Steve McQueen Quotes

1. Every time I look in the rear-view mirror, I see Robert Redford.

2. You only say what's important and you own the scene.

3. (on Dustin Hoffman) If a guy like him can become a star, what'll happen to guys like Newman and me?

4. Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.

5. (His last words) I did it.

6. I worked hard, and if you work hard you get the goodies.

7. Sometimes kids ask me what a pro is. I just point to the Duke

8. It's definite. You beat a guy and you're better than he is; he beats you, he's a better man than you are.

9. An actor is a puppet, manipulated by a dozen other people. Auto racing has dignity. But you need the same absolute concentration. You have to reach inside yourself and bring forth a lot of broken glass.

10. I live for myself and I answer to nobody.

11. (on "An Enemy of the People" 1978) The main thing I was shooting for was not to make bucks but to have something I could believe in.

12. The Navajos have a saying they live by: "A land where there is time enough and room enough." I want that, too.

13. When a kid didn't have any love when he was small, he begins to wonder if he's good enough. You know if my mother didn't love me, and I didn't have a father, I mean, well, I guess I'm not very good.

14. I could see that Jim (his close friend, James Garner) was very neat around his place. Flowers trimmed, no papers in the yard…grass always cut. So, just to piss him off, I'd start lobbing empty beer cans down the hill into his driveway. He'd have his drive all spic and span when he left the house, then get home to find all these empty cans. Took him a long time to figure out it was me.

15. I am a limited actor. My range isn't that great and I don't have that much scope. I'm pretty much myself most of the time in my movies and I have accepted that.

16. You see, I don't believe in that grabbin' and grabbin' and stuffin' yourself and not givin' anythin' or puttin' it back.

17. I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.

18. (from TV Guide) When a horse learns to buy martinis, I'll learn to like horses.

19. If I hadn't made it as an actor, I might have wound up a hood.

20. Nobody trusts anyone - or why did they put "tilt" on a pinball machine?

21. I don't believe in that phony hero stuff.

22. I'm half farmer and half street people. I've been in jail, in reform school. I get goose pimples every time I think of going back to jail...I haven't done bad for a kid from an orphanage.

23. I just want the brass ring and the pine trees and my kids and the green grass. I want to get rich and fat and watch my kids grow.

24. I'm out of the Midwest. It was a good place to come from. It gives you a sense of right or wrong and fairness, which is lacking in our society.

25. I really don't like to act. At the beginning, back in '51, I had to force myself to stick with it. I was real uncomfortable, real uncomfortable.

26. My life was screwed up before I was born.

27. Stardom equals financial success and financial success equals security. I've spent too much of my life feeling insecure. I still have nightmares about being poor, of everything I own just vanishing away. Stardom means that can't happen.

28. The Marines gave me discipline I could live with. By the time I got out I could deal with things on a more realistic level. All in all, despite my problems, I liked my time in the Marines.

29. I scrounged around for the next couple of years, trying to get the scam on the human race and just where the hell I fitted in - I discovered there were no openings.

30. I believe in me. I'm a little screwed up but I'm beautiful.

31. There's something about my shaggy-dog eyes that makes people think I'm good.

32. They call me a chauvinist pig. I am...and I don't give a damn!

33. I'm out of the Midwest. It was a good place to come from. It give you a sense of right or wrong and fairness, which I think is lacking in our society.

34. I have to be careful because I'm a limited actor. I mean, my range isn't very great. There's a whole lot of stuff I can't do, so I have to find characters and situations that feel right. Even then, when I've got something that fits, it's a hell of a lot of work. I'm not a serious actor. 

35. In my own mind, I'm not sure that acting is something for a grown man to be doing.

36. I've got a feeling I'm leaving stardom behind, you know. I'm gradually becoming more of a filmmaker, acquiring a different kind of dignity from that which you achieve in acting. After all, I'm no matinee idol, and I'm getting older. I don't think I can be doing my kind of thing in the seventies; I want to be on more of the creative side of business.

37. I'm not sure whether I'm an actor who races or a racer who acts.

38. Listen, in Taiwan most people don't know who Lyndon Johnson is, but they sure as hell know who John Wayne is.

39. When I believe in something, I fight like hell for it.

40. I'll never be as good an actor as I want to be…but I'll be good.

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