Top 32 Michael Emerson Quotes

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“One of the things I like about performing on the stage is that it is a kind of meditative experience. Time does stand still. You have no concept or feeling of the passing of two or three hours’ time. It’s all kind of one present moment, which is a kind of a description of meditation.”

― Michael Emerson

“Anything that has to do with air travel and air tragedy is of interest to me.”

― Michael Emerson

“Yeah, it’s funny, working on a show with as large a cast as we have here, your work gets sort of compartmentalized. There’s still about half the cast that I’ve never had a scene with but I have missed working with Terry.”

― Michael Emerson

“I’ve played villains on stage – you know, the Iagos and so on – but I think of myself as a funny person. I mostly did comedies before I did TV work.”

― Michael Emerson

“It worries me a little bit the reach and power of TV. More people saw me in ‘The Practice’ than will ever see me in all the stage plays I ever do. Which is sort of humbling. Or troubling. Or both.”

― Michael Emerson

“I’ve been blessed by doing classic plays on Broadway, which was one of my great dreams forever.”

― Michael Emerson

“I think of myself as a problem-solver. I want to go in and help the director and the writer to get the best they can out of the text they’re working with.”

― Michael Emerson

“There are roles that are terrifying because they’re large or you may feel that they’re out of your line, but I’m never terrified once the actual work begins. Once you begin rehearsal, then it’s small building blocks. It’s solving little problems one at a time.”

― Michael Emerson

“One of the first roles I every played, I was Grandpa Vanderhoff in ‘You Can’t Take It With You.’ Walked with a cane, white stuff in my hair. It must have been horrible. Thank God there’s no videotape of it.”

― Michael Emerson

“I had started out my grown-up life in New York City, but I couldn’t figure out how to be an actor there. And so I had been a magazine illustrator instead.”

― Michael Emerson

“The ‘Lost’ style book is really quite set. We do things like, we walk through the jungle, and we stop and turn and talk to each other. We never talk and walk. We always stop to talk.”

― Michael Emerson

“Jack Bender is a real actor’s director. Because he was an actor, and because he directed theater, he really enjoys that process.”

― Michael Emerson

“In a way, ‘Lost,’ or maybe TV in general, is a kind of a contract between the writers and the viewers. And the actors – of course we have a great deal to do with it – but where the drama’s made, sort of where the meeting of minds is, is between those two parties: writers and audience.”

― Michael Emerson

“I have had some good fortune in the world of television. I have had it late in life after many youthful struggles and a change of careers.”

― Michael Emerson

“I’m truly glad there are so many options on television that are for grown and thinking people.”

― Michael Emerson

“’Elementary’ is a strong show; we watch it almost religiously in our house.”

― Michael Emerson

“I’d really like to play a character who’s inarticulate. I always play people with language. It would be good to play a mute or a fool or a saint.”

― Michael Emerson

“I liked dark, urban stories like ‘Peter Gunn,’ which was a detective series on network TV when I was a little boy. I grew up in a farmtown in the Midwest where not much exciting happened. I liked the idea of lives lived at night and the shadowy characters who lived in that demi-monde.”

― Michael Emerson

“I’m very proud of my New York debut. I played Oscar Wilde in ‘Gross Indecency’ off Broadway in about 1997. And I was very proud of my Broadway debut in ‘The Iceman Cometh.’”

― Michael Emerson

“I used to make training films for the U.S. government. I was always cast as a madman or a prisoner. I once played a prisoner who was holding himself hostage with a razor blade.”

― Michael Emerson

“This is this thing I harp on: Sometimes acting can be a self-defeating psychological enterprise if we feel like we’re desperate, if we feel like we’re beggars at the door, praying that someone will take pity on us and give us a job. It would be so much better to feel like we’re tradesmen.”

― Michael Emerson

“I was a magazine illustrator for many years before I became an actor, and I used to think, ‘Oh, God, all those wasted years!’ But now I think it’s just been one big enterprise of illustrating. I used to do it with colored pencils, and now I do it with this voice and this set of limbs.”

― Michael Emerson

“I was 42 when I started to make my living as an actor.”

― Michael Emerson

“There were times when I thought I had to be completely off-book and ready to give my opening night performance at the audition, but then I swung back to a more relaxed view of it. Certainly you’ve looked at the material and prepared it, but there’s no reason to be off-book. You’re not getting points for being off-book.”

― Michael Emerson

“As an actor, I’m not sure what I had to offer the world of tragedy and comedy when I was 21. I hadn’t lived a whole lot. By my middle 30s, you know, I had been knocked around a little bit.”

― Michael Emerson

“I was a housepainter and a landscape nursery man, and all these various odd jobs I had, and started doing community theater.”

― Michael Emerson

“I like shooting on location in New York City.”

― Michael Emerson

“I like the things every actor likes – I like great, intense duet scenes with good actors.”

― Michael Emerson

“I’m terrible with tech. But I’m good with jargon. I can sound like I know what I’m doing.”

― Michael Emerson

“I’m the worst at a computer.”

― Michael Emerson

“It’s not really an easier racket than acting is. For some reason, I guess it had – the rejection of an illustrator’s life is less penetrating than the rejection of an actor’s life. So I was able to manage that. But all the while, I still nursed that old dream of being an actor.”

― Michael Emerson

“I’ve never landed in a series that I could have dreamt in my life. That’s why, when people say, ‘Well what are roles you’re dying to play?’ I say, I don’t even have such a list, because everything that’s ever been great that I had a shot at came completely out of the blue. I could not have predicted it.”

― Michael Emerson
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