Nothing human is foreign to us
Some people have youth,
some have beauty –
I have menace.
I know I'm not much on face value, but when it comes to stage value, I'll deliver for you.
I have not collected art. Art collected me. I never found paintings. They found me. I have never even owned a work of art. They owned me.
Live beyond your means, then you're forced to work hard, you have to succeed.
The sitting around on the set is awful. But I always figure that’s what they pay me for. The acting I do for free.
To my mind, the actor has this great responsability of playing another human being… it’s like taking on another person’s life and you have to do it as sincerely and honestly as you can.
Of course, I started as a collector. A true collector. I can remember as if it were only yesterday the heart-pounding excitement as I spread out upon the floor of my bedroom The Edward G. Robinson Collection of Rare Cigar Bands. I didn't play at collecting. No cigar anywhere was safe from me.
I remember just before going onto the soundstage, I'd look in my dressing room mirror and stretch myself to my full 5'5" or 5'6 whatever it was-to make me appear taller and to make me able to dominate all the others and to mow them down with my size.
I had the advantage of reading the book, and when the script was first submitted to me, it was just another gangster story - the east side taking over the west side and all that.
In those days I would go for an interview and find myself competing with this other chap who would always be younger and taller, and much handsomer than I.
My father and uncles and all their friends turned their lungs black trying to satisfy my collector's zeal.
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