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Stephen Daldry's Quotes

Stephen Daldry profile photo

Born: 1960-05-02
Profession: Director
Nation: English
Biography of Stephen Daldry

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In issues of recent ethnic wars and genocides - particularly if you look at Darfur - one of the most remarkable things is our inability to act, still, despite the years of analyzing and re-analyzing what it does to subsequent generations. We still find a massive inability to step in and step up to the plate, when genocide is happening as we speak.

Tags: Act, Speak, Step

Is it appropriate still for a German to have a gun? I only use that as an example of a country that's still deeply involved and engaged in the conversations about how to come to terms with the past. Certainly for that country, it's not forgotten.

Tags: Country, Gun, Past

It's disingenuous to say that criticism doesn't get to you or you don't hear it or that you ignore it. When everybody says, 'That's crap. I hated that,' you hear it. But it's much, much worse when they're right: when you feel that it is an absolute piece of tosh. I made the film I wanted to make, so you just have to find a way of getting over it.

Tags: Getting, Ignore, Wanted

Most theater methodology is predicated on the idea of repeated actions. That's what you work toward. Having the actor repeat the same moment eight times a week. In a film, it's getting that one moment right.

Tags: Idea, Moment, Work

The great fun of doing new plays is that people have no idea what's going to happen next. That goes quite soon, as people start talking about it, and the only way you can keep hold of that is genuinely to keep changing it.

Tags: Fun, Great, Happen

The really successful work in England tends to be working-class writers telling working-class stories. The film industry has been slow to wake up to that, for a variety of reasons. It still shocks me how few films are written or made in England about working-class life, given that those are the people who go to movies.

Tags: Life, Movies, Work

The truth of the matter is, every film is imperfect. It's the nature of the beast. One of the things that people ask me all the time is, what's the difference between theater and film, and one of the biggest differences is, in the theater you always get another go.

Tags: Nature, Time, Truth

There are a few writers that one has a relationship with that means, basically, you do whatever they say. One is Caryl Churchill, and the other is David Hare.

Tags: Few, Means, Whatever

Well, there are three different processes of making a film, of course. They're sort of re-written three times. You write it to start with, and then you shoot it and you re-write it while shooting and you sort of re-write it as you edit.

Tags: Making, Start, Write

With journalism, films always have to be to do with some personal statement of your own. As a general rule, I resist that. In the States, a question that kept coming up was this: 'How can you, as a man, talk about three women?'

Tags: Personal, Talk, Women

Actually, to be honest, this is a useful time to not be knowing what I'll be doing in 2013 or 2014, because really, for the last however many years, I've known what I've been doing for years and years ahead. You get into a cycle of non-reflection, and that gets a bit scary.

Tags: Honest, Last, Time

As soon as I know how to do something, I usually get bored with it.

Tags: Bored, Soon

I always say, 'I really need to take a break.' It's three days in and I'm getting pretty bored.

Tags: Bored, Getting, Pretty

I am, in fact, Superman. Every morning I wake up and go into a telephone booth and change my costume, and then go to work.

Tags: Change, Morning, Work

I categorically resist this idea that films are supposed to be autobiographical and the only stories you tell are about your own life.

Tags: Idea, Life, Tell

I have never been motivated by money in my life. You can't make choices based on what the financial return might be.

Tags: Life, Might, Money

I would love to do something for TV... I wanna do 'Kavalier & Clay' on HBO as an eight-parter. It'll be so much better as a series, honestly.

Tags: Love, Series, Tv

One of the great joys of my job is that you spend a huge amount of time investigating different areas of literature.

Tags: Great, Job, Time

Ring up your parents and ring up your kids and tell them that you love them.

Tags: Love, Parents, Tell

There has been one defining production for me in each decade.

Tags: Decade, Defining, Production

They're a redefinition of boredom... the most important thing you need to know about an awards show is where is the nearest smoking opportunity.

Tags: Boredom, Show, Smoking

When I got married, my mother was very surprised. She said: 'What on earth is going on? I thought you were gay?'

Tags: Gay, Mother, Thought

You go through a process of refinement and getting rid of the excesses of your early youth in terms of your excitement about what theatre can do.

Tags: Getting, Theatre, Youth
Much more quotes by Stephen Daldry below the page.

At school, I decided I wanted to be a director and then I went out and spent the rest of my adult life trying to be a director. It was really clear to me. So in that sense I was very lucky.

Tags: Life, School, Trying

England is strictly class-based. What's surprising is how many films are still made with a load of people in silly frocks running around gardens and talking in middle-class accents.

Tags: Films, Silly, Talking

Every now and then I have to teach directing. The thing about the theatre is that the most important thing you can do as a director is to make sure that everybody is in the same world - you have to create the world and make sure everyone buys into it.

Tags: Everyone, Sure, Theatre

I love changing. I hate it when people try to box me in to a relationship or in a work context. Any situation where I feel boxed in freaks me out. And I feel the need to reinvent myself or I'll get bored.

Tags: Hate, Love, Work

I love test screenings. Some directors don't, I know. But I love it. I think it's because I come from the theatre and in the theatre, previews are where you really have to listen to the audience and really feel how they're responding. I found our test screenings incredibly useful.

Tags: Found, Love, Theatre

I never want to make a film. I don't wake up in the morning going, 'Ooh, I'd really love to be on set making a film today'. I'm aware that other contemporary film directors perceive film-making as what they do, as what they have to do. But I would hope that I am more catholic in my tastes.

Tags: Hope, Love, Morning

I spent a little time in Germany as a schoolboy learning German, and it's a country I knew very well, spent a lot of time in. I knew the history very well. I've always wanted to do a piece of work about the post-war period, of one sort or another.

Tags: History, Time, Work

I think it's absolutely fascinating that in Berlin the parliament can discuss actively the role of their soldiers in Afghanistan because is it still possible, literally, for a German soldier to take up arms.

Tags: Possible, Soldier, Soldiers

I'm a theatre person, that's who I am. I'm happy to make sojourns into the world of movies but I'm basically a theatre director that potters off and does a couple of movies.

Tags: Happy, Movies, Off

I'm not really a director for hire. You read these scripts and go, 'This is a really great script, but Paul Greengrass would make this so much better than me.' I usually say, 'I know who would be good for this. It's not me.'

Tags: Good, Great, Read

I've never been to Hollywood. I can count the number of times I've been to Los Angeles on my hands. I've never made a movie there and I've never been there for working reasons. The only reason to go there is for silly awards shows.

Tags: Reason, Times, Working

If I wanted to work financially, I would have made a series of different choices. I do get offered lots of movies which you could make a lot of money out of. And I always say, 'Why would I do that, when someone else could do it much better than me? Why would I want to do an action picture? Why?'

Tags: Money, Movies, Work