‘Basmati Blues’ deals with a great social issue, GMOs, but it’s told through love and song and dance.
‘Short Term 12’ was such a marathon. It’s like trying to convey the same emotional depth as ‘The Gambler’ but with less time and a fingernail’s worth of the budget.
A big producer offered me the part of the pretty girl that waits at home for the guy, and I couldn’t do it. That’s not a story I ever want to tell.
A lot of stuff I was reading in mythology was about how women used to be taught to be wild. The wild woman was an essence that existed in the world. We’re still coming back from many years of us being chiseled out to be identical and quiet.
Acting isn’t like being an athlete. There’s no real quantifiable measure. It’s just a bunch of people feeling things.
All of the movies that last, that you return to, the movies that struck you as a kid and continue to open up to you 10 years later and 10 years after that – those are the movies I want to make. Those things are eternal.
Any movie I’ve done, my character has had a secret. Whether it’s in the movie or not, it is usually never and it’s usually not something I tell anybody. It is for me.
Any time I was at Trader Joes, and the person bagging my stuff would be like, ‘Did I go to college with you? How do I know you?’ Then it took awhile, and suddenly people were like, ‘Oh, you are the girl from ‘United States of Tara.’
Anything that keeps me off balance is vital.
As I have had to meet different challenges, I realize I am coming into myself, and whatever I’m wearing is another chance for me to explore a new version of myself.
As an adult, there are technical aspects of filmmaking you understand, like having to pick up a cup on the same line every time.
As much as I love acting, I just want to be a healthy person.
Because we put ourselves in a movie or on TV, then it must mean we want to be completely open to the world. Sometimes, people will run up to you as if this is Disneyland and I’m a character. I understand their point of view, but it’s difficult to explain how terrified it makes me. I’m so nervous.
Each step of the way I’m learning. When I leave an interview, I learn whether I feel, ‘Oh, that was nice,’ or that made me feel like a little piece of me was taken. It’s a line that is always on the edge of being crossed, and once you cross it, what’s next?
Each step of the way, I’m learning. When I leave an interview, I learn whether I feel, ‘Oh, that was nice,’ or that made me feel like a little piece of me was taken.
Even the news, to me, or newspapers, I have a hard time getting into it because it all sucks you into this negative, bad, there-is-no-hope side of it.
Everything is changing all the time, and I’m not going to stress out and spend my entire time chasing something that ultimately doesn’t exist.
For me, ‘Room’ is an opportunity to relive an aspect of my childhood that I hadn’t put a ton of thought into.
For me, the dumbest rule is that you can’t chew gum in school.
For some reason, chewing gum for me gets my brain going.
For the most part, I’ve stayed as far away as possible from high school movies. I just don’t find them to be that relatable to everybody? They become like this: ‘Look at that period of time. Isn’t that interesting?’
Girls in this industry sabotage one another.
Growing up, I just loved movies. It was how I saw the world, which I wanted to learn more about.
I always felt like reality was a bizarre place, and everybody was really good at being normal, and I didn’t know how to do it.
I am becoming more recognisable in some ways, and some aspects of my privacy are going. But there’s an upside: I have more opportunity to tell bigger stories and connect with more people. And I really relish that responsibility.
I believe in what movies say, and I’m not an actor because I want things to be about me. I have no interest – if there was any way for my face to not be in a movie and still be an actor, I would do it.
I can be whoever I want. I can feel however I want.
I can’t help but trip out about how similar my life is to ‘Room.’ It’s me wanting to stay in my own little bubble and remain anonymous and invisible and at the same time needing to step up to this hand that I’ve been given.
I can’t tell you how many times I quit only to realize that when the work has been your life, you don’t really have a life without it.
I didn’t go to prom – I was homeschooled.
I didn’t have a regular school experience and wanted a more abstract way of learning. I started exploring in lots of different creative ways. It gave me the opportunity to travel and play music, so it was good for me.
I didn’t realise how hard it was to be a mom and keep it all together.
I didn’t want to just watch a woman who was getting it right all the time. We’re not perfect.
I don’t deal well with being told what to wear and sit on a mark. It just feels like my soul is being ripped out.
I don’t like being able to be reached. I enjoy my solitude. Even people having my phone number seems like too much.
I don’t live in Los Angeles. I work in Los Angeles, and even that – I audition in Los Angeles; I very rarely film in Los Angeles. I don’t hang out with producers on my off-hours, so I don’t even know what that world is like.
I don’t really have any people in my life who aren’t gypsies.
I don’t take roles that are ‘just another role.’ I’m interested in learning more about myself and about humanity. So it should change you by the time it’s done.
I feel very much aware of my mortality. I’m here, and then I’m not. It’s the same thing with everything else: the movie comes out, and then it’s gone. Everything is changing all the time, and I’m not going to stress out and spend my entire time chasing something that ultimately doesn’t exist.
I find that the projects I enjoy signing up to at the moment are with a director who’s interested in the script – isn’t completely sure what the movie is and isn’t concerned about it. He’s just interested in going on the journey and discovering it.
I found I could perform in front of 200 people, but I would still feel nervous having a one-on-one conversation.
I get uncomfortable and kind of scared sometimes of certain public situations because, since I’ve been on TV or I’ve appeared in some films, people think this boundary between us has been removed, and I owe them something.
I guess I was always an outsider and some kind of anarchist.
I had a tough time fitting in, as I guess most kids do. I felt like school was kind of a grand opportunity to figure yourself out and to figure out what you wanted.
I had collages in my bedroom when I was a teenager.
I have a lot of different influences. Everything from Maroon 5, Gwen Stefani, The Clash, Kanye West – just a lot of different artists.
I have a sister and her name is Mimsy, like from ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ so we’ve got some strange names in our family.
I have no problem talking about how hard it’s been, how broke I’ve been, and how broke I was not even that long ago.
I hope to direct at some point, but I don’t feel the pressure to rush it. I want to really know what it is that I’m doing.
I just don’t understand why more actors aren’t artists.
I just don’t want to stop finding things interesting. I don’t want to ever stop learning. I want to be a weird encyclopedia of bizarre knowledge.
I just really like learning. I have to keep using my brain; otherwise, I get depressed.
I know how to have a conversation, but I’ve never done improv. I’ve never taken improv classes.
I know it’s odd. But when I was getting scuba certified, it was explained very early on that you never get to just strap on a tank and jump into the ocean. You have to know how deep you’re going, and the deeper you go, the less amount of time you stay down there – and it takes longer to get to the surface.
I know that I’m an actor and I guess I could kind of put on an act, but it takes so much more time to be someone you are not. I feel so much better just being comfortable with myself and hopefully girls will accept that.
I know what my dharma is: I’m supposed to be an actor.
I like working, I just don’t like to get involved in the competitiveness of it.
I look at something like ‘Short Term 12,’ and that character has a lot of pain, and I wouldn’t have known how to portray that if I hadn’t experienced pain myself.
I love Grimes.
I love discussing social issues, but I’m not interested in scare tactics. I believe there is a way to bring awareness in tandem with forgiveness and love.
I love exploring the characters that I play, but the reason I sign on for something isn’t the details of the story but the universal message.
I love mythology and folklore, and I respect the time, money, and opportunity that a film gives to an audience. It’s a chance to empathize, reflect, and learn, so I really want to understand before I sign onto a project: ‘What’s the potential of this thing? What are we seeing and learning? What are we empathizing to?’
I love storytelling.
I love to cook, and I’ve just gotten more and more into it over the years, just because it’s the best way to stay creative.
I made three or four different fonts during ‘Short Term 12’ -‘ it was how I’d calm my mind between scenes. I have graph paper and gel pens, and I would do the alphabet: just do ‘a’ over and over again until I got it perfect and then go to ‘b’ and then ‘c’.
I really love learning about animals. I pull from a deck of spirit animal cards. You pull one, and it’s about 50 or 60 different animals, and then that day you read whichever animal you pull. And it kind of gives you insight.
I remembered moving from Sacramento to Los Angeles with my mum when I was seven and my sister was three or four.
I started acting in second grade – my first role was in the Thanksgiving play. I was the Indian chasing the turkey. All the other mom’s encouraged my mom to get me into acting after that. Also, when I saw ‘The Sound of Music’ at Music Circus, I knew I wanted to act.
I started watching so many different types of women, saw all the complexities of them, all the ways and the look and shapes they could be, and I felt it was missing for me in American film. I didn’t see anybody I was watching in movies that felt like me. I felt rather tortured and lonely about it.
I still have moments when I close myself in, but I wouldn’t be on the path that I am with the career that I’ve had if I didn’t have a deep understanding of the sense of my inner freedom.
I think I was always a little sponge as a kid, and I was always looking for more information constantly.
I think if a movie makes you cry, you probably needed to cry.
I think it is the fact that I want to quit that keeps me going. It’s very complicated. But I think part of this whole exploration with every job that I do is, in terms of overcoming fear and by overcoming the fear, I feel so much more complete, and I learn something new about myself.
I think it starts to feel really redundant when you start to do something the same way over and over again. I don’t think it’s good to become so dependent on a certain writing process.
I think it’s always the moments that are the trials that end up making you become a hero in the end. You’re not a hero unless you’ve gone through the trials. And it makes these moments so much sweeter, so much better. I don’t believe in ‘deserved,’ but I might believe in ‘earned.’
I think more things are becoming socially acceptable. I think that just by having more media, whether that’s TV or Internet, we’re able to see more things.
I think my mystery, or any person’s mystery, is the thing that makes them most interesting. I try to be as conscious as possible of keeping that alive.
I think seeing the love between a mother and child is something we can all really relate to. You can remember it from your own childhood perspective.
I think that I write about stuff that others don’t write about. I don’t have a bunch of love songs cuz I don’t really have much boy experience. I just write about what I am actually going through in my real life.
I used to dislike it, but now I like it more and more, feeling small. I like feeling like a little speck.
I want to get better and better at my craft.
I was 3 when I told my mom that I knew what my dharma was and that I wanted to be an actor.
I was born in Sacramento but moved to Los Angeles with my mom and my little sister when I was seven.
I was home-schooled, was always very close with my mom and was very straight-laced and square. I was never the rebellious one, and I never threw hissy fits.
I was home-schooled, was always very close with my mom, and was very straight-laced and square. I was never the rebellious one, and I never threw hissy fits. I was the type of person that would show a Powerpoint presentation about why I should do something versus crying and screaming over it.
I was nervous to even talk to other kids in my class. I would hide in my room when my parents had people over.
I was not a child star. I was more like a young auditioner.
I was the type of person that would show a PowerPoint presentation about why I should do something versus crying and screaming over it.
I wasn’t interested in going to the school dances. I wasn’t interested in going to the football games. What I wanted was to be in my room painting my walls and doing weird stuff. That’s what I wanted and I got to do what I wanted, so that, to me, is my high school experience.
I wasn’t perfect and didn’t have it together. I felt alone. So through acting, I decided to be a shape shifter and with every role become the character instead of being myself. It meant about 10 years of no one knowing I was the same person in every movie.
I watch clothes on other people, and it’s like having a conversation before opening your mouth. For me, clothes come from the mind. They represent what’s happening inside, and as long as they feel honestly like what I’m thinking about and going toward, I’m happy to bounce around and experience different things.
I went through a phase of eating dinner in the shower because I thought, ‘Why don’t we do that?’ Then I realised, ‘Because it doesn’t make any sense.’ It doesn’t save any time, and you can’t really get into a steak and baked potato when there’s water pouring on you.
I won’t do things for money. I can’t.
I won’t do things for money. I can’t. So I’ll hold out and say, in my mind, ‘There’s a really cool diner down the street from my house. They make really good pancakes; I’d be happy doing that.’
I would never say no to comedy.
I’d say there’s more of a difference between a play and movie to TV than there is between TV and movies. But there’s something involved in the repetition of things that require something different from me in order to sign onto a script.
I’m 25. I’m a white, blonde girl in the entertainment industry – it’s so easy to fall into a world of pleasing everyone. I feel more comfortable showing all these odd angles to myself.
I’m a bit of a lurker on Reddit.
I’m always interested in whatever I can do to not look at my phone.
I’m competitive with myself.
I’m extremely interested in art, every form of art, but I’m interested in it when it’s good and interested in it when it’s interesting.
I’m just a person. I’m not anything!
I’m just getting my sea legs. The first time you make them laugh, you’re like, ‘Oh my God – that just happened.’ Then you’re like, ‘I made them laugh. I’ve earned this.’
I’m just interested in all of the different ways that a woman can be. We don’t have enough, when it comes to American film, that shows all of the different complexities and ways that a woman is interesting and mysterious and dynamic and really complicated.
I’m just not in a place in my life where I worry about something unnecessarily.
I’m just trying to enjoy the fact that I have gained some respect from some people whom I respect.
I’m kind of a morbid person. I’m very optimistic, but I also feel like I’m going to die at any moment. I feel very much aware of my mortality. I’m here, and then I’m not.
I’m learning with the older that I get that some feelings are just universal and that I’m not the only one who hates their hair or their life at times.
I’m not a gourmet. I just like the planet.
I’m not really out in the world all that much. I mean, I live with no phone signal, in the hills surrounded by trees, and I have, like, a mom and two baby deer that come by all the time, and my dogs and the squirrels are in a full-on feud every morning.
I’m not sure what it means fully to be a parent.
I’m pretty tough and picky when it comes to actors that I admire.
I’m really interested in mythology and folklore. I’m interested in moralities, why we’re here, faith… all of these bigger questions that I think we can place in films that allow us to question and give us a safe place to feel. Those types of questions can pop up in all sorts of different types of films – drama, comedy, action movie.
I’m really not interested in acting as a facade, I’m interested in it as an emotional expression and as a transcendent experience for an individual. I find that a lot of people, a lot of young actors, haven’t gotten to the point where they’re comfortable being stripped down. They’re still interested in ornate jackets.
I’m so used to swimming with the piranhas. And they’re really not that bad.
I’m trying to find new ways to entertain myself because, if my whole world is doing interviews, I might as well put them in places I’ve wanted to see.
I’ve always felt like I’ve had the ability to choose which roles I was going to play. I don’t think that the industry agreed with me, but I’ve always had a bit of a headstrong attitude of only doing the things that I really believe in and want to explore.
I’ve become more comfortable as time has gone on with saying goodbye because… I’ve been having so many conversations about the cyclical nature of life. It just keeps going.
I’ve been really fortunate that I’ve worked with a lot of strong women who are also mothers.
I’ve been so impressed by the material that’s been sent to me, but I don’t think that’s because it’s me.
If I had my way, I would never do a leading role.
If you’re in somebody’s head for 12 hours a day for four weeks, it’s like your brain actually wires itself to start thinking that way.
In my personal opinion, you miss out on the beauty of the moment if you go in planning what the moment is. It’s like having a vacation too jam-packed with activities. You miss all of the sunsets.
In the past I’ve been very into the falling part, very into the swimming in the dark, deep emotional water. ‘Rampart’ I really went into it and it took me three times as long to get out of that depression as it did to just do the scenes. I had to learn to give it my all and then go home and laugh.
In this industry, where things change so quickly, I’ve found that having no expectations is the happiest way to go.
It can get really messy inside my head, and it’s usually just because everybody can get really self-centered at some point. And so what usually keeps me from quitting is that my reasons for quitting are just lame. I wouldn’t want anybody else to talk to myself the way that I talk to myself.
It seems like people have to get their thrills somehow.
It takes a lot of time and a lot of energy and a lot of focus and dedication to do a film, and it’s just not worth it if you’re going to be miserable for even a day.
It’s really hard to see yourself and to recognize that you are a human being like everybody else. You just think everybody’s judging you.
It’s very rare when we are in control of everything. Sure, I can learn my lines, I can know my character really well, but there are so many factors going on throughout the day.
It’s very scary to allow the world to see you.
Lately, I’ve been getting too much attention with the Met Gala and work going so well that I try to find rejection in my day. I’ll seek out someone on the street or at the farmers’ market and ask for something where I know they’ll say no. No one likes rejection, but it’s real. And I don’t want to lose that feeling.
Laughter is the best way to get over something or get closer to something. It’s one of the things I respect most about Amy Schumer. She’s found a way to get us closer to ourselves and see the ugly side of humanity, but not in a way that’s pointing a finger or that’s angry. She does it in a way that makes us see the absurdity and laugh at it.
Maybe it goes away, but this is the way I’ve chosen to live: I want to go down or rise up as an artist. I don’t want to get swept up in lipstick or whatever the hell.
Maybe you’re not perfect, but you’re willing to actually look at yourself and take some kind of accountability. That’s a change. It might not mean that you can turn everything around, but I think there’s something incredibly hopeful about that.
More and more, my life is going in a direction that is not universal; there’s only a very small group of people who understand.
My dream was always to have a stamp. I feel like people who have a stamp really did something. They really did some acts of service.
My first acting gig was a skit for Jay Leno on ‘The Tonight Show.’ It was this Barbie commercial where I got to pour mud all over Barbie dolls and watch the heads pop off. It was so exciting, a lot of fun.
My identity was tangled up in the parts that I had played since I was a child. I would go through my closet and only see audition clothes: Brie looking older, Brie looking ’60s, Brie looking ’40s, Brie looking younger in the future.
My life is scheduled to the minute. I used to be notoriously hard to get a hold of. But now, it would be irresponsible for me to say, ‘I’m not checking my phone.’
My number-one website is brainpickings.org. It opens you up to different authors and gives insights into the literary world. Reading about the love letters novelist Vladimir Nabokov wrote to his wife Vera blew my mind. Fascinating.
My parents called me the WB frog. Because when I was onstage, I would do this whole song and dance, but if my parents had a family friend over, I would just go hide in the bedroom.
Now I find seriousness to be rather ridiculous.
Singing is an incredible expression and something that is important to me, but where I feel comfortable with how much I reveal about myself is acting. I enjoy the characters, the costumes, the wigs and just being a chameleon.
Sometimes I laugh with my parents, and sometimes I yell at them, and both are therapeutic.
Sometimes you never fully understand why you are attracted to a project until you get deeper into it.
The constant is always mythologies and the very first stories that we have. All of the movies that last, that you return to, the movies that struck you as a kid and continue to open up to you 10 years later and 10 years after that – those are the movies I want to make. Those things are eternal.
The cool thing about designers is they have very specific points of view, and because my inspiration is always changing, it’s easy to go, ‘This feels right.’ But just because I wear fancy dresses on weekends doesn’t mean in my heart of hearts I’m not a jeans and T-shirt person.
The entire process of making a movie is sort of blind trust because, otherwise, all of it just doesn’t make any sense: the fact that we can create any sense of reality or emotion given the arbitrariness of a day.
The hardest pill for me to swallow has been receiving recognition, getting dressed up, going to events. That’s the part that has always terrified me. You can see dozens of photos where I have zero hair and makeup and I’m wearing my own jeans and T-shirt, because I was not that interested in that side of it.
The idea of singing and dancing throughout my life and finding that bliss is something I wanted to express and explore within myself and hopefully spread that idea to other people.
The moments that I feel a huge sense of accomplishment are actually the smaller moments, not really the bigger ones, the televised ones.
The only way I can feel comfortable being an actor is if I can find stories that I believe are important to be shared.
The point to have a child is to introduce them to this planet that is in some ways dying and hopefully, this new generation, these new untainted brains, will be the people to fix some of these things that this generation can’t.
The same myths are told in every culture, and they might swap out details, but it’s still the same story. It’s the same story, but with a different face.
The thing I was always most protective of was my mystery. I worried that if I gave too much of myself, then I would limit the characters I could fall into.
The thing that I love about moviemaking is how many people it takes to make it.
There are so many opportunities to learn things online, like between Coursera and Khan Academy and Duolingo. There are these awesome websites that are kind of these little personal Aristotles. There are times when I’m preparing for a role of some kind, and then I’ll focus on a certain subject.
There is so much to be gained from adulthood! Feelings just become so much deeper. The feeling of sadness and loss is much deeper than when you were a kid, but the feelings of love and happiness have also so much more dimension when you get older… That is what’s so hard and exciting about being a human being.
There isn’t anyone in my life who is going to get upset about how much travelling I have to do or whether or not I’m available for drinks that night.
There were times my mom and I butted heads – over my curfew, over something like that. Whenever we would hit these moments of emotional backfire, she would say, ‘You just don’t understand what it’s like to be a mother… I could never handle losing you.’ I was like, ‘OK, but just, like, chill out.’
There’s nothing I’d say that keeps me awake at night, but I think that – when you’re working with a group of people that are so beyond talented – that, every day, you wake up going, ‘All right, I gotta fight to stay at the same level as these people.’ That’s what makes it fun.
Through film, I realized that was a safe place for me to play. It was a safe place for me to express myself and explore these things that I was afraid to explore in my real life.
To find the courage to do what I want to do for myself has been hard.
Toni Collette has been a huge influence. She was my absolute number one idol, and then I got ‘United States of Tara.’ I was pinching myself. I couldn’t believe the first day I was on set, and I got pages of dialogue of real stuff to do with her.
Trends are not real; they are for the consumer, and once we can get enough of us to free ourselves from it and realize that it’s not about strong-arming our way through, it’s about understanding that we are so needed for the balance of this planet, then I think we can start having changes.
We all enjoy a magic show, but we don’t demand a Q&A afterward explaining how it was done.
We don’t have to live in a world where everyone reacts perfectly the first time around, and if you don’t, everything falls apart, and no one speaks to you ever again.
We had very few things. I had a couple pairs of jeans, a couple shirts. And same with my mom and sister. I think my sister had, like, two toys. We were living off of instant noodles.
We have to choose every day to be active participants. To wake up in the morning and choose this life and make something of it is an incredible thing. Not many living creatures have that option. We have so many opportunities and options – it’s a huge burden, but it’s also the most freeing part of our lives.
We lived in just a studio apartment with just a room and a bed that came out of the wall, and my mom couldn’t afford even a Happy Meal. We ate Top Ramen. I had no toys, and I had, like, two shirts, a pair of jeans, and that was it. But I had my mom to myself, and I remember it being the coolest period of time. I loved it. I really loved it.
We’re coming into a new generation of women where there’s the submissive woman, and then our reaction to it is, ‘No, I’m a man, too, and I’m masculine,’ and then we fight against it, which isn’t the answer, either.
We’ve all recognized the moment when the world has handed us a situation that is bigger than our youth can handle, and we have to grow up in a second. And when you do get to the other side, all it does is take us to this new level of existence that is more beautiful and more complex and, in some ways, more painful.
What ‘Short Term 12’ did was it gave me the confidence to explore my intuition more. The healing process that came for me for making that movie and then sharing it with people – I was able to see, first hand, that movies can have a healing power and they can teach us things.
When I was seven, I had been very vocal about wanting to be an actor. And my mom decided that we would try it out for a couple weeks and come to L.A. from Sacramento.
When I was younger, watching movies, it felt like everything was glossy and beautiful, and I didn’t really relate to it.
When I’m sitting in bed watching ‘Chopped’ – that Brie I know. But I don’t know the Brie in sky-high heels on a carpet with a bunch of people screaming at me. I wonder what she’s like.
When it comes to Nintendo products, I gotta go with the new stuff.
When what you do is play characters every day, all day, I wasn’t really interested in playing a pop star on the weekends.
When you audition for something, and you book it, you think, ‘Okay, well, I got the job, and now I actually have to show up on set and do it.’ So, you show up on set, and you don’t know, ‘Am I going to get swallowed up by these people?’
When you eliminate all stimuli, your brain is like, ‘Finally, we’ve got some space! I want to talk with you about something!’
Whenever you want something that you’re not going to get, suddenly the whiney 3-year-old comes out in you.
Who would I be in ‘Game of Thrones?’ I love Brienne.
Women are such strong, powerful leaders, and a lot of the time, we play it silent.
You could put me on a stage in front of 100 people, and I could do a tap dance, but one-on-one was really difficult for me. And it took me most of my life to learn how to work with that anxiety, to embrace and be comfortable with it.
Your brain is so lovely and so willing to please. It wants to help so much.
Quotes by Brie Larson
Quotes by Brie Larson
‘Basmati Blues’ deals with a great social issue, GMOs, but it’s told through love and song and dance.