Category: Famous Actors/Actresses


George Clooney

George Clooney: American actor.

Born: May 6, 1961

When George Clooney played a pediatrician on ER, he had plenty of experience with children’s doctors to draw from.  Stricken as a child with Bell’s Palsy, he spent months with part of his face paralyzed.

That was the worst time of my life.  You know how cruel kids can be. I was mocked and taunted, but the experience made me stronger.

As a young man, it was not so much that he found acting but that acting found him

I didn’t even want to be an actor.  I was just hanging out with my cousin.

He got a small part in a movie and that opened doors for him.

I rented my car, a Monte Carlo, to them and got fifty bucks a day. They gave me a part as an extra. And Miguel said, Come to L.A. and be an actor. I had just spent the summer cutting tobacco, which is a miserable job. So that’s what made me move to Hollywood.

To other young people considering acting he offers this warning.

When you’re young you believe it when people tell you how good you are. And that’s the danger, you inhale. Everyone will tell you you’re a genius, which you are not, and if you understand that, you win.

Martin Nigel Davey

Martin Nigel Davey: Writer and actor.

When he first started acting, Martin Davey was told that, because he had trouble with reading in school, he could never act.

While acting as a teenager I was put off by people saying if you cannot read the script quickly you will never get a part, but glad to say I returned to the acting world at 30 and have met and worked with a lot of talented people.

However, the handsome British actor and director of highly acclaimed short films did not see it that way.  In fact, having embraced his dyslexia he incorporated into his acting method.

Director Ria Richardson points out

Although Martin is slightly dyslexic this is not a weakness but his strength. He may take longer with the script but his characters once built are without exception totally believable and real. His strengths lie in improvising the scenes and characterization. He is a joy to work with.

Improvisation only works if it enhances the character or the scene. As I’m dyslexic I like to learn the role first then add the correct lines after I’ve got the character. This is why improvisation suits me a bit better and I have been fortunate that directors have been happy to support me with this approach.

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone: American Film Actor.

Born: July 6, 1946

It would be great to be able to pass on to someone all of the successes, the failures, and the knowledge that one has had. To help someone avoid all the fire, pain and anxiety would be wonderful.

Sly Stallone certainly knows life has its ups and downs.  In school he was thought to be slow and was eventually placed in a high school for children with special needs.

When I was in junior high school, the teachers voted me the student most likely to end up in the electric chair.

But he made it through, and later used his struggles to pen the Academy Award winning move Rocky.

I believe there’s an inner power that makes winners or losers. And the winners are the ones who really listen to the truth of their hearts.

Today he remembers his humble beginnings and how they shaped him.

I have a lack of fear, whereas in the past the fear of failure was a powerful motivator. Anyway, I have great expectations for the future, but I just don’t know if I’m the monarch of all I survey.

I’ve kind of fashioned my life after a Slinky. Bend me in a million shapes, and eventually I’ll spring back to what I originally was.

He has these thought to offer those who are struggling.

Once in one’s life, for one mortal moment, one must make a grab for immortality; if not, one has not lived.

Success is usually the culmination of controlling failure.

Guy Stuart Ritchie

Guy Stuart Ritchie: British film star & film director.

Born: 10 September 1968

As a child, Guy Ritchie knew he was different from the other children in school but he did not know why.  It was not until adulthood that he discovered the caused of his difficulties with reading and writing.  By then he had dropped out of school without graduating and had even done a turn as a day laborer.

By the time I found out I was dyslexic, I didn’t give a hoot. Even when IQ tests showed that I was bright, I wasn’t interested. I found out so early that I couldn’t do schoolwork that I was just interested in being disruptive.

Fortunately for anyone who saw him in the blockbuster 2009 version of Sherlock Holmes, Ritchies’ inability to read the stories did not stop him from knowing them and learning them well.

I was very fluent in all the [Holmes] stories since I was a boy.  I used to listen to them on tape before I could read so I knew them very well.

In fact, because he was able to focus on the words he was hearing rather than trying to read, he was able to form a mental image of how Holmes should look and move and think.

Funny enough, I’ve never seen any of the other previous productions so I have no visual reference for Sherlock Holmes….I have no sort of baggage that I bring with it.  It’s really how I saw Conan Doyles’ Holmes and Watson.

Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsey: American TV and movie star.

Born:  January 30, 1966

No one would have predicted that young Patrick Dempsey would one day be an international heartthrob.

My friends called me ‘Amoeba’ until junior high. I didn’t really start growing until I left high            school.

When Dempsey started acting, he went into auditions thinking about more than how his hair looked or if he was tall enough for the role.  After having struggled in school throughout his life, Dempsey also wondered if he would be able to read the script.  He sympathizes with those who have been challenged by a learning disability.

Dyslexia really hurt me during auditions. There was a 10-year period where I had to memorize pages of dialogue and invest so much of my time and energy into every audition, going in knowing I wouldn’t get it anyway.

Though initially discouraged, the rugged handsome actor who plays Dr. Shepherd on the blockbuster TV hit Grey’s Anatomy persevered and now enjoys the benefits of working with a close cast who have his back.

Shonda Rhimes, creator of Gray’s Anatomy, remembers when they first started working together.

I actually thought that he didn’t like the scripts from the way he approached the readings.  When I found out, I completely understood his hesitation. Now that we all know, if he is struggling with a word, the other actors are quick to step up and help him out. Everyone is very respectful.

Liv Tyler

Liv Tyler:  actress and model.

Born: July 1, 1977

Even as a child, Liv Tyler knew that she wanted to be in the spotlight.

I used to pretend I was a rock singer.  I’d use the bedpost as a microphone and I had a plastic guitar and high heels. I always wanted to be up there with him [her father, Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith].

Except for reading and writing, little frightened young Tyler.

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with horror movies.  It was my favorite thing to watch. Then I remember seeing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and I was like, ‘OK, I’m done with the genre,’ because it really scared me.

Today, Tyler is thankful for the unique opportunities she had to success outside the classroom.

For me, I didn’t get much of a childhood in my teen years because I’ve been working since I was 14. But that also kept me out of trouble. When everybody was doing acid and partying like crazy, I was at work on a movie in Tuscany … having my own fun, of course, but it was a different kind of thing. I have no regrets. I love the way my life has gone.

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