James Dean is the legendary hero with a legendary story; live fast and die young. For over half a century, he has captured the world with his casual style, unflinching look and rebel attitude. James Dean has defined the essence of cool and without-a-cause for generations. His star continues to shine brighter and brighter.
Never has there ever been, never will there ever be. The one, the only, James Dean.
" Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
"The gratification comes in the doing, not in the results."
"If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, . if he can live on after he's dead, then maybe he was a great man."
"To grasp the full significance of life is the actor's duty; to interpret it his problem; and to express it his dedication. Being an actor is the loneliest thing in the world. You are all alone with your concentration and imagination, and that's all you have. Being a good actor isn't easy. Being a man is even harder. I want to be both before I'm done."
"Only the gentle are ever really strong."
"Studying cows, pigs and chickens can help an actor develop his character. There are a lot of things I learned from animals. One was that they couldn't hiss or boo me.
I also became close to nature, and am now able to appreciate the beauty with which this world is endowed."
"How can you measure acting in inches?!?" (when told he was too short to be an actor) James Dean's actual height was 5'8"
"Trust and belief are two prime considerations. You must not allow yourself to be opinionated. You must say, 'Wait. Let me see.' And above all, you must be honest with yourself."
-- to Hedda Hopper
"There is no way to be truly great in this world. We are all impaled on the crook of conditioning. A fish that is in the water has no choice that he is. Genius would have it that we swim in sand. We are fish and we drown."
"An actor must interpret life, and in order to do so must be willing to accept all the experiences life has to offer. In fact, he must seek out more of life than life puts at his feet. In the short span of his lifetime, an actor must learn all there is to know, experience all there is to experience, or approach that state as closely as possible. He must be superhuman in his efforts to store away in the core of his subconscious everything that he might be called upon to use in the expression of his art."
"When an actor plays a scene exactly the way a director orders, it isn't acting. It's following instructions. Anyone with the physical qualifications can do that. So the director's task is just that - to direct, to point the way. Then the actor takes over. And he must be allowed the space, the freedom to express himself in the role. Without that space, an actor is no more than an unthinking robot with a chest-full of push-buttons."
"It was an accident, although I've been involved in some kind of theatrical function or other since I was a child - in school, music, athletics. To me, acting is the most logical way for people's neuroses to manifest themselves, in this great need we all have to express ourselves. To my way of thinking, an actor's course is set even before he's out of the cradle."
"Since I'm only 24 years old, guess I have as good an insight into this rising generation as any other young man my age.
And I've discovered that most young men do not stand like ramrods or talk like Demosthenes. Therefore, when I do play a youth, such as in Warner Bros. Rebel Without A Cause, I try to imitate life. The picture deals with the problems of modern youth. It is the romanticized conception of the juvenile that causes much of our trouble with misguided youth nowadays. I think the one thing this picture shows that's new is the psychological disproportion of the kids' demands on the parents. Parents are often at fault, but the kids have some work to do, too. But you can't show some far off idyllic conception of behavior if you want the kids to come and see the picture. You've got to show what it's really like, and try to reach them on their own grounds. You know, a lot of times an older boy, one of the fellows the young ones idolize, can go back to the high school kids and tell them, "Look what happened to me! Why be a punk and get in trouble with the law?Why do these senseless things just for a thrill?" I hope "Rebel Without A Cause" will do something like that. I hope it will remind them that other people have feelings. Perhaps they will say, "What do we need all that for?"If a picture is psychologically motivated, if there is truth in the relationship in it, then I think that picture will do good.
I firmly believe Rebel Without A Cause is such a picture."
-- from an interview at a preview of Rebel Without A Cause