They said what? Stars’ quotable quotes in 2018
(First of three parts)
LOS ANGELES—“No sex … (on) the night before an important performance.” Guess who said that?
As 2018 draws to a close, we share the quotable quotes dished by talents we interviewed this year.
Had I gone to USC (University of Southern California), I might have been holding lights for George Lucas, instead of directing (laughs). So maybe it was good that I went someplace (Cal State University, Long Beach) without any competition.
When I was 50, I felt so proud that I got to live and still looked pretty good. Now (she is 60), I am just astounded, and it seems frankly old. At the same time, it’s just facing that I am going to be elderly and I made this decision at 40 like, if I am going to be old, I am going to be old like a dancer.
Stevie Wonder changed everything for us, in a way. When he guested, it made people go, oh my God. It’s very difficult to say to an artist who doesn’t want to do it. But when Stevie has done it, they go, “Oh God, if it’s good enough for him, I’ll do it.” That one thing changed everything.
There’s always some sort of flashback, like I’ll take a peach, I’ll start eating it. Then, I’m back in a little attic in a small town in Italy.
Today, women can have great, strong, feminine roles after 50, 60, 70, even 80. So cinema is finally representing society. It means that things are changing.
You can preserve your voice by having a lifestyle that is close to that of an athlete. Not much food, no drink, no sex. I joke (laughs). You have to do things in the right amount. In any event, the night before an important performance, it would be best to just sleep.
On examining one’s identity: That’s a question that anybody could ask themselves, even with their own heritage. What does it mean to be Chinese? What does it mean to be German? What does it mean to be from the Philippines? What effect does that have on me, in terms of where I’m going and how the world views me?
I feel like I lease out my body willingly and consensually for my art. I’m happy to do it. There are many sacrifices that go into the art.
I want to use it (success and influence) to expand the boundaries of what people think women directors can do. I always imagined girls or people with brown skin from all over the world, whether it’s the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Brazil or Africa—seeing something they’ve never seen—people making films, taking control of their images … that was a bridge for me to cross because I never saw it. I hope I can be that bridge for other people.
Sometimes, I watch interviews of myself when I was in my early 20s, and I was like, “God—girl, give it a break, just chill out, it’s OK” (laughs). I had such an attitude that I had to prove to everybody that they couldn’t f**k with me.
The late, much-missed Filipino wit on being poor in America: It’s just like living “along Da Riles.” When you’re poor in America, you’re poor but probably better dressed, because of Ross Dress for Less (a discount store) or the Salvation Army. In da Pilipins, it’s either Eloy’s or ukay-ukay (used-clothes stalls). Here, the credit card is the Great Equalizer. In the Philippines, it’s “5-6!” In America, the Great Escape Clause is known as “Bankruptcy.” In da Pilipins, it’s migrating to the US.
I did “American Buffalo” for a year and a half. I walked on the stage. I had been doing it with the same people for a year. And I couldn’t figure out my first line. And it’s a great line—“F**king Ruthie!” I couldn’t remember it.
Now can you imagine my fellow actors standing there looking at me? And I was looking at them. So what do you do? You start improvising. You don’t know what to do, so you just start babbling.
Give me God to play. I am ready (laughs)! I played the devil. It’s hard to play the devil, I must say. My Catholic guilt just grabbed me.
But I met a bishop the other day. I said to him, “Sorry about ‘The Devil’s Advocate.’” He said, “No, you are forgiven.” So I was absolved (laughs).
I’m proud of the career that I’ve been able to navigate throughout Hollywood, break the mold of a few things, and trailblaze in a few paths. There wasn’t a blueprint for me that I could follow when I first came in. Because there wasn’t a half-Samoan, half-black wrestler who could raise an eyebrow, be loud and bombastic on some crazy wrestling show.
Being in this business where I started out, like a lot of women do, I apologized before saying any sentence with, “I am sorry, but I have an idea …” But working with filmmakers I respect, like Judd Apatow, was where I got the confidence to just go up and say, “I have an idea.”
(To be continued on Sunday)
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