Bette Davis: Goals and Tasks

Bette Davis on the set of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?/Phil Stern/

Interview with Bette Davis
Conducted by James Grissom
Via Phone

I don't believe in dreams or dreaming. I have to say this because over and over again you keep quoting people who had a dream or who dream of a particular outcome. This is ludicrous: It really is. To dream is to be without reason; to dream is to not be awake and in control. You might as well announce to the world that you've engaged a couple of fairies--you know, the ones in the forests with the wings--to get you a job or to teach you to speak well or to inspire you. This is ludicrous. I suppose it is okay, as a child, to dream or to hope, but those desires grow up and become goals and tasks. I don't dream of being a good actress: I work damned hard and all the time to be a good actress. I don't dream or hope that I get a good cast or director with whom I can work: I scream and demand and push and pull until they are a good cast or a good director. Or the best they can be. We're talking goals and tasks here, not hopes and dreams. I have to stop you from this absurdity--your own and that of those you quote--or there will never be any progress. Go get what you want; go do what you want. Leave the dreams aside.

© 2014 James Grissom


  1. After reading this, I wonder if she also loved Ayn Rand---sounds like her. good reading, as usual.


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