Virginia Madsen

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“I have always voted in every election I possibly could since I was 18 years old.”

“Sometimes you may feel homesick so make home wherever you may be. Travel may take you far away. So take your candles, yoga, write letters, call someone you love. I feel grateful to be able to have people I love and the privilege of missing them for I am not alone. Not really. Just for now. I hold you in my heart. I feel you in my soul, therefore, you are right next to me. Be home soon…”

“I always tell actors, “Don’t think of it as unemployment when you don’t have a job. You have to think of it as being in preparation for your next job.” You have to be always preparing for success.”

“Everything that I play as an actress is a different aspect of me.”

You can’t not be into basketball and grow up in Chicago or live in L.A., because people are so fanatical about the teams. You know what’s going on with the games even if you don’t watch.

This is my mother. My mentor. My inspiration. The woman who taught me what I know. The woman who graces me with her majestic presence. She loves me. And that is everything.

“I just find it so refreshing to work with a young person who is that professional and that focused on doing a good job… really responsible.”

“When I was growing up, the really, really cool super heroes were all male – so I wanted to be them.”

“When I was a very young person. #metoo Didn’t want to tell what happened. Some people believed me but most people just said I should just move on and etc etc etc. When someone tells you, dares to tell you that they were harassed or assaulted-listen. Support them and work to protect them. Yes, me too. It’s not just our industry. It’s ALL industries. Stand up for women men and all.”

“I think it’s always good when groups of women get together. It’s more important now, more than ever to support one another and our endeavors and call attention to those who are working hard to make changes.”

“My mother, Elaine. She is an extraordinary woman. Against all odds, she made her life vibrant and meaningful. I always tell her, “God, I wish I could be like you when I ‘grow up.’” She’s so strong. She inspires me. She’s in her eighties now and she’s rewriting her play and traveling and editing a magazine. She’s just unstoppable. We’re very close. My mother has always had words of wisdom. It hasn’t always come easy to her. Her struggles are a lesson for me, and inspiring to me. She’s absolutely my No. 1 and a force to be reckoned with.”

“Face it head on and don’t let anyone’s opinion get in the way of your fantastic lighting.”

“Looking towards the next adventure whatever it may bring.”

“There are many kinds of love to be expressed today. Today can be one day to show love to those around you and to make someone’s day brighter. Random acts of kindness will work wonders on a day when many will feel lonely. Be polite. Let someone go before you in line. Visit a senior who may live alone. Be nice to kids. Give of yourself and don’t worry about not having a cheap box of chocolates. Buy something delicious for yourself. Take a friend to dinner. Donate to a charity. Celebrate yourself. This day may have been invented for commercial purposes but you can own it and make it a day for you and those you love. No one needs a day or a date for that. I wish you a happy day to celebrate love.”

“There’s still this myth that a film about growing older with pride isn’t as interesting as one about how to stay young. You only get to be old if you are lucky.”

“My dream?… I’m feeling like I’m living it everyday. Never taking it for granted.”

“The actor side of me loves to get dressed up and I feel like Cinderella when I’m in diamonds.”

“It would be good if you opened your heart to the fullness of time and spirit.”

“The poorest man is not the one without a nickel, it’s the one without a dream.”

“As a woman in her fifties, I can speak with some experience about our industry. Having developed a pretty thick skin, I can tell my younger counterparts that it’s not all bad. You are correct in feeling that you are discounted, discriminated against, undermined and all around underestimated.”

“When you dive into the deep end of the pool, most everyone tells you you’re insane. How dare you? But you do. You do dare. You dare to be what you truly believe you can be. And then…the business stops you cold. You are too green. You are too young. You are too “street”. You aren’t enough “street”. You’re too angelic. You aren’t innocent enough, not tough enough, not smart enough, not…”

“We find like minded women and connect. We emulate those we admire and are inspired by. This has helped me along the way. Our industry is rough. It’s called show business because it is.”

“When you’re the ingénue no one is really interested in you for that.”

“It’s a roll of the dice when you’re a first time director so I prefer to work with people that know more than I do, but that happens less and less as you get older.”

“I’ve made more movies than anybody now.”

“Once your acting job is over, you just hope they have a good editor and they put together a good film. I tend to look for a great script.”

“I’ve spent the last few years just really actively pursuing comedy and that’s something I always wanted to know how to do.”

“I was not a comic book reader, but my son is. My son wasn’t really interested in reading books, which was hard for me because I love to read. It just didn’t come naturally to my boy. So we kind of found comic books because they were fascinating to him. They were great stories.”

“They were made up names in Dune that I didn’t know how to pronounce, but I knew how I should sound because I was a sci-fi fan myself. I hadn’t read the book, but I knew that I was the princess of the universe. I went in and sort of made her up, and David Lynch thought it matched and cast me.”

“Dune was really my first Hollywood job. It was such a small part, but I opened the movie. I was about 19 years old and I had to make this speech, and I didn’t understand most of the words because they were, you know, words from Dune.”

“I’m a fan. I would have been a fan of Candyman even if I hadn’t been in that movie. I’m a huge fan of Star Trek, which is why I was in Star Trek: Voyager – because I begged them to be a part of that lore.”

“I was always an actress, even as a little kid, and fantasy, horror, sci-fi stories are really all about playing make believe. I just never grew out of that.”

“To me it meant, just looking at it from a Maya point of view, it meant that Paul Miles is always moving laterally in his life. And she just wants him to take a couple of steps forward, you know?”

“You won’t give a shit when you’re fifty. I didn’t and I don’t think Helen Mirren gives a shit either. And damn, I’d make out with her if I had the chance.”

“The point is, there will always be people who try to define us as women, no matter what our age. I’m going to be a little bitchy and state that most of the people who did that to me are no longer in the biz. Later in life, this will matter to you. Not in a bitter way, only as a reminder of how resilient you learned to be.”

“We will all be labeled. At every age. And it’s maddening. It’s painfully obvious and that’s probably what’s so difficult to deal with. We know what is happening and how wrong it is and how down right stupid it is. “Speak the speech,” they say. And we do. Time and time again. To no avail it seems.”

“The actor prepares and no matter what, they do the job, even with half what the men are paid. I still don’t make what they make.”

“I keep on and continue my climb up this mountain I love so well. I will never reach the summit because it does not exist. I love this mountain and by God, from what ever height, I love the view. I’m here. I will not turn my head towards those who cannot look up and see the beauty of the sky.”

“Speak truth to power and speak truth to yourself. And fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.”

“The best part of aging is being able to love who you are and where you are in the process. You can lose all the baggage and simply be present. I enjoy life as I never could as a girl.”

“There will always be people who step in your way or help you lose you way for their own gain. Keep your eyes on the stars and you’ll outlast them all.”

“When you’re 35, you need to figure out what kind of 50 year old you want to be. Now that I’m 55, I’m thinking about what kind of 70 year old I want to be. I don’t want to be walking around with a cane. I don’t want to be negotiating too much weight. I want to be strong, lean and mean. Right now, I am. And I think it’s important to realize that if you don’t grab on to life, you’re just going to be left behind. And there’s no excuse for doing that. There’s none. Some people have to deal with really deep tragedies, so how can I complain about being 50? How can I complain when I see people overcoming such tremendous adversity?”

“I’ve never been athletic. It just doesn’t come naturally to me. So I still have to work hard to make it happen. For me, getting myself to turn off the TV and leave the house, drive to the gym, and walk in the door is the hardest part of my journey. But I do it because I know how important it is for me to stay healthy.”

“My mother told me something many years ago when I was asking her about aging. She said, “remember this: when you’re in your 40’s, you’re free. When you’re in your 50’s, you fly.” And for me, that’s true. I think we all get better with age. We get smarter. Personally, I’ve never felt more beautiful. I’ve never felt more strong physically. I’m definitely smarter. I’m definitely better in bed.”

“What I feel is blessed, and what I feel is a lot of gratitude for just the fact that I have so much opportunity. There have been so many people out of work in my industry both in front and behind the camera. I’m well aware I’m in sort of a golden place right now by the fact that I keep working.”

“Perfectionism should guide you, not hold you back… know your own talent.”

“I am not using these injectables to look 25. I don’t want to be 25. I just want to look like me.”

“Do something good for yourself today. You matter.”

“I have good genes. My father is Danish and my mother is Irish and Native American. They both have good skin.”

“I tend to look for a great script. I’ve spent the last few years just really actively pursuing comedy and that’s something I always wanted to know how to do. When you’re the ingénue no one is really interested in you for that. I didn’t have enough experience until I did a movie called Sideways.”

“I spend a lot of time at my son’s school and I really wanted to do a movie that the kids could see. The good thing about being my age and not having to be the ingenue anymore is that I get to be a mom. I get to have kids in my movies.”

“Men, we don’t need you to be a knight in shining armor. We just need you to be a little bit brave, just a little bit. And some of them are, and that’s what he does.”

“Our audience is all the girls who made Britney a huge star. Those are the girls who bought the book. I didn’t read the book at first. I read the script just to see what I would think of the script and I really liked it.”

“Wrap your troubles in dreams.”

“When all else fails, get a tattoo.”

“Some days there is such beauty in the world.”

“Be yourself today. the world awaits your gifts.”

“Love is much like a wild rose, beautiful and calm, but willing to draw blood in its defense.”

“Kindness for me was getting an unexpected embrace when my son was not well and I was alone.”

“If you know a little one or a not-so little one who is without a Dad today, bring em a smile.”

“You know, we’re not on stage, we’re not doing a play, so we don’t have a relationship with the audience but going through that process and also just hearing how much people love the film, you feel like you do have a relationship with the audience.”