25 Famous Actors Ridiculing Their Profession

If you needed one more reason to love Jennifer Lawrence (and frankly, between her candid interviews and terrific performances in Winter’s Bone, The Hunger Games, and Silver Linings Playbook, we’ve been sold for a while), get a load of this quote from her new Vanity Fair interview: “Not to sound rude, but [acting] is stupid… Everybody’s like, ‘How can you remain with a level head?’ And I’m like, ‘Why would I ever get cocky? I’m not saving anybody’s life. There are doctors who save lives and firemen who run into burning buildings. I’m making movies. It’s stupid.'” That’s the kind of sound byte that helps cultivate the always sensible “down to earth” image, but there’s more to it than that; Lawrence’s comments fall within the grand tradition of no-nonsense actors not only refusing to romanticize what they do, but often coming right out and disparaging it. After the jump, we’ve assembled quotes from 25 of our favorite actors who, like Lawrence, refused to buy into their own hype.

“Acting is the most minor of gifts and not a very high-class way to earn a living. After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four.”
“Acting is the perfect idiot’s profession.”
“It’s a business you go into because you’re an egocentric. It’s a very embarrassing profession.”
– Katharine Hepburn

“Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It’s a bum’s life. . . . The principal benefit acting has afforded me is the money to pay for my psychoanalysis.”
“An actor’s a guy, who if you ain’t talking about him, ain’t listening.”
― Marlon Brando

“I can’t stand an actor or actress who tells me acting is hard work. It’s easy work. Anyone who says it isn’t never had to stand on his feet all day dealing blackjack.”
― Dean Martin

“This is not a tough job. You read a script. If you like the part and the money is OK, you do it. Then you remember your lines. You show up on time. You do what the director tells you to do. When you finish, you rest and then go on to the next part. That’s it.”
― Robert Mitchum

“I cut tobacco for a living in Kentucky. That was hard work. I sold insurance door-to-door. That’s hard work. Acting is not hard work. If you’re lucky enough to be sitting at a table like this, you’ve been very lucky in your life. You caught the brass ring somewhere along the way.”
― George Clooney