Best Collection of Alan Arkin Quotes

Alan Arkin, American Actor ( March 26, 1934 - )

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I love insane, stupid comedy, but I can only make it work if it's a character I can give some history to and make real. Like the guy I played in 'Little Miss Sunshine.' He's a maniac, but to me he was absolutely believable.~Alan Arkin


Love Work History

I'd have to say that my favorite kind of film is serious comedy. Comedy with serious underpinning. 'Little Miss Sunshine' is like that. That's my fave genre, if I had to pick one.~Alan Arkin


Sunshine Favorite Comedy

It's - everybody's looking at the bottom line all the time, and failure doesn't look good on the bottom line, and yet you don't learn anything without failing.~Alan Arkin


Time Good Failure

No matter what you do or where you are, you're going to be missing out on something.~Alan Arkin


You Missing Matter

You have to think of your career the way you look at the ocean, deciding which wave you're gonna take and which waves you're not gonna take. Some of the waves are going to be big, some are gonna be small, sometimes the sea is going to be calm. Your career is not going to be one steady march upward to glory.~Alan Arkin


Ocean Sea Small

But one of the things I learned from improvising is that all of life is an improvisation, whether you like it or not. Some of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 20th century came out of people dropping things.~Alan Arkin


Life Greatest People

Something I miss terribly from the '60s - the most important phrase in the English language was, 'I got hung up.' Somebody says they got hung up, it's unassailable, you know? You don't go near that. Whoa! I know what that can be like.~Alan Arkin


Language Important You

I don't know what I'm proudest of. The fact that my kids still talk to me.~Alan Arkin


Me Know Talk

I don't believe there's anything in life you can't go back and fix. The ancient Vedas - the oldest Hindu philosophy - and modern science agree that time is an illusion. If that's true, there's no such thing as a past or a future - it's all one huge now. So what you fix now affects the past and the future.~Alan Arkin


Life Time Future

My favorite thing about making movies is that it's the only area of human life that I've ever discovered where I can walk away from somebody in the middle of a conversation with somebody and they won't be offended.~Alan Arkin


Life Walk Human Life

I love working if it's with people who are capable of having a good time. People with a little bit of enjoyment of what they do. If it's enormous pressure, and people feel that their lives are at stake, then it's agony. So I try to pick projects where I feel like I'm going to avoid those traps.~Alan Arkin


Love Time Good

I had a hard time treating my field as if it's horse racing, putting actors in competition against each other. I see how the industry and the studios feel it's important, but I don't really have a feeling for being in competition. I want to feel sympathetic and close to others, not opposed to them.~Alan Arkin


Time Horse Competition

My father was a painter. There was a lot of singing. We hung around with a lot of folk musicians. My family knew a lot of great folk musicians of the time, like Woody Guthrie, Paul Robeson, Leadbelly. They were all people we knew.~Alan Arkin


Family Time Father

Education does not mean jamming information into somebody's head. Rather, it's that ancient idea that all knowledge is within us; to teach is to help somebody pull it out of themselves.~Alan Arkin


Education Knowledge Help

I don't know why we have to put things in boxes of superlatives. That isolates them. Life is fluid, and the minute you start trying to put a line around something, it will deceive you and go away.~Alan Arkin


Life Trying Start

I don't sense that I am someone's hero, though I'm happy when people like my work. I've learned how to be gracious about it, but I try to let it go by. I've seen how, if people start taking on those accolades, it can ruin them completely.~Alan Arkin


Work Happy Hero

You hit a certain age, and you haven't died yet, and you become an elder statesman. I think I get a lot of applause because I'm not keeling over.~Alan Arkin


Age You Think

Every physicist knows that things connect with each other. To isolate things is not the way the universe works - winning best actor is arbitrary.~Alan Arkin


Best Winning Universe

I used to watch the world as if it was a performance and I would realize that certain things that people did moved me, and certain things didn't move me, and I tried to analyze, even at that age, six and seven and eight, why I was moved by certain things they did.~Alan Arkin


Age World People

I know that if I can't move people, then I have no business being an actor.~Alan Arkin


Business People Know

I would like to have a movie under my own control sometime, and see what could be done with it. Who knows? Maybe Hollywood will make an improvisational movie someday.~Alan Arkin


Control Done My Own

I gotta keep busy. I'm not happy unless I'm working on two, three things.~Alan Arkin


Happy Busy Three

A product is most easily sold when it has an identity. So they wrap you all up and put a label on you. And then that's what you have to be. But what I'm looking for is the opportunity to explore what I can do, probing the limits, learning.~Alan Arkin


Learning Opportunity

I wanted to make it in New York. I thought if I went out to the Midwest, I'd be burying myself. But I was wrong.~Alan Arkin


Myself Thought New

It's murder to doubt yourself in life. It took until I was 45 to get to that point. As hard as it is in your work, it's harder in your life. But it can be done.~Alan Arkin


Life Work Yourself

TV has taken reflection out of the human condition. People didn't use to have a ready answer for everything, whether they knew something about it or not. People think they have to have an answer for everything because the guys on TV have an answer for everything.~Alan Arkin


Reflection People Think