Creative Inspiration: Books with Actor Quotes

What experiences inspired you to pursue being an actor or other artist? These books are about those kinds of experiences.

The Art of DiscoveryThe Art of Discovery: Hollywood Stars Reveal Their Inspirations

Edited by Robin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition; photos by Jeff Vespa; designed by typographer and art director Nancy Rouemy.

The book features one hundred portraits of celebrities “relating personal stories about their inspirations” – including Zach Braff, Jessica Chastain, Tim Daly, Adam Driver, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ashley Greene, Jonathan Groff, Michael C. Hall, Ethan Hawke, Amber Heard, Cheryl Hines, Kate Hudson, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Kidman, Jared Leto, John Leguizamo, Jeremy Renner, Seth Rogen, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Gabourey Sidibe, Kristen Stewart, Justin Therous, Naomi Watts, Forest Whitaker, Shailene Woodley (on the cover), and others.

“A portion of the proceeds from the sales of The Art of Discovery will go to support the arts advocacy programs of The Creative Coalition ( (Facebook page), the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community.”

Here are a few excerpts from the book:


Jessica Chastain comments:

Jessica Chastain by Jeff Vespa“In my favorite novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch says, ‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.’

“It wasn’t until I began acting that I discovered the true meaning of that statement. Acting makes me feel like I’m part of something larger than myself – we’re all connected.”

Quote transcribed from We Live Type Ltd. page with many images from the book.

Photo at right by Jeff Vespa, from the book.

[More quotes: “I have always known I wanted to be an actress, but my New York experience made me realize that my desire had nothing to do with becoming famous or making money, I was interested in exploring the human soul, its complexity, I wanted to work to understand something about life and myself.”

– From post Jessica Chastain: “I’m not an actor to be a personality.”

Another post: Jessica Chastain and High Sensitivity.

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More from The Art of Discovery :

Rose McGowan:

Rose McGowan
“After saving my allowance for ten years, I flew to Paris when I was 15 years old. When I visited the Musée Rodin, I was profoundly inspired by the story and the pain of Camille Claudel.

Camille Claudel, The Implorer, 1899“Her diminutive sculptures—much smaller in stature to Rodin’s—led me to become an artist. They are so small, yet so powerful and so heartbreaking. They embody the fiery emotion that reflect Claudel’s tortured love affair with Rodin. They are beautiful.”

Sculpture: Camille Claudel, The Implorer, 1899.

Dual photo from Facebook/RoseMcGowan – caption: “Trying to prove a point. Which is best- natural or retouched? I know which I like.”

Quotes from the book, in article: How Jared Leto, Rosario Dawson, and 5 Other Celebrities Were Changed By Travel.

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Tim DalyTim Daly, President of The Creative Coalition

Helen Hayes and George C. Scott and Colleen Dewhurst were wandering around my house when I was a kid, so I was never really impressed by actors, I was impressed by their performances.

“But I never idolized them because my parents were actors. 

“They were just kind of grown-ups, drunken grown ups who wouldn’t feed me dinner.”

From article The Art of Discovery by Janet Donovan.

Photo from

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Video: A look inside The Art of Discovery by Jeff Vespa


More from the book The Art of Discovery :

Naomi Watts by Jay L ClendeninNaomi Watts on her audition, which led to her role in Mulholland Drive:

“The first time I met David Lynch, I just remember being struck by his voice, his smile, and his all-encompassing energy.

“I’d spent 10 years auditioning under the radar, dealing with rejection over and over again, and he was just beaming with light, which relaxed me right away.

“It was like for the first time, somebody was interested in ‘seeing’ me.”

From article: Naomi Watts, Tilda Swinton, and Zoe Saldana Reveal the Moments, Sometimes Painful, That Inspired Them to Act, by Alex Beggs, Vanity Fair October 14, 2014.

[Photo by Jay L. Clendenin from article Naomi Watts looks to comedy, and a lighter career By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times, Oct 29 2014.]

More perspectives on being an actor by Watts, about her movie “Ellie Parker” – She noted that Scott Coffey, the film’s director was, like Watts herself, “a struggling actor for many years as well and he’d gone through years of those horrible auditions, losing your dignity and being told who you are and believing it because of your self-esteem levels.”

From my article: Building identity – Naomi Watts on the struggle for integrity.


Robin BronkRobin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition :

“What is your own moment where the arts have played a unique role in inspiring you to build, create, explore and grow? The Art of Discovery is meant to encourage all of us to ignite our own curiosity through music, film, art, photography and literature while at home and on the road…

“A few bars of music can evoke even the dimmest of memories, while architecture and design define the spaces we live in. Art helps us discover who we are. What could be more important than that?”

From her article Do Well by Doing Good.

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Art & SoulAnother book by The Creative Coalition:

Art & Soul: Stars Unite to Celebrate and Support the Arts

By Robin Bronk (Editor), Brian Smith (Photographer).

“Portraits of 123 celebrities are paired with their handwritten testimonials about the importance of the arts…

“A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the book go to support the arts advocacy programs of The Creative Coalition…”

From the book:

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

“Children need art to express who they are. How they feel. Why we are here on Earth. How they are special. Children need art. Art heals. Art is not a luxury. Art is a necessity.” – Patricia Arquette

Samuel L. Jackson in Art&Soul book

“Art is the master, I am its slave!” – Samuel L. Jackson

[A related quote: “Sometimes creativity is a compulsion, not an ambition.” Actor Edward Norton – from my article Positive Obsessions To Be Creative.]


More inspiration:

Books To Fuel Your Creative Mind

Books To Fuel Your Creative Mind – selected titles from the hundreds of articles, as well as other book lists, on my various Talent Development Resources series of sites. These books may help you further develop creative thinking and business innovation, and enhance your creative life and personal growth.



Article publié pour la première fois le 04/11/2014