50 Greatest Marielle Heller Quotes

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Which are your favorite Marielle Heller quotes?

Marielle Heller is an American writer, director, and actress.

She is most famously recognized for her being the brain-directing international hit movies ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl’, ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’, and ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’.

Her latest big project is the widely celebrated TV series ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ from which she successfully earned the film awards nomination the ‘Critics’ Choice Television Awards’ for Best Limited/Movie Supporting Actress category.

Over the course of her entire career, Heller’s writing credits include big screenplays, theatrical plays, and pilots for huge international broadcast TV networks ‘ABC’ and the ’20th Century Fox’.

Here’s our collection of the greatest Marielle Heller quotes:


50 Greatest Marielle Heller Quotes

1. “I just have no interest in making a biopic. No offense to biopics, it’s just not where my mind goes.” – Marielle Heller

2. “Part of what I loved about exploring Lee Israel was she was a woman who was often overlooked and judged. And it was fun to find all the ways that I could sympathize and feel as though I was like her.” – Marielle Heller

3. “Seeing yourself reflected on screen is a very important part of being human. It makes us feel less alone, it make us feel more connected to humanity.” – Marielle Heller

4. “Scott Frank and I are director friends. We met through the Sundance Labs and he’s advised me on my first projects – I’ve visited him on set, we’ve shared first cuts with each other, and we’re more like director pals than anything else.” – Marielle Heller

5. “I hate the narrative that people have to be tortured in order to be good artists. I think it’s a solipsistic view that people use in order to be selfish.” – Marielle Heller

6. “One of the boring tricks about capturing Broadway onscreen, actually, is just about all the different unions.” – Marielle Heller

7. “I love movies where the explosions and fireworks are happening inside someone’s heart and mind instead of outside.” – Marielle Heller

8. “My five-year-old, before the quarantine, joined a chess class in our neighborhood in Brooklyn, and my husband was learning to play so that they could play against each other.” – Marielle Heller

9. “It’s funny because you start watching Mister Rogers so young, it’s sort of in this subliminal part of your brain. I think that’s why people have such a visceral reaction to him.” – Marielle Heller


10th of 50 Marielle Heller Quotes

10. “I come from theater and captured theater has a bad rap of being never what the live performance was.” – Marielle Heller


11. “I feel some responsibility, being one of the few women directors who are being given opportunities. Sometimes, that makes me want to take on some big franchise because I want to show people that women can do it.” – Marielle Heller

12. “I remember my grandmother’s husband dying. But I think I was older. I think I was 7 or 8 when he died. But I remember that being the first real person I knew who died, and I – and that my parents didn’t let me go to the funeral. And I remember feeling like it was really unfair.” – Marielle Heller

13. “I don’t look like the way we’ve painted directors in our movies and everything since forever. I don’t look like an old white guy in a baseball cap. So, yes, there are always moments when people are surprised that I’m the director.” – Marielle Heller

14. “I don’t think I would have made ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ had Trump not been president. I felt so desperately like we needed to see a model of masculinity that was kind and loving and emotional, and could be the antidote to this president that we had.” – Marielle Heller

15. “Being a good actor is incredibly difficult. But the amount of responsibility is so much less on your shoulders than directing.” – Marielle Heller

16. “I was in theater school playing Lady Macbeth and doing these great dramatic parts, and then I got out into the real world and was auditioning for commercials, and just not getting to do anything that felt remotely meaningful.” – Marielle Heller

17. “I remember thinking when I set out to direct my movie that it was all about lenses and the shots you were going to get. Really, directing is about tapping into what makes us the most human, telling stories, emotions, and managing a group of empathetic people.” – Marielle Heller

18. “I don’t really believe that all theater needs to be filmed – for some things, the special part of live theater is that it exists and then it’s gone.” – Marielle Heller

19. “Becoming a writer, and then a director, was taking my creative life in my own hands, and wanting to have stories that I wanted to put out into the world – and I have fallen in love with directing.” – Marielle Heller


20th of 50 Marielle Heller Quotes

20. “I just don’t want to ever make decisions based on something that I feel like I shouldn’t do, or if it’s a logical career step. It has to be something that inspires me. Because if it’s not something that inspires me, then I’m not going to do it well. And that doesn’t help anybody.” – Marielle Heller


21. “It makes white men uncomfortable that there aren’t more stories about them because it somehow is perpetuating the idea that they aren’t the center of the universe – and they wouldn’t give up that position lightly.” – Marielle Heller

22. “I’m getting more and more used to the fact that being a director and being a woman are two things that everyone wants to talk about because it’s so rare.” – Marielle Heller

23. “I don’t think any movie is going to make some kid run out and have sex.” – Marielle Heller

24. “I know I dressed way too provocatively when I look back. I was in that weird phase of feeling suddenly like my body was a woman’s body and not a kid’s body.” – Marielle Heller

25. “I went to Sundance Labs, and I definitely watched my male peers from there have very different meetings than I was having very different outcomes. You could tell there was a feeling that a young male director had this exciting potential and a young female director was risky.” – Marielle Heller

26. “I was one of those probably annoying little kids who was always putting on plays with my family.” – Marielle Heller

27. “It feels like there are two very different parts to making movies. There’s the making of it and then there’s the putting out of it – and I like the making of the movies a lot more than putting it out into the world.” – Marielle Heller

28. “I do think there’s probably a little more opportunity to direct in television because there are just so many TV shows. In movies, it still feels harder to break in. I do hope that’s shifting. The difference between TV and miniseries and movies is also diminishing.” – Marielle Heller

29. “I just think good actors are the main reason to make movies.” – Marielle Heller


30th of 50 Marielle Heller Quotes

30. “I spent most of my 20s working as an actor. I started writing and directing because I was frustrated with the types of roles that were available to young women.” – Marielle Heller


31. “I was really serious about being an actress. I was playing young female characters and not feeling very connected to them.” – Marielle Heller

32. “For the same reason I want to make movies about women, I also want to make movies that help men be better men and that can be an antidote to toxic masculinity.” – Marielle Heller

33. “I have a hard time with films that I feel like I can predict every twist or turn they take from the moment I start reading the script.” – Marielle Heller

34. “My normal way of filming something is, like, one camera, very well planned out, knowing exactly how we’re going to get each shot.” – Marielle Heller

35. “I did not grow up in the 70s but in the 80s in the Bay Area, the child of hippies in Berkeley, so I felt connected to the place and the legendary things that had come before me historically that I’d missed.” – Marielle Heller

36. “I was connected to the theater, it was my first love, where my career was focused, on interesting ways to tell stories.” – Marielle Heller

37. “Sometimes we need pure relief. Sometimes we need pure escapism. Sometimes we need major reflection on some aspects of our collective unconscious.” – Marielle Heller

38. “I haven’t acted in 10 years. I always talk about being an actor, and yet I’ve been focusing on making movies for a long time.” – Marielle Heller

39. “I guess I always view movies as, in their best form, connecting us more to each other and to humanity.” – Marielle Heller


40th of 50 Marielle Heller Quotes

40. “I never thought I was going to make a movie about men. I’ve always thought we don’t have enough movies about women, and if I spent my whole life making movies only about women, there still wouldn’t be enough movies about women, so that’s a wonderful thing to dedicate my career to.” – Marielle Heller


41. “You live in an apartment in New York, and you think all the time about like, ‘I don’t even know who’s living above me.’ There are all these anonymous people in that window or that window or that window, and everybody has their own interesting life that I know nothing about.” – Marielle Heller

42. “I’m a director… I don’t wear any makeup, and wear jeans every day.” – Marielle Heller

43. “Mr. Rogers would not make a good protagonist of a narrative film. He’s without conflict, he’s too far along on his journey toward enlightenment to be a good protagonist. Our protagonists have to be struggling with demons in a certain way.” – Marielle Heller

44. “You want to make movies about extraordinary people, but those extraordinary people have to have a huge journey.” – Marielle Heller

45. “Writing, directing – it’s just torture every time and it doesn’t seem to get any easier. And yet I love them and I’m not going to stop doing them.” – Marielle Heller

46. “The beauty of film is that you can get closer than you can in theater, you know? I come from theater, and I remember feeling like I was almost cheating when I would put the camera so close to somebody’s face when I was filming them.” – Marielle Heller

47. “I don’t think we have to be jerks to make good art either, but somehow we as a society have romanticized that idea.” – Marielle Heller

48. “I was so involved in my own life I wasn’t even aware of what was happening in the outside world, but as I got older I was constantly reflecting back on my own teenagehood and feeling like I hadn’t been represented.” – Marielle Heller

49. “When you’re directing, you look around and you think, everything I see is my responsibility. From the catering being on time to whether the clouds are moving the way I need them to move to whether this actor is giving the performance I want to whether the costumes are what they should be.” – Marielle Heller

50. “One of the movies I know affected me was ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch.’ I remember feeling like it was such a brave and scary and awesome movie, and it was so ambitious. I felt really connected to it emotionally.” – Marielle Heller



Thanks for checking out this collection of quotes from Marielle Heller! Don’t forget to share them on social media with your friends and family.

Which are your favorite Marielle Heller quotes? Leave a comment below.

Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa is a writer for Wealthy Gorilla. Friends often call her Zii. She is a girl from Jakarta, Indonesia who currently lives in Bali. Zii loves photography and travelling.


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