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Peter Mullan's Quotes

Peter Mullan profile photo

Born: 1959-11-02
Profession: Actor
Nation: Scottish
Biography of Peter Mullan

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I'm not a huge kind of visual director. For me, it's all about the acting. There's no greater buzz than working with actors and seeing what they can do and how much they can improve on what you'd written. That will always be on the top of my list. It's a real privilege to see it live before anyone else sees it.

Tags: Acting, Real, Working

If I'm at home on my own and the writing isn't going well, I clean my house. And there have been times in the past few years when my house has looked really clean.

Tags: Home, Past, Writing

If you are the kind of guy who draws in 100 million people to see his film, you've got every right to be paid accordingly, but I qualify as a character actor. I don't put a bum on a seat.

Tags: Character, Film, Put

If you go into a bank or a shop and you want them to believe that you're going to shoot them, that's an acting exercise. If you want to turn to someone else who's as tooled up as you are and persuade them to put their knife down because you'll use your knife, that's an acting exercise. Nine out of 10 delinquents are frustrated actors.

Tags: Acting, Put, Someone

In bringing the subject of religious oppression to a wider audience, I didn't just want to kick the Catholic Church but to poke a finger in the throat of theocracy and to let it be known that people shouldn't tolerate this anymore.

Tags: Church, Known, Religious

In Scotland, we're a colony in more ways than one. So when directors come up to work, there's a very particular way they want Scotland to look like and to behave like.

Tags: Behave, Ways, Work

It takes a very strong brain to resist the absolutes, the myths that the media and the politicians peddle - the idea that if you are too kind, where does it all end? That not to help someone is somehow a good idea.

Tags: End, Good, Strong

It's not so much that I want to direct but that I have to. When I write something it terrifies me that if I give it to someone else and it doesn't turn out as it could have done, I'd feel as if I'd orphaned my baby.

Tags: Done, Give, Someone

Most actors I know come from a screwed up background, so it makes sense that if you can walk on to a space and recreate your reality, then that's the place that will become very dear.

Tags: Become, Place, Reality

No hard guy's not scared when another hard guy's knife is coming at you. You're scared, obviously, but you've to act less scared than he is. It's who is going to act less scared.

Tags: Another, Hard, Less

Part of the reason why movie bosses are so obsessed with crime movies is because they know that world and the criminals. And that's what they are - they would not hesitate to act illegally to achieve profit and gain.

Tags: Movies, Reason, Why

Part of the reason why so many actors lose the plot when they go over to America is that they become part of an industry, so that's why they don't want to play weak, bad or vulnerable guys - because that's not sellable; that diminishes their profit margin.

Tags: America, Bad, Why

The Vatican has tried to condemn 'The Magdalene Sisters' as a pack of lies and that I've made it all up - I wish I was that good a dramatist - and in terms of public relations, that was the daftest thing they ever did.

Tags: Good, Lies, Wish

The Vatican is like a huge kind of magician's club. The more you look into it the more awful it becomes. And they're laughing at us. That's when I get angry.

Tags: Angry, Club, Laughing

The working-class aspirations are worse now than when I was a kid - and it was pretty bad when I was a kid. Reality TV means they are being told they are no longer a working class, they're an underclass. Young lassies want to be Jordan or Jade, but very few aspire to be the next Germaine Greer.

Tags: Bad, Pretty, Reality

There's a part of bohemia I love. The lack of prejudice, the lack of aggression, I love the lack, for the most part, of competitiveness. It's more peaceful.

Tags: Lack, Love, Peaceful

There's no such thing as an actor giving positive criticism to a director. The minute you say 'Don't you think it would look nicer...', that director's going to hate your guts. Particularly if it's a good idea.

Tags: Good, Hate, Positive

Watching people just look out for themselves, I think, is extremely interesting. It goes right back to something like 'The Beggar's Opera' - the underbelly of society, how it operates, and how that reflects their so-called betters.

Tags: Goes, Society, Themselves

Sometimes you have to confront your demons and sometimes even let them loose to genuinely find a place where you can gain some understanding.

Tags: Demons, Place, Sometimes

There are some people who walk into a room and they oxygenate it, by their very being there's fresh air. Then there are those who come in with the smell of death and they suck the life out.

Tags: Death, Life, Walk

A lot of actors aren't particularly good directors. And they're not particularly good with other actors. That's kind of a fallacy.

Tags: Directors, Fallacy, Good

A script is utterly useless in and of itself; it's only of any worth the minute your actors, your designers, your directors come into being.

Tags: Minute, Useless, Worth

I don't like the way some actors, when playing a nasty character, will try to grab hold of something good about them.

Tags: Character, Good, Try

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Much more quotes by Peter Mullan below the page.

I find the world more absurd now than I did when I was a kid.

Tags: Absurd, Kid

I know virtually no one of my age who can remember a hug, or a smile from their father, or a 'Let's go play football.'

Tags: Age, Father, Smile

In terms of popular cinema, 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' is as near perfection as I can think of.

Tags: Cinema, Perfection, Popular

In the acting game, you spend a long time fighting against what the director perceives you to be. And half the time the directors don't know.

Tags: Fighting, Game, Time

Just in relation to women, it's not that huge an imaginative leap to see the connection between the Taliban and the Catholic Church.

Tags: Between, Church, Women

Life is much weirder than fiction; nothing's more absurd.

Tags: Absurd, Fiction, Life

The films that I really enjoy now are films that are made by, for wont of a better word, mavericks.

Tags: Enjoy, Films, Word

Truth is I don't think God on a daily basis. I think politics, science.

Tags: God, Politics, Truth

What point is there to all the wealth and power that America may have if they can't look after its own?

Tags: America, May, Power

When things are really painful, I turn it into comedy.

Tags: Comedy, Painful, Turn

You have to just go with your imagination, where your instinct takes you.

Tags: Instinct, Takes

As a dad I'm emotionally dedicated but I'm not 'figuring out their life plans'. But of course as I'm telling them about the rights of wrongs I'm thinking back to what I was like at their age.

Tags: Age, Dad, Life

Every film I've ever worked on, and that includes 'Braveheart' and 'Trainspotting,' I've always witnessed a director having a breakdown. Every director will have a day, without exception, where they just can't do it anymore, they don't know what to say to their cameraman, their cast. It's the sign of real, physical exhaustion.

Tags: Film, Real, Worked

I did 'Deathly Hallows' so my kids could get on the 'Harry Potter' set. They met Daniel Radcliffe, who was a darling and couldn't have been nicer to them so I'm a hero right now.

Tags: Darling, Hero, Kids

I guess I'm part of the art house, but we really have to shake up our ideas, because we're kind of self-parodying ourselves. We go places commercial cinema doesn't go, but sometimes it's to our own detriment.

Tags: Art, Ideas, Sometimes

I hate it when something is set in 1967 and every piece of furniture was made in 1967. No! If it's set in 1967, people have furniture given to them by their grandmother, which she bought in 1932!

Tags: Hate, Piece, She

I love acting. It's the one job I know of where you can go in, go through complete catharsis - emotionally, physically sometimes and mentally - and at the end of the day say, 'See you in the pub, guys.'

Tags: End, Job, Love

I wanted to dismantle the bollocks that there's a military structure to a gang, with a leader, second leader, the good looking one, first babe, second babe. It's far more arbitrary than that and their values shouldn't be romanticised. They aren't something you want to sign up to.

Tags: Good, Leader, Wanted

I was on the set of 'Braveheart' and my mate says to me, 'Do you think this film will be any good?' And I really meant this, too, I told him 'Let me put it this way - It won't win any awards.' Cut to: five Oscars.

Tags: Good, Him, Win

I'm not a career filmmaker. I just like to do things that I still kind of believe in and because of that you just never know what's going to happen next. It doesn't matter if it's been a good year or a bad year: next year, there's no telling what it will be like.

Tags: Bad, Career, Good