“Actresses can get outrageously precious about the way they look. That’s not what life’s about. If you starve yourself to the point where your brain cells shrivel, you will never do good work. And if you’re overly conscious of your arms flapping in the wind, how can you look the other actor in the eye to respond to them?”

“I don’t have a sense of entitlement or that I deserve this. You’d be surprised at the lack of competition between nominees – I think a lot of it’s imposed from the outside. Can I have my champagne now?”

“I feel like I’ve been marinated in Australian theatre.”

“If I had my way, if I was lucky enough, if I could be on the brink my entire life – that great sense of expectation and excitement without the disappointment – that would be the perfect state.”

“I had never done anything with blue screen before, or prosthetics, or anything like that. Lord of the Rings was like stepping into a videogame for me. It was another world completely. But, to be honest, I basically did it so that I could have the ears. I thought they would really work with my bare head. Working with Martin Scorsese was an absolute minute-by-minute education without him ever being grandiose about it.”

“I certainly think that when I flick through all the magazines at the hairdresser’s I like to see and am drawn to images that have an intelligence and mind at work behind them.”

“I finally had a honeymoon with my husband in Italy.”

“There’s this sense that of course you want to be famous. When you’re a performer, of course you want an audience, but it’s very, very different from courting fame.”

On her first Oscar loss in 1999
“Sometimes I think it’s so good not to win those things. And, anyway, who wants to peak when they’re 28?”

From an interview promoting Hanna (2011)
“I’m a horrible person. And it’s just coming out in my work”.

“Of course one worries about getting older – we’re all fearful of death, let’s not kid ourselves. I’m simply not panicking as my laugh lines grow deeper. Who wants a face with no history, no sense of humor?”

If its true that she loves horror films
That’s definitely true! It was before my father died, so I can’t attribute it to an obsession with death. When I was seven, I loved those old Sherlock Holmes movies with Basil Rathbone. The Scarlet Claw was one of my faves. And I loved all the Halloween‘s and that film about the haunted house… Burnt Offerings, with Oliver Reed. Every birthday party was a slumber party and we’d watch horror films.

“I live my life parallel with my work, and they are both equally important. I’m always amazed how much people talk about celebrity and fame. I don’t understand the attraction.”

“The more you do it, the more you learn to concentrate, as a child does, incredibly intensively and then you sort of have to relax. I remember the first film I did, the lead actor would in between scenes be reading a newspaper or sleeping and I’d think, ‘How can you do that?'”

“I think that’s what I love about my life. There’s no maniacal master plan. It’s just unfolding before me.”

“I’m one of those strange beasts who really likes a corset.”

“If I had my way, if I was lucky enough, if I could be on the brink my entire life – that great sense of expectation and excitement without the disappointment – that would be the perfect state.”

On doing many accents
“It’s part of my job. You can’t play Veronica Guerin [puts on heavy Strine] sounding like this. It just wouldn’t wash. But what I find fascinating about doing an accent – unless it’s a farce – is that it’s not slapped on.”

“It’s not just women on film, 18-year-old girls feel pressure to do preventative injecting (botox). I see someone’s face, someone’s body who’d had children and I think they’re the song lines of your experience, and why would you want to eradicate that? I look at people sort of entombing themselves and all you see is their little pin holes of terror… and you think, just live your life, death is not going to be any easier just because your face can’t move.”

“You know, when you see yourself on a big screen, I tend to watch from behind my hands. There is absolutely the regret. You always get that at the end of every project. That’s what’s great about theater: at least every night you get the chance to go out and re-offend. I’m endlessly disappointed, which is what propels me into the next project, probably, not to repair the damage but to kind of hopefully keep developing. Otherwise there’s no reason to keep doing it, is there?”

“If you know you are going to fail, then fail gloriously.”

“It was only when I realized how actors have the power to move people that I decided to pursue acting as a career.”

“It’s important to travel and move and have a continual set of experiences so you’ve got more to feed back into your work. For me, it’s a natural thing.”

“Look, it’s one of the great mysteries of the world, I cannot answer that question. I think I’m vaguely blonde. To be perfectly frank, I don’t know.”

“Violence and racism are bad. Whenever they occur they are to be condemned and we should not turn a blind eye to them.”

“You can’t be trying to make a film that pleases all people, you know, so it’s not a concern of mine.”

“You know you’ve made it when you’ve been moulded in miniature plastic. But you know what children do with Barbie dolls – it’s a bit scary, actually.”

“When asked if she has ever appeared in Neighbours (1985): ‘Absolutely not. I’m an actress.'”