes of Donald Pleasence, Telly Savalas, et al, but he’s given so little to do here that there’s really no point.

His take on Blofeld is perhaps rightfully muted compared to his iconic predecessors (until he’s forced to go over-the-top, complete with a big fucking scar on his face—that’s right, Spectre is an origin story for Blofeld’s scar)’s just too bad a bulk of his screen time is dedicated to delivering tedious, expository monologues. So much of his performance is an exercise in dryly recounting the connect-the-dots plot that he doesn’t have much time to craft Blofeld into an actual character. I spent most of the time hoping he’d survive, if only to let Spectre serve as a mulligan.

Oh, Ben! Ben, Ben, Ben… I understand the need to cash in every once in a while. Heck, even Robert De Niro has now whored himself out more than a hooker on Van Buren. But you can do better than Thunderbirds and Bloodrayne. Find a nice Vin Diesel movie to humiliate yourself in but this has got to stop.

Web Video

You know you're watching a weird movie when it's got Christopher Lee dressing up in rave clothes so he can go undercover and investigate werewolves. This man is a master detective, he just vanishes into the crowd.

Mike: I see more Frances McDormand in Transformers no. 3.
Jay: Well, I think that was a response to a lot of the complaints that the first two movies got from teenage boys. They said, "Y'know, those movies are fun, but they really need more of the woman from Fargo."
Half in the Bag watches the Transformers Film Series (simultaneously)

Real Life

Montalban, who I consider to be a very, very, very good actor... I looked at this and thought, ‘Well he should be playing Lear, he shouldn’t just be playing a guy who thinks he’s Lear.’
—Producer Nicholas Meyer on the making of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The View From the Bridge: Memories From Star Trek and Beyond

You know what I did this morning? I played the voice of a toy. Some terrible robot toys from Japan that changed from one thing to another. The Japanese have funded a full-length animated cartoon about the doings of these toys, which is all bad outer-space stuff. I play a planet. I menace somebody called Something-or-other. Then I'm destroyed. My plan to destroy Whoever-it-is is thwarted and I tear myself apart on the screen.
Orson Welles on his career-defining role in The Transformers: The Movie

I went from a movie star playing leads to a bit player doing one line here and one line there. The rest of the week I would be hanging around Fells Point waiting to come in and do my one line. When I asked if they could write more for me to do, they’d say “You’re doing great. You’re the anchor of the show!" “Anchor? I’m an actor, let me out!” I finally ended up writing for the show and gave myself something to do… Nine years of not acting."

I’m in my 50s and there are fewer roles, and it's a very, very tricky marketplace for a ton of reasons. The studios make fewer movies. Residuals are down across the board, so actors are making less from their residual stream. The bottom line is that a lot of fancy-dancy names are now working for a lot less money, so it's a lot harder to get the nice jobs.

It was weird, you know, because none of us could believe our eyes when we finally saw who else had been cast. These guys are all great actors; Stanley Tucci, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Bruce Greenwood. We kind of all looked at each and said "you too?"

People who end up playing housepets on children's television shows always have Shakespearean training.
Lore Sjoberg, The Book of Ratings, The Neighborhood of Make-Believe

There's no complicated reason why Peter Davison carried on working and all the others disappeared into a retirement home... He's got the most awful lines to say, but he's doing it brilliantly. My memory of Doctor Who is based on bad television that I enjoyed at the time.


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