How to be Insulting to Actors
Driven to distraction by an actor who kept asking him about insignificant details of his performance and movements, Peter Ustinov finally screamed at the man:
'Don't just do something, stand there.'
In an attempt to persuade one very popular actor to come back to his company, Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree invited the man to come to his dressing-room one evening while he was making-up, in the hope that they might be able to strike a bargain.
'How much would you want to come back?' Tree asked.
The man mentioned an exorbitant price and without even turning round Tree said:
'Don't slam the door as you go out, will you?'
George Bernard Shaw once told Sir Cedric Hardwicke, one of his principal male leads:
'You are my fifth favourite actor, the first four being the Marx brothers.'
A famous patron of the English stage was trying to persuade Sarah Bernhardt to take an interest in an up and coming young actress. The great lady seemed luke warm, to say the least and in an effort to change her mind the patron said:
'But you will at least agree, Madam, that she has some wonderful moments?'
'Perhaps,' agreed Miss Bernhardt, 'but some terrible half hours.'
On having to make love to Marilyn Monroe:
'It's like kissing Hitler.' — Tony Curtis