TRACY LETTS QUOTES

American playwright & actor (1965- )

We're all just people, some of us accidentally connected by genetics, a random selection of cells. Nothing more.

TRACY LETTS, August: Osage County

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Tags: family


My last refuge, my books: simple pleasures, like finding wild onions by the side of the road, or requited love.

TRACY LETTS, August: Osage County

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Thank God we can't tell the future. We'd never get out of bed.

TRACY LETTS, August: Osage County

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Tags: future


Women are beautiful when they're young, and not after. Men can still preserve their sex appeal well into old age.... Some men can maintain, if they embrace it ... cragginess, weary masculinity. Women just get old and fat and wrinkly.

TRACY LETTS, August: Osage County

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Tags: women


Divorce is an embarrassing public admission of defeat.

TRACY LETTS, August: Osage County

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Tags: divorce


All women need makeup. Don't let anybody tell you different. The only woman who was pretty enough to go without makeup was Elizabeth Taylor and she wore a ton.

TRACY LETTS, August: Osage County

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Tags: makeup


I'm aware that a film is different than a play, and that a film isn't going to be the filmed record of the play. It's its own separate entity, and I've come to peace with that.

TRACY LETTS, interview, Slant Magazine, December 19, 2013

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What they frequently want to do with a movie is, they want to cut out the valleys and just show the peaks. And valleys are important; the valleys make the peaks stand out.

TRACY LETTS, The Daily Beast, November 5, 2013

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Time wounds all heals.

TRACY LETTS, August: Osage County

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Tags: time


I'm kind of perverse in that I think pessimism is helpful. My pessimism is my own kind of patriotism. My dissent.

TRACY LETTS, The Telegraph, January 31, 2014

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Well, one of the things we're supposed to be able to do as playwrights is write from a place of empathy, get into another character's shoes and experience things both mundane and tragic. And people don't -- like me right now -- people aren't necessarily the most eloquent when trying to express their emotions. I guess I feel as a playwright that those people deserve a voice, too, a voice that isn't so articulate that they themselves can no longer identify with it.

TRACY LETTS, "Tracy Letts Is Still Haunted by His Past", New York Times Magazine, March 21, 2014

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Tags: playwriting


If you're not entertaining, what the hell's the point?

TRACY LETTS, The Telegraph, January 31, 2014

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A certain giving up of control is good for the soul.

TRACY LETTS, interview, Slant Magazine, December 19, 2013

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Sometimes my family thinks I've made my childhood a bit more Dickensian than it was, and it probably wasn't all that bad. But I was uncomfortable as a kid.

TRACY LETTS, "Tracy Letts Is Still Haunted by His Past", New York Times Magazine, March 21, 2014

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Tags: childhood


I don't know what it says about me that I have a greater affinity with the damaged. Probably nothing good.

TRACY LETTS, August: Osage County

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In theater, the playwright is the boss, period. The decisions will go through him or her. In movies, the writer is pretty far down on the list.

TRACY LETTS, The Daily Beast, November 5, 2013

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I like Shakespeare, but I never know what the hell is going on.

TRACY LETTS, "Tracy Letts Is Still Haunted by His Past", New York Times Magazine, March 21, 2014

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Tags: William Shakespeare


I mean there's a certain finality about a movie, when it's done it's done -- that raised eyebrow in that moment will always be that raised eyebrow. Whereas a play only lives as a blueprint for a performance on any given night. There's a reason you can eat popcorn and watch a movie and you can't do that in the theatre. Theatre you have to lean in, you have to tune your ear to the stage and participate.

TRACY LETTS, The Telegraph, January 31, 2014

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Tags: theatre


If you feel like you're in control of everything, and then things aren't going well, you feel like you're failing.

TRACY LETTS, interview, Slant Magazine, December 19, 2013

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You know, people see [August: Osage County], and I tell them that it's based on my family, and they assume that I came from some kind of horrible, hysterical circumstances. That's not true. My family, my nuclear family, was actually very close. My mom and dad were great parents and they encouraged a real rich, creative life for me and my brothers. My extended family, like every family, has some darkness, and some violence of some kind, emotional or otherwise, in their past.

TRACY LETTS, interview, Slant Magazine, December 19, 2013

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