Gena Rowlands Quotes

Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands (born June 19, 1930) is an American film, stage, and television actress, whose career in the entertainment industry has spanned over six decades. A four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, she is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes in ten films, including A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Gloria (1980), which earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She also won the Silver Bear for Best Actress for Opening Night (1977). In November 2015, Rowlands received an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of her unique screen performances.

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Gena Rowlands


I went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, which was in Carnegie Hall, which itself was exciting - just to walk into it.

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I just loved Bette Davis and the fact that I had a chance to work with her [on the 1979 TV movie Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter] was momentous.

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Bette Davis had very strong opinions and was not afraid to express them. She wasn't afraid of anything that I ever saw. And she was so funny. She's just funny and she was laughing all the time.

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It was a period when live TV was just starting and getting popular and they took it seriously too. Not so much like TV now. They did [Ernst] Hemingway and [William] Faulkner - and they're all wonderful artists and it just was very creative at that time.

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I loved Bette Davis when I was little and when I was big and when I got old.

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John Cassavetes wrote A Woman Under the Influence as a play. He said, "Hey, I wrote you a play." And I said, "Great, let's read it." I read it and I said, "John, I couldn't do this every night and twice on Wednesday and Saturday".

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I can never have a poker face. Anybody looking at me can tell exactly what I'm thinking.

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Every sacred cow in the business has to do with economics.

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A Woman Under the Influence was my favorite. I loved doing that. And it was challenging.

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I think that I was lucky to have that period of time [ like coming to New York] because everything was so exciting and new.

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I'd wanted to be [an actress] all my life.

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Never in my life have I ever even thought about anything else [ being anything other than an actress].

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But you base everything on people you know.

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I read the script of [Woman Under the Influence ] 50 times. And I thought about it. And then I did it.

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John Cassavetes was there at night while I was working. After they [with his friends] discussed as much live TV as they felt they needed to, they started improvising scenes just for the fun of it and one of those scenes everybody got very interested in and it turned into Shadows [1959]. That movie was entirely improvised.

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