Best Quotes from Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I think police officers are modern day heroes. I think they protect us.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Don’t let people disrespect you. My mom says don’t open the door to the devil. Surround yourself with positive people.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

It wears on your soul when you take on the mental state of a dark character.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I remember when Heath Ledger talked about playing the Joker… I always used to look out of the side of my eye, going, ‘Yeah, actors.’ But there really is a darkness when you are playing someone psychotic – you have to go there mentally.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

There are roles I want that my agency might not want me to do because of the subject matter or whatever. Or there are roles that people won’t bring to me because they don’t think I’ll do it. And that is a big strain because an actor wants to act.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

The hardest part was when I was in high school not having a job and always being broke. I had to get to auditions without a car. I either took the bus or walked.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I was in the wilderness of Hollywood for almost ten years. I was off the studio lists. I wasn’t getting the roles offered to actors that hadn’t done a third of the roles I had done or had the popularity I had.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

My wife and I have been together since 1986. I graduated in ’86 and she graduated in ’88. We began dating when she was 17. Actually she turned 18 when we started kissing and stuff.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Now, I have big-money offers on three movies, and I have director approval. That’s kind of scary,’ he says. ‘No directors have been attached. That’s a lot of pressure on me.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

The Academy Awards was an amazing night. I know I kind of lost my mind a little bit. I apologize for that. That night went so fast; I can’t remember what I said or what happened.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I’m not a prude. On the set, they called me ‘Butt Naked.’

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I understand it all. I can write my own ticket for one or two movies. But if they’re not the right ones, my ticket gets yanked. I understand that’s how it works, and I’m okay with it.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Jonathan Lynn is one of the last actors Orsen Welles used in a production. It was wonderful. He’s very sharp, very sharp. It’s funny I’ve been asked how weird it was to have a Brit do a church gospel movie.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

It’s a director’s job to tell a story and he’s very well versed in telling stories with a bit of comedy in them and keeping the pace of the movie right and that’s exactly what he did. He was observant of a world he didn’t understand but he told a wonderful story.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I am admiring of my fellow peers, black filmmakers and black actors and actresses.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I have never made a decision based on race and never will.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Before I was an actor I was a break dancer, one of those street performers you see. I guess my introduction into the professional world of performing was a stint as back up dancer for Lionel Richie and I performed at the closing ceremony at the ’84 Olympics.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I speak to my agent about great roles, and he’s like, ‘They are all going to Will Smith.’

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I rewind the TV every two minutes. If someone does something interesting, I have to see it over and over again.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I worked so much when my first son was born that I missed a lot.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

As an actor you have to bring to the table your creative input. But when a director like Ridley Scott says I want you to do this this way, you know when he gets to the editing room he has a reason for it. It’s like watching a masterpiece.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I don’t choose parts. I choose filmmakers. I’m done trying to make a statement with a character. What happens is, I craft a performance from the beginning to the end of the character. Then I release it to the director, and he interprets what I gave him.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

When you’re watching a movie and find yourself getting emotional, it’s because you’re bringing something personal to the images. It’s the same thing with acting. You’re bringing the essence of your core emotional being to that moment.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

When you see my performances, even people that you might have known, like Nicky Barnes in ‘American Gangster,’ you have to get over the fact that I look like Cuba Gooding, Jr. But once you find truth in the performance, if I’m doing my job right, you believe everything.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

The roles that I always get attracted to are roles where the material is based on an actual person.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

As an actor, when you’re winning the moment over, there’s a truth to your intention. You might laugh at it or you might cry at it, but I think your visceral reaction to it is a reaction to the truth of the moment.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I was a fan of football. I was more of a Raiders fan, but I knew who O.J. was. I knew The Juice, and I remember the Hertz commercials with him running to the airport and whatnot. So he was a highbrow celebrity in my eyes.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I think all my characters haunt me. Especially the real-life ones, like Master Chief Carl Brashear, the Tuskagee Airmen. Every time I see a military person, it gives me such a sense of pride but also a sense of responsibility to project excellence when representing them.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I feel I’m a hammer to the construction worker that is the filmmaker.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

If I told you I was a Republican and you were a Democrat, no matter what I said after that, it would be tempered with your opinions.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

It took me a month to get out of the mindset of O.J. But even now, still, I think it might have done something to my vocal chords. I went to see the doctor, and he was like, ‘I don’t see anything. You’re fine.’ But mentally, I might have broke a little bit.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

When I started in the business, you did television, and then when you got lucky, you got a prestige project of a film.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I think the biggest compliment an actor can have is if people forget who they’re watching and get lost in the character.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I’ve been given that gift of working with Jack Nicholson and James Coburn and certain people who just out of nowhere break into stories – talking about working with Alfred Hitchcock or Kubrick. That’s my real reward of my career.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

It’s the director’s job to piece together my performance, his interpretation of my takes, each take, and string them together and make a statement. I’m red paint on a canvas for a painter.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

At one point, I was greenlighting films and scripts that shouldn’t have been made based on the fact that they had that stamp of approval of an Academy Award winner. And the good news is I got to learn the real process of filmmaking – directing, storyboarding, writing.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

The truth is, you don’t ever decide on a role, not when you first begin. You audition for the role, and you’re lucky to get it.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

There’s a lack of diversity amongst executives in the position of greenlighting a film who feel that their stories are being told. If there’s a diversity at the executive level, then we’ll have diversity of the storytelling process.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

I have had this interesting love affair with London and England, though I don’t know how London feels about me.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Our job as artists is to reflect the ills of society sometimes and to find a truth in that, and I think you can’t start the healing process until you recognize the truth and all of its ugly warts and all.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

When I won the Oscar, I fell into that mind-set that this is a precious role. People everywhere were shouting, ‘Show me the money!’ I just didn’t want anything that could parody the fact that I was like a tagline in a movie. So when Steven Spielberg offered me ‘Amistad,’ I said no; when ‘Hotel Rwanda’ came along, I said no.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.