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57 Quotes by James Caan

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Wikipedia Summary for James Caan

James Edmund Caan ( KAHN; born March 26, 1940) is an American actor. After early roles in The Glory Guys (1965), for which he received a Golden Globe nomination, El Dorado (1967), and The Rain People (1969), he came to prominence in the 1970s with significant roles in films such as Brian's Song (1971), Cinderella Liberty (1973), The Gambler (1974), Freebie and the Bean (1974), Rollerball (1975), Funny Lady (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977) and Chapter Two (1979). For his signature role in The Godfather (1972), that of hot-tempered Sonny Corleone, Caan was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the corresponding Golden Globe.

Caan's subsequent notable performances include roles in Thief (1981), Misery (1990), For the Boys (1991), Eraser (1996), Bottle Rocket (1996) and Elf (2003), as well as the role of "Big Ed" Deline in the television series Las Vegas (2003–08). He also prominently lent his voice to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013).

For his contributions to the film industry, Caan was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978 with a motion pictures star located at 6648 Hollywood Boulevard.


Sometimes it seems like this is the choice -- either kick ass or kiss ass.



It's hard to tell writers, especially in movies, that words are secondary. Behavior is important.



I loved 'Funny Lady' for whatever reason. People say they didn't know I could sing and dance. Well, nobody ever asks me -- it's always, 'Punch this guy.'



I didn't have parents I could take a million dollars from. We were a lower-class family.



I know what winning and losing is when you gamble.



My big thing is that I always get typecast.



What I do quite honestly and seriously and not in any way being humble is not as important as what the garbage collector does. People make actors important.



I have nothing against these big CGI movies, but there are not enough of the other ones -- the ones with stories about character that have a beginning, a middle and an end. I said that to a couple of studio heads and they said, 'That's novel.'



Never stop asking yourself whether you can do things better. Keep testing every aspect of your business to the nth degree, and challenge every one of your assumptions. The tougher you are on yourself now, the tougher your business will be out there in the real world.



My acting technique is to look up at God just before the camera rolls and say, 'Give me a break.'



Someone's always saying, It's not whether you win or lose, but if you feel that way, you're as good as dead.



I turned down 'Cuckoo's Nest' four times before Jack got it.



I've never been difficult to anybody or with anybody on a picture. Especially when you're in that nice status of hierarchy of actors and actresses who get to approve directors. Because once you make that choice, it's my belief that the director's boss.



I'll see a beautiful girl walking up to me and I'll think, Oh, my God, I can't believe my good luck. But then she'll say, 'Where's your son?' or 'My mother loves you'.





The most talented people that I've met in this business are always the nicest.



I never did anything else. In college I switched majors every two weeks, and acting was the only thing that held my interest.



Success is the result of clear goal, unshakable confidence, proper planning, enthusiastic ACTION and consistent persistence.



It's always the guys who have absolutely nothing to give that start screaming and yelling about their makeup and trailers. It's a diversion so you don't pay attention to them, because they stink!



Sure, I want to be the best actor in the world. But my life is my family, my son, my friends. I don't know how anyone can find fault with that.



I lost my passion for work. No, that's a negative statement. I just had a bigger passion for something else, for my son, and growing up with him.



A lot of young actors look up to me, and I wouldn't trade that for any money in the world. I don't want to lose their respect and be a hypocrite.



The most talented people are always the nicest.



People say, 'Gee, you do a lot of mafia movies.' I think I've done two, out of 60.



There's a big difference between wanting to work and having to work. And I had to learn that the hard way. Now money is very important to me, because I ain't got it.



I've been lucky. The critics never went out of their way to single me out for doing bad work.



It's a very charming movie about the mob -- a real stretch for me.



People wonder why first-time directors can make a brilliant picture, then suck on the second one. It's because they're a little terrified the first time. So they listen to all the experts around them.



There's nothing more boring than actors talking about acting.



Actors have bodyguards and entourages not because anybody wants to hurt them -- who would want to hurt an actor? -- but because they want to get recognized. God forbid someone doesn't recognize them.



I don't think silicone makes a girl good or bad.



My kid was a great baseball player. I thought I had it made. Front-row seats at Yankee Stadium. Then he turned sixteen and wanted to be a rapper.



I really believe that you grow up a certain way in New York. There's a New York morality, a sense of loyalty. You know how to win and lose. There's a thousand kids outside, you know who to push and who not to push. There's a sixth sense you develop just because it's New York.



People are always backing up when I'm just going to shake their hands.



I always thought of myself as some sort of athlete until I started playing golf a couple years ago.



There are a lot of guys in Hollywood who clap you on the back just a little too hard.



I play a guy who believes he's a king. He's the most common man in the world; in fact his family, like his suits, are just make-up. It's about dysfunctional people and dysfunctional relationships.



You have to be very careful when you let someone win.



It is that, but really, it's about how we don't recognise the little things in life, or appreciate the little things in life like belonging. A sense of belonging is a big thing today.



Anyone of my generation who tells you he hasn't 'done Brando' is lying.



No matter what heights you achieve, even if you're Brad Pitt, the slide is coming, sure as death and taxes.



Some guys say beauty is only skin deep. But when you walk into a party, you don't see somebody's brain. The initial contact has to be the sniffing.



I never rode a bull -- I'm not that stupid.



I'm sort of a Walter Mitty. I got fewer brain cells than most people, so when I got friendly with cowboys, I started rodeoing. When I was calf-roping, there was something about the dirt that made me feel clean.



Saving a letter from an old friend doesn't exist anymore. Everything is texted or emailed.



What's the difference between sex and love? I have four wives and five kids. I apparently don't know the difference.





You're the only one who's closing your eyes at night. There's no one else who can do it for you.



I never saw my dad cry. My son saw me cry. My dad never told me he loved me, and consequently I told Scott I loved him every other minute. The point is, I'll make less mistakes than my dad, my sons hopefully will make less mistakes than me, and their sons will make less mistakes than their dads.



I went to a shrink once, but I caught him going to a fortune-teller so I quit.



I won't mention names, but in my career, the most talented people invariably are the easiest and nicest to get along with.



One night I went over to get some dope from some Hollywood tough guy. After I left, my son Scott, who was only fifteen, went over with a baseball bat to kill him. I was laughing out of one eye and crying out of the other. I thought, Who am I kidding?



My least favorite phrase in the English language is 'I don't care.'



Showing up every day isn't enough. There are a lot of guys who show up every day who shouldn't have showed up at all.



I'm here instead of having shoulder surgery. But I'm not sure which is more painful.



To get over my divorce, I got a prescription to live at the Playboy Mansion for a while.



I think we have to believe in things we don't see. That's really important for all of us, whether it's your religion or Santa Claus, or whatever. That's pretty much what it's about.


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