Klaus Kinski quotes
Birthdate: 18. October 1926
Date of death: 23. November 1991
Klaus Kinski was a German actor.He appeared in more than 130 films, and was a leading role actor in the films of Werner Herzog, including Aguirre, the Wrath of God , Nosferatu the Vampyre , Woyzeck , Fitzcarraldo , and Cobra Verde . He also appeared in many Spaghetti Westerns, such as For a Few Dollars More , A Bullet for the General , The Great Silence , And God Said to Cain , Shoot the Living and Pray for the Dead and A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe .
Kinski was a controversial figure, and some of his tantrums on set were filmed in Herzog's documentary My Best Fiend. He is the father of Pola, Nastassja, and Nikolai Kinski, born of three different marriages. They have all become actors and have worked in Germany and the United States, in film and TV.
Quotes Klaus Kinski
„ASSHOLES! Do you ask a car crash for another take? Do you ask a volcano for another take? Do you ask the storm for another take?“
On directors asking him for another take.
„What they teach in these acting schools is incredible, hair-raising crap. The Actors Studio in America is supposed to be the worst. There the students learn how to be natural - that is, they flop around, pick their noses, scratch their balls. This bullshit is known as "method acting." How can you "teach" someone to be an actor? How can you teach someone how and what to feel and how to express it? How can someone teach me how to laugh or cry? How to be glad and how to be sad? What pain is, or despair or happiness? What poverty and hunger are? What hate and love are? What desire is, and fulfillment? No, I don't want to waste my time with these arrogant morons.“
„I've solved the mystery: You have to submit silently. Open up, let go. Let anything penetrate you, even the most painful things. Endure. Bear up. That's the magic key! The text comes by itself, and its meaning shakes the soul… You mustn't let scar tissue form on your wounds; you have to keep ripping them open in order to turn your insides into a marvelous instrument that is capable of anything. All this has its price.“
Context: At a performance everything works out on its own. I've solved the mystery: You have to submit silently. Open up, let go. Let anything penetrate you, even the most painful things. Endure. Bear up. That's the magic key! The text comes by itself, and its meaning shakes the soul. Everything else is taken care of by the life one has to live without sparing oneself. You mustn't let scar tissue form on your wounds; you have to keep ripping them open in order to turn your insides into a marvelous instrument that is capable of anything. All this has its price. I become so sensitive that I can't live under normal conditions. That's why the hours between performances are worst.
„The truth is that I wasn't there with her when she needed me. Now she see's how I love Nanhoï and she believes that I can't love her as much as I love my son. That I've never loved her like this. I try to tell her that she's distorting everything in her pain and not seeing the truth. That I've painfully missed her since our separation and that I've never stopped loving her. But even though she gradually calms down, I have a feeling she doesn't believe me.“
On his daughter, Nastassja. p. 286
„There isn't one role I'd like to play. There are many and there are none. I've always admitted to being a prostitute. I sell myself for money. I don't have to see myelf up on the screen as Napoleon to feel satisfied about a movie. If you pay me a lot of money, I'll be in your film.“
„He should be thrown alive to the crocodiles! An anaconda should strangle him slowly! A poisonous spider should sting him and paralyze his lungs! The most venomous serpent should bite him and make his brain explode! No — panther claws should rip open his throat — that would be much too good for him! Huge red ants should piss into his lying eyes and gobble up his balls and his guts! He should catch the plague! Syphilis! Yellow fever! Leprosy! It's no use; the more I wish him the most gruesome deaths, the more he haunts me.“
On Werner Herzog, p. 220-21
„I want to be free, independent. Free of all coercion. Free of any need to rely on other people. I have no credit cards, nor do I want any. I toss the cash on the table. I leave others in peace and I want to be left in peace. I spend my nights sleeping on the ground in the forest. I embrace trees as I have done all my life. I smell their bark and kiss it. I lay my face on the moss and breathe in the spicy aroma of fruitfulness as if I were lying on a woman's belly.“
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„I am not the official Church Jesus who is accepted by policemen, bankers, judges, executioners, officers, church bosses, politicians and similar representatives of power. I am not your Superstar who keeps playing his part for you on the cross, and whom you hit in the face when he steps out of his role, and who therefore cannot call out to you, "I am fed up with all your pomp and all your rituals! Your incense is disgusting. It stinks of burnt human flesh. I can't bear your holy celebrations and holidays any longer. You can pray as much as you like, I'm not listening. Keep all your idiotic honours and laudations. I won't have anything to do with them. I do not want them. I am no pillar of peace and security. Security that you achieve with tear gas and with billy clubs. I am no guarantee for obedience and order either. Order and obedience at reform schools, prisons, penal institutions, insane asylums. I am the disobedient one, the restless one who does not live in any house. Nor am I a guarantee for success, savings accounts and possessions. I am the homeless one without a permanent home who stirs up trouble wherever he goes. I am the agitator, the invoker, I am the scream. I am the hippie, bum, Black Power, Jesus people. I want to free the prisoners. I want to make the blind see. I want to redeem the tortured. I want to cast love into your hearts, the love that reaches out beyond everything that exists. I want to turn you into living human beings, immortals.“
Jesus Christus Erlöser (1971)
„I never said money is freedom! I said money buys freedom. BUYS! What does that mean, money is freedom? This is ridiculous: Money is freedom. It means nothing. What do you think, that a dollar in a savings account is freedom? Maybe you have understood nothing I have said. You are trying to make me sound like an American average citizen.“
„I don't know how this will end. All I know is Nanhoï's love. My son is my life. I believe in the magic of this love. He is the embodiment of life to me. The embodiment of beauty. Through him I'll find redemption and salvation. Then the wound in my soul - the wound I thought would never scar over - will stop bleeding. I thought I would have to tear it open once it began to heal. Back then, when I felt I couldn't stop being what is called an actor, when I told myself I was only doing it for the money and that it could be worse. Now, today, I'd rather be poor, but without nightmares and without the torture. If only I could! I wish I'd never been an actor! I wish I'd never had success! I'd rather have been a streetwalker, selling my body, than selling my tears and my laughter, my grief and joy.“
„Sometimes, my heart hurts so much, I beat it with my fists. I try to run. But you cannot run away from this. You cannot run from it. Wherever you run, it waits for you. Even when you think you have escaped it, it is there, where you have run to. It waits for you, to ambush you. It is like those vines called lianas, those tropical creepers that grow around you and strangle you. You cut off one branch, but there is another that grows. You leap over the wall of one ghetto and find yourself in another ghetto.“
„I find the totality of metamorphosis most terrifying when I'm Woyzeck… Suffering through that had as devastating an impact on me as if I hadn't only always suffered as Woyzeck but continue to do so over and over. Malaria of the soul, recurring again and again. My total being is one large breeding ground for the shocks of the world past, present and future. All living and dying, all vibrations pass through me. The entire universe pours into me, rages in me, rampages through and over me. Annihilates me. It comes and goes whenever it likes. It rules me, commands me, envelops me, threatens me, and waits for me everywhere and all the time. It sucks me up, sucks me dry, grows through me. It's in my spinal marrow. In my brain mass. In my blood, in my bones. My muscles. Guts. Genitals. Sperm. Flesh. Eyes. Hearing. Taste. Smell. Balance. Laughter. Tears. In my days and nights. In my thoughts. In my feelings. In my courage and my fear. In my despair and my hope. In my weakness and my strength. Everywhere and all the time.“
On his performance in Woyzeck. p. 315
„At first, I felt this thing coming up in myself, just really physically growing in myself and happening, but it was a jungle, so I couldn't distinguish things so much. I knew there were, in myself, the souls of millions of people who lived centuries ago - not just people but animals, plants, the elements, things, even, matter - that all of these exist in me, and I felt this. OK, this pushed and pushed and pushed. OK, that was the beginning… And through the years it became clearer and clearer, this thing; it started to separate itself. I could make it come when I had to concentrate on, let's say, a person I had to become - this thing became stronger. And took more of me. In this moment, I let it do it, because I wanted, I had to be this person. And as I was led to doing it, there was then no way back. And the more I tried to do it, the more I hated it. But there was no way back anymore; it was always going farther and farther and farther. Until one day, when I was walking through the streets of Paris, I started crying, because I could look at a man, a woman, a dog, anything, and receive it, anything, everything; there was no difference between physical and psychological. I felt like I was breaking out, breaking up, receiving everything, every moment, even things I did not see. There is no turning back from this. But this danger is the power you have. It is this same power that lets you hold an audience when you are on a stage. Then it is a concentration, the same concentration that in kung fu is used for the kick that kills or to break a table with your hand. It means that you are sure of the power and that you relinquish yourself to it“
„His speech is clumsy, with a toadlike indolence, long winded, pedantic, choppy. The words tumble from his mouth in sentence fragments, which he holds back as much as possible, as if they were earning interest. It takes forever and a day for him to push out a clump of hardened brain snot. Then he writhes in painful ecstasy, as if he had sugar on his rotten teeth. A very slow blab machine. An obsolete model with a non-working switch — it can't be turned off unless you cut off the electric power altogether. So I'd have to smash him in the kisser. No, I'd have to knock him unconscious. But even if he were unconscious he'd keep talking. Even if his vocal cords were sliced through, he'd keep talking like a ventriloquist. Even if his throat were cut and his head were chopped off, speech balloons would still dangle from his mouth like gases emitted by internal decay.“
On Werner Herzog, p. 213
„Herzog is a miserable, hateful, malevolent, avaricious, money-hungry, nasty, sadistic, treacherous, cowardly creep. His so-called "talent" consists of nothing but tormenting helpless creatures and, if necessary, torturing them to death or simply murdering them. He doesn't care about anyone or anything except his career as a so-called filmmaker. Driven by a pathological addiction to sensationalism, he creates the most sensless difficulties and dangers, risking other people's safety and even their lives — just so he can eventually say that he, Herzog, has beaten seemingly unbeatable odds. For his movies he hires retards and amateurs whom he can push around (and alledgedly hypnotize!), and he pays them starvation wages or zilch. He also uses freaks and cripples of every conceivable size and shape, merely to look interesting. He doesn't have the foggiest inkling of how to make movies. He doesn't even try to direct the actors anymore. Long ago, when I ordered him to keep his trap shut, he gave up asking me whether I'm willing to carry out his stupid and boring ideas.“
„I have made many things wrong in my life. I should have made many things better in my life, not only to Nastassja but many things. If someone said to me, 'You did everything wrong in your life,' I would say, 'Okay, maybe you're right.' But my way is the only way I can exist. I can feel and express things to understand how true somethings is. People in my life have tried to change me, and I have blown up even more violently and I said, 'What, do you really want to distort me?' What's left, you have to do it your way. I don't need a Bible to tell me I'm doing wrong a hundred million times in my life. Everything I did wrong in my life I am suffering a long time. It's coming back and back and back and back to me for years. I am not ashamed to tell myself what I am doing wrong, but there must always be a way to understand that's all I can do. What I want to say is I tried, okay, I tried, and I'm not breaking my head that it's not happened. It's like a growing plant. This tiny things is coming out, you can feel it coming out, it's breaking through, so it may be one day that she will understand many more things than she understands today. Nobody can come to me and say, 'Why haven't you seen this and why and why.“
I know what I have to do.
As quoted in Denise Worrell (1989), Icons: Intimate Portraits.