Marilyn Monroe had no confidence in herself. She found it very difficult to concentrate, and she really didn't think she was as good as she was. She'd worry about all kinds of things, and she would do the very difficult things very well. Sometimes she was very distracted and couldn't sustain it, and you had to do it in bits and pieces; sometimes she was in such state of nerves that you'd have to shoot individual lines. But such was her magic that you'd put them all together and they seemed as though she spoke them all at one time. She was a real movie personality, a real movie queen.
George Cukor in a 1969 interview with Peter Bogdanovich (published in "Who the Devil Made It," 1997)
Socially she tried not to rock the boat. She was outgiving and charming... and defensively shy. If you wanted to talk about her, she blushed. If you wanted to sing, she joined the chorus.
Joseph Cotton about his "Niagara" co-star Marilyn Monroe in his autobiography "Vanity Will Get You Somewhere" (1987)
Once upon a time there was a bitter and wonderful life that a little girl, who has become a woman and an actress, continues to repeat to herself. There will always be a once upon a time for every little girl who looks at the world with big eyes and a lust for life.
Sophia Loren in her autobiography "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life" (2014)
The glamorous Marlene Dietrich one night came straight from the set from "Kismet" covered in gold paint [late 1943]. I had never seen two thousand men screaming in a state of near mass hysteria. Marlene was one of the most generous in the amount of time she spent at the Hollywood Canteen [during World War II].
Bette Davis in her autobiography "This 'N That" (1987)
Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.
We can see the film stars of yesterday in yesterday’s films, hear the voices of poets and singers on a record, keep the plays of dead dramatists upon our bookshelves, but the actor who holds his audience captive for one brief moment upon a lighted stage vanishes forever when the curtain falls.
Daphne du Maurier
In painting, the form arises from abstract elements of line and color, while in cinema, the material concreteness of the image within the frame presents - as an element - the greatest difficulty in manipulation.
Garbo was shy, insecure. She felt that, as a person, she actually had nothing special or unusual for others to make a fuss over.
I went to [producer-director] Thomas H. Ince and said, 'I would like some retakes.' Retakes are costly, and when he pointed that out, I said, 'Yes, I know that, Tom, but I still want the retakes.' Now, Tom liked to gamble. I did, too. So I said, 'I'll tell what I'll do, Tom. Heads or tails. If you win, okay, then I pay for the retakes. If I win, you pay.' He said, 'Fine,' and he tossed. I felt that Tom would take chances, but I didn't think he would cheat, and he didn't. He never did. It was my week's salary for or against the retakes. And I won.
Actress Blanche Sweet about film pioneer Thomas H. Ince during the making of "Anna Christie" (1923)
I like people to be entertained, but I don't want it to be empty. I like to give some nourishment.