Top Quotes from Ellen Barkin

By | July 29, 2016

I guess if you’re lucky enough not to have to pay your rent, then you or I take much more seriously the kind of work that I do, what it takes for me to leave two teenagers of my own and six stepchildren and a husband and four grandchildren.

Ellen Barkin

I eat cheese and salami and a lot of fried chicken. I eat a big bag of oatmeal-raisin cookies every night and I don’t gain weight. I still look OK as long as I’m dressed.

Ellen Barkin

I’m tenacious, I think – I know – and I do also have a quality where if you tell me I can’t do something, if I know I can’t do it I’m the first to raise my hand and say, ‘I can’t do that.’ But there is a big Bronx, New York Jew in me that just says, ‘Really? Really? You think I – yes, I can. I can do it. I can do it.’

Ellen Barkin

It is clear I was never the Pretty Girl. I had my two front teeth knocked out when I was 10 and didn’t fix them until I was 19. I have a crooked smile and a nose that looks like it’s been broken 12 times but never has been. My nose was always red, so people called me Rudolph. My whole face is off-center.

Ellen Barkin

You’ve got a movie where the pro-choice family gives their daughter no choice. The pro-life family murders. What seems to be the good mother, the kind of hippie painter, sweet and cute mother has no love for her daughter really.

Ellen Barkin

Men who love their mothers treat women wonderfully. And they have enormous respect for women.

Ellen Barkin

It’s no stretch to picture me standing next to Al Pacino or Robert De Niro. Those are ethnic New York men. I’m an ethnic New York girl. Everybody has their limitations. I mean, I should never be cast as Queen Elizabeth.

Ellen Barkin

I am to a fault an introspective person. But I am not a reflective person – except for a big mistake, and then I really think about it.

Ellen Barkin

I have no problem being 53. Why would I want to be 35 again? I want to discover who I am in my 50s. And if I tried too hard to look younger, it would seem that I was uncomfortable with who I am, wouldn’t it?

Ellen Barkin

I’m a little more extreme than a homebody. Unless there’s some event I really have to go to, I don’t like to leave my house.

Ellen Barkin

Acting is a matter of giving away secrets.

Ellen Barkin

When I played Leonardo DiCaprio’s mother, they liked that Leo had very hooded eyes and a rounded nose with a ball. They said, They look like they could be mother and son.

Ellen Barkin

When a 12-year-old, a 13-year-old, so desperately wants a baby what she’s looking for is the kind of unconditional love a child gives a mother and a mother gives a child.

Ellen Barkin

People tend to remember my performances, not me.

Ellen Barkin

My husband thinks he’s compromising if we have one cook instead of three.

Ellen Barkin

No more bare bodies in film scenes for me. For my children’s sake, I must stop. The other kids at school keep throwing it up to my children, and they are not kind.

Ellen Barkin

A successful marriage isn’t necessarily one that lasts until you’re dead.

Ellen Barkin

There’s no slow build anymore where you get a little part, then you get a little better part, then a better part, until one day your agent calls you us and says, ‘guess what, you’re a movie star,’ and you say, ‘Thank you!’

Ellen Barkin

I have skinny genes. My mother weighs 90 pounds.

Ellen Barkin

I remember my first friend who got sick. It was 1981, and the disease was called the gay cancer. I don’t think the word ‘AIDS’ came out until ’84. I just remember it being terrifying as more people got sick. We didn’t know how you could catch it, you heard all kinds of crazy things.

Ellen Barkin

I would love to do a television show in New York City.

Ellen Barkin

I guess I worry about weird existential things, like how do we spend our final act. This is a very emotional question. I can’t answer it without crying. I think, You’re 56 years old, what did you do? You raised two good kids. What am I going to do now that is as meaningful as that? I don’t know the answer yet.

Ellen Barkin

I wish I had a little more ambition. But then what would I do? Turn down more roles with more vehemence? Me no likey worky.

Ellen Barkin

I’m Method trained. How is this character like me? What does she think of her mother? What does her mother think of her? It’s like construction, and then, yes, you hope you’re talented and that the universe aligns and captures the kind of laborer’s work you’ve done and whatever else sprinkles down on you, and it’s all caught on film or onstage.

Ellen Barkin

Skinniness is not your friend when you’re over 40. I’d like to gain a good 10 pounds, but I did always have a fat, round face that plagued me when I was young. When I started to make movies, I couldn’t look at myself.

Ellen Barkin

My nickname was Skinabo – ‘skin and bones.’

Ellen Barkin

I was trained by Method acting teachers and we were taught that aside from whatever gift you may or may not have or the level of that gift, that you were obliged to know how to build a table. It’s a craft. It’s like being a ballerina or a violinist.

Ellen Barkin

Would you just strap some toe shoes on and dance ‘Swan Lake?’ No. Would you just put a violin in your hand and – ? No. I felt that way about acting, and I was taught to feel that way. I didn’t come to it on my own.

Ellen Barkin

My first movie was ‘Diner.’ My second movie was ‘Tender Mercies.’ I did really good work.

Ellen Barkin

The way Hollywood portrays mothers – you’re either all good and saint-like, or you’re all bad. And I think the real honesty of motherhood is not given a voice in movies. I miss that as an audience member.

Ellen Barkin

I studied acting for 10 years before I went for an audition. I studied with Lee Strasberg and Actors Studio teachers, and went to the High School of Performing Arts.

Ellen Barkin

But one of the hardest things for me to do was to access anger. I could do it on stage. But when I did it on film it was hard for me. That probably has to do with the intimacy of film. And my own personal issues with expressing anger. So I had to learn how to do that.

Ellen Barkin

‘Normal Heart’ was my most transcendent moment as an actor.

Ellen Barkin

The more powerful you become, some people especially don’t like it that you’re a woman. I stick up for myself.

Ellen Barkin

I just would never go audition, and yet I was in very visible places where people would come looking for actors. I say I’m lazy, though I’m sure if I were in therapy for a lot of years, it would turn out to be a lot more than laziness. After awhile, it was, like, too embarrassing for me not to go on auditions. I had to be humiliated into it.

Ellen Barkin

When they make a woman’s picture, they treat it like a ‘woman’s picture.’ In the ’40s, they didn’t treat Joan Crawford movies like that, but as the big movies of their year. I’m upset that there’s no ‘Terminator’ with a woman in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s role. Because that would make just as much money.

Ellen Barkin

I’m not limited by my gender, and I don’t think anyone else should be either. Because I am the age I am and I sort of rode the crest of the first profound post-suffragette feminists, I wasn’t fighting to burn my bra. Those women fought that fight just seconds before I came into womanhood.

Ellen Barkin

There is a certain androgyny to my appeal.

Ellen Barkin

I’m just curious, who’s more fit to raise a child? A loving committed same-sex couple or an unmarried 15-year-old with no income and really no skills to parent?

Ellen Barkin

With all of the divisiveness that is going on in the country we live in, so much of it is based around just fear of the other. And anyone who does not look like me, walk like me, talk like me, have sex like me, they’re the other and I’m afraid of them. And hopefully we will learn that it’s just not scary. There’s nothing to be afraid of.

Ellen Barkin

I have huge hands and feet. I’m 5’6″” and wear a size 10 shoe.

Ellen Barkin

Old is the new sexy.

Ellen Barkin

I’d never say I’ll never have a facelift, but I’m way too scared of looking like a different person. I have no philosophical or political position on plastic surgery; I just don’t want to look crazy. And I don’t like not being able to tell how old someone is: It’s creepy.

Ellen Barkin

Gabriel Byrne is an extraordinary human being. We have two extraordinary kids and we work at it. We were always friends. He stuck by me through very hard times, and I hope he’d say the same about me.

Ellen Barkin

I like being married. I like taking care of people, having someone to make dinner for.

Ellen Barkin

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