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BIOGRAPHY / QUOTES




Robin Tunney was born June 19, 1972 in Chicago.  
Robin is Irish American. 
She studied at the Chicago Academy for the Arts.
At the age of 19, Robin moved to Los Angeles.


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AWARDS:

- Best Actress at Venice Film Festival for the film "Niagara Niagara"- 1997
- Best Actress at MTV Movie Awards for the film "The Craft" - 1997
- Best Actress at Boston Film Festival for the film "Open Window" - 2006
- People Choice Award for "The Mentalist - 2008


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A complete Filmography can be found in the Filmography Section of this blog, updated to her latest projects, including her upcoming new movie "My All American".



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FACTS:

* Robin's earliest passion was basketball, a dream that ended when she severely injured her knee her freshman year in high school, requiring reconstructive surgery.

* She says about herself during schooltime: "I was bad in classroom situations. I'm really hard on myself. When I have to answer a question in front of a group of people, I can't. I'm such a crowd pleaser, I was terrified to be wrong. I was always used to being the smartest kid in the class, but I wasn't there, so it was really hard on me."

* Grew up with Lara Flynn Boyle and attended high school together at the prestigious Chicago Academy for the Arts.

* She dedicated the Volpi Cup she won in Venice for "Niagara Niagara" to Pat Maheras, her godmother and one of her mother's six sisters, who died from complications of breast cancer just before the film's major shooting began in 1996.


* She shaved her head for the movie "Empire Records", and had to wear a wig during the shooting of "The Craft". She says about that: "I was a child model and my mom would never let me do anything I wanted like cut my hair or get my ears pierced or any of those phases. I was 21 and for the first time I did something I was dying to do. I had always wanted to do something aberrant like that. I loved having it for a while, but by the end everyone saying "Excuse me, sir" was kind of annoying. I wasn't thinking about it in terms of some sort of feminist stance. I thought that if you were going to do it, the opportunity of doing it on film was also pretty cool.

* In an interview for the magazine "New York Moves", she cites Jessica Lange and Meryl Streep as her role models. 

                                                

**Sources of Information for Biography, Facts and Awards:
Wikipedia - IMDB - Chicago Tribune 

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Check out my Blog: "Robin Tunney Quotes" - HERE


* After I do a big movie I get offered big movies. But I always do the weirdest indie.

* I really wanted to be nasty and mean and bad. It's so much easier than being the good girl.


* I'm a firm believer that actors take to work who they aren't at home. People show their other self in their art or in their work.


* I'm attracted to roles where I don't have to wear makeup.


* In acting there's two different things: You're either pitching in a scene, or you're catching.


* People work really hard to get to a certain point. But they have to work just as hard to stay there.


* Actors love mental disorders, dialects, and corsets. Give them one of the three and they're happy.


* I'm from Chicago. My grandfather was a policeman, and my aunts are married to policemen.


* “Always want to get better. I think the scariest thing to me would be the idea that I could be complacent, this idea that you're in a place and you're cashing a check and you don't want to make it better or get better. I think that's scarier to me than not working.”


* "I'll do a certain amount of research depending on what the character is and what it requires. Sometimes music helps. Sometimes it's nice to get a pair of shoes for the character—it changes the way you walk and carry yourself, and that's really important. It's different for every job."


* On doing theater: "I think it's the sort of thing people go do to refuel and to fall in love with acting again, and when I feel like I need that, I usually do a tiny movie."


* "Even the bad [projects]: For one reason or another you did them, and they made you who you are."


* "If you're constantly in the makeup trailer or you're in an acting class, you're not really exposed to any real life or real people to play."


* “You know, it's weird. I think that there are certain actors who go to bed at night and they're like, "I'm going to wear the slinkiest dress to that premiere tomorrow and I'm going to get my picture taken and I'm going to be famous!" And, they date famous people and they're really into the celebrity of it all. That's never interested me. That's never been the part that I'm most comfortable with. I like actually making the movies and I like the whole process of doing that. You do press and it's respectful and you want people to go and see the movie and you're nice to people, but it's not what I go to sleep thinking about. And, I think my choices have been really clear."


* "You can't be afraid to make big moves and take chances. I think that's important in poker and in life."


* “There’s a lot of pressure on women to look like everybody else – to have the same nose, chin or lips. There are things I’ve always liked about my face because they’re different, like the fact that I have freckles. I admire women who have been able to keep their faces real and haven’t succumbed to too much stuff.”


* “I thought, you know what? I’m never going to please everybody, so I’ve just got to be true to myself.”


* "I thought acting is about real people."


* "It's fun to play different people, and when you have that separateness from someone, it's easier for me to play them, because you look at the person from an outsider point of view, and you know the things they do. If you're just playing yourself, somehow it just seems too easy."


* "I think when someone is up on the screen and you're watching them, there's something behind their eyes that makes them interesting, there's a life there. A lot of your career as an actor is having a rich life, going out and having experiences that are real so you have something to draw on. If you're constantly in the cycle of work, work, work that it's really hard to grow."


* "The only way you learn about who you are is just through having life experiences and having good relationships. If you just surround yourself with make-believe all the time, you're going to be sort of empty when you're up there on the screen. Those are not the people you're compelled to watch."


* [about making a photoshoot for a magazine]"It was good. I mean, they basically made me look like a really expensive hooker".


* "I feel bad that now the 18-year-olds out there don't have anyone to embrace, and that being left of center and not having big boobs and not using your sexuality as a weapon or as your trump card, there is no one who embraces that. Making a sex tape is your best foot in. When I came along it was Juliette Lewis and Winona Ryder and these women who embodied a more quirky and I think more authentic form of sexuality."


* "I have had a really kick-ass interesting life. I have traveled everywhere and managed to get to 35 without having to work terribly hard. Now I work hard. I don't regret things. I think that the attitude that you wanted to do indies and that you wanted to be down and dirty has become sort of antiquated. It's what every young actor wanted to be then, and the idea then that you didn't play up your looks and you go to auditions wearing your pajamas was cool. That doesn't seem to exist now and I think that is sad."


* [about shaving her head for Empire Records] "I was a child model and my mom would never let me do anything I wanted like cut my hair or get my ears pierced or any of those phases. I was 21 and for the first time I did something I was dying to do. I had always wanted to do something aberrant like that. I loved having it for a while, but by the end everyone saying "Excuse me, sir" was kind of annoying. I wasn't thinking about it in terms of some sort of feminist stance. I thought that if you were going to do it, the opportunity of doing it on film was also pretty cool."


* "I gotta tell you, I like to play the cards. I don't have any time anymore like I used to. When I was unemployed sometimes I would be at the casino in the middle of the day. One of my favorite moments on the The Mentalist was when we did an episode we shot at a casino in Los Angeles. The [assistant director] came up to me and said, “Wait till you see the people in there. Total degenerate gamblers. It's terrifying.” And I went to sit and play some hands at lunch and I knew like five people [laughs]. It's fun. You have to be completely engaged. But it's an incredibly chauvinist game."


* You know, I think my attitude would have stopped me a little bit. I always had a stance like, you know, fuck Maxim. You know, I was supposed to be on the cover and my publicist set up the shoot behind my back and I was like, “There is no fucking way I am wearing my underpants on the cover of a magazine; they can go fuck themselves.” Sexuality in that way and women using it has been around for forever, but it seems now with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, it seems that now in order to be successful you need to look like you want to have sex with every guy. I don't get it.


* "What's great about acting is the chance to discover different facets of myself. When you nail a character, you really inhabit them; a part of them is inside you forever. You grow. I'd be lying through my teeth if I didn't say I act for other people. I want people to like (my work). I think acting makes you discover parts of yourself because you're forced to. There's always going to be parts of you up there."


* "I was always brought up to say please and thank you and always tell the truth, and people were saying, "Oh my God, what's going to happen with your character next year (on "Prison Break" (2005))?' and I wasn't allowed to say, so I felt really guilty because I was lying to all these people, including my neighbors. You know, the character had its run, and I was really happy to be part of a show that was so successful and that people loved so much, but there was really nothing else for her to do."


* (About Simon Baker, her co-star on The Mentalist)- "I think he’s cougar meat. The older women, they really love him. I mean, they just die."


*It’s a really close-knit group, and I think what I’ve found the coolest about that is that everybody on our crew, they take part in the show’s success. I really feel warmly toward them. It’s fun."


*(About doing the movie August) "I can honestly say that I did the movie to meet David Bowie, because I wanted that life experience. And when I’m 70, I can play his albums for my grandchildren and I can say, “I did a movie with David Bowie!” .


* (About her dog,Lucy) "When she died, I kept on putting food in her dish for days. I thought I could never love another dog so much."


* "Recently I was talking with my nephew, and we shared a beautiful moment. I told him that it's when you have to face difficult moments that you can really define yourself and the person you want to become"


* "Simon [Baker] makes fun of me for ironing my duvet covers and pillowcases. He says a bed is not more comfortable if your iron it. But it feels better to me!".


* "I think my mother would like to come out and be my kissing double."


* "He's [Simon Baker] incredibly sweet to my parents and I'm pretty sure they like him more than me. My dad will call and say 'you must tell Simon, in tonight's episode, he took my breath away. The show was amazing'. No mention of me and I'm like, 'Daaaaaaad'".


* [About Simon Baker] "I'm like, 'Well, what do you think if I bought this house?' I have a strong, male figure who's in my life all the time".


* "When you're trying to make an independent film it's like a group of kids trying to push a rock up a hill. They're there for the right reasons because they want to learn and they're given opportunities that they wouldn't normally get".


* "None of us want to grow up, it’s not that fun.”


"Approval from other people means a lot."


* "Everything you read now is like a remake of a movie you've already seen. With independent film, things are more character-driven."

* "When somebody is working on an independent film, they are there because they want to be and they want to learn and they want to make it great.  They are not there for the money because there isn’t any. Looking at the crew and the sacrifices that they made in the spirit of lets all band together and make this work, it just has a different feeling.  It’s more pure.  It’s not about commerce.  And then again, everybody has to make a living too, so I get that." 


* "I think the most important thing is that if somebody decides that if they’re going to act that they have to actually fully commit to doing it.You have to be willing to humiliate yourself to sort of have a career in a way. You have to really need it and really want it."


* [About "The Craft"] "There was one girl from a legitimate university who wrote a dissertation on that film. I thought "Did she see the same movie I was in?"


* "In The Craft I have on the worst wig known to man because I was still bald. It was nice to have a little glamour now."


* [about "The In-Laws"] "I don't know if you noticed but a lot of my performance and my motivation behind the performance was that of getting a hair campaign."


* "I'm from the south side of Chicago and it was amazing to me that anyone wanted to pay me to be in a movie. Because I didn't start out in a film where a director found me and had a vested interest in my performance, nobody told me how things worked. I had to figure it out. I didn't have somebody mentoring me. I was thrown into it and left to fend for myself."


* "That's why I like Independent Films. There isn't so much red tape to change a line. You don't have to call the president and talk to seven other people and have nine people collaborating whether your hair looks better up or down."


*"Anything that is creative, people always will do their finest work when they feel safe to fail".


*"My parents weren't supportive of my studying drama. They're Irish, they're working class, and if they're going to spend all that money [on college] they want me to learn something that gets me a 401K, health insurance, and benefits. I didn't want to fail in their eyes so I knew I had to go out and do it."


* "When I moved to new York I thought if I can't stand to watch myself in a year's time I'll go and study art history or try to do interior design, but I'm not terribly ambitious. I mean, I love what I do but it never occured to me to try to develop some persona or try to wear outfits to parties or on the red carpet."


* "I have a better time confusing people. After 'The Craft' I could have done any teen movie there were making and I went and did 'Niagara, Niagara', which I don't think anybody really expected, and it was a really defining moment for me as an actor".


*[about what got Robin into acting] "I was taking an acting class when I was 14 years old. And my interest in it was that my older sister did it. I was doing a scene and one day I just forgot people were watching and there was an endorphin rush afterwards. I still remember what I was wearing."


* "The point of making and Independent Film is to tell a story that otherwise would not be made within the studio system. And I can firmly and proudly and confidently say that 'Niagara, Niagara' and 'Cherish' would never have been made by a major studio. With Independent Films the most important thing is that people walk away thinking it was original and not like anything else they've seen because that's the only reason to make an Independent Film."


* "When you’re a full-grown adult, and you’re going, ‘Oh my god, this is all there is?’, you know that life is life and it’s pretty ordinary, whereas when you’re 16, 17, even 18 years old, you think you’re going to do all these grand things and life is going to be this huge adventure." 


* "Let’s just say that I like to read a lot of books."


* "After the show ends, it’s going to be a weird time in my life because it’s so consuming. I’m so used to being incredibly busy and seeing Simon [Baker] and the cast every day; they’re like family. I think part of me is going to be really happy, but a bigger part of me is going to be really sad."


* "You know, I joke around that the core audience for The Mentalist is old, but I have this group of young female fans who make me these beautiful presents. It’s really moving. The group is basically headed by this Italian girl named Maria Novella [who runs a fan site called Robin’s Green Shades] and I’m really touched by the stuff they do. I don’t always think about how my characters affect people, but these girls look up to them so much. For the most part, people are so sweet. They make things for my dogs and send drawings –a lot of portraits, which you can’t hang up in your house because you’ll look like the biggest narcissist in the world."


* "I don't have a publicist who follows me everywhere, I don't feel like a star, I don't like red carpets very much, I don't wear haute couture, I don't weigh up everything I do, or what I'm going to say every time. I have job, that's already not bad."


* "I find it amusing, those actors who talk about their series as if they were talking about geopolitics. Take it easy!"


* "I don't take things serioulsy. Otherwise it's unbearable".


* "My first role? I was 11 months old, I don't remember about it".


* "People who met me at cafes used to tell me: "Oh you were an actress, what do you do now?" And I used to answer them: "I make belts, right now".


* "Everything's going to be all right, I'm not scared. It's useless to pray for your career to be successful. If you're good, and you work hard, everything is going to be all right."



* (About Monte-Carlo) "A beautiful region, and a cool place to have a coffee for 10 euros and a bottle of water for 7 euros."

"Season seven is not “50 Shades of Grey” done by “The Mentalist.” 

* "I remember season one, we had a press conference and Bruno, Simon and I all swore up and down there is no way these two would ever be together romantically. And I think we were telling the truth!"

* "I kind of feel like I’ve gotten [my wish], that we’ve actually gotten a definitive last season and they can tie everything up. It’s really unusual and I know we’re putting it to bed in a proper way. Because it has been a really long run. And the fans are really attached to these characters. I feel lucky about that. I’m just really happy that we get to have a real ending. You get to satiate the characters and yourself that there is a solid ending to the story."

* "I feel like 'Robin Tunney, you've never been in rehab, you've never been incarcerated, you've never had an eating disorder, you're a mircacle, get out there and kill it!"

* "Teresa Lisbon gets the happy ending that she's always deserved but hasn't known she wanted."

* "I have a pretty wonderful charmed life."

* “I never had one of those moments where one day I hadn’t done anything and the next day everybody knew who I was. It was a sort of slow and steady build, and I’m still lucky whether it’s a nicer restaurant or you check into a hotel and they might give you a nicer room but I’ve had a different sort of trajectory, and it’s been very balanced.”

* "I’ve never been so famous that I got paid millions of dollars to do perfume ads, but it’s been a pretty great life for me. I’ve been pretty appreciative. I think I’ve got the perfect level where I’ve gotten to do what I love and earn a nice, comfortable living and still not had people sleeping outside my house. It’s been great.”

* "After The Craft, I was offered every teen horror movie. The idea of bank-rolling on a certain success wasn't that appealing".

* "My mom always made all of us feel like there was absolutely nothing that we couldn't do. She didn't make the world seem scary".

* "I don't think you can go through life terrified. Your life is for living!".

* "God, it would be great if we could spend all this money we're spending on the war, on our own society."

* "The best outfits, the best looking people from anywhere in the world live in New York. The City is so charged, I love the fact that I lived there."

* "There's a funny kind of creature in L.A. It's the 17 year-old that you see with the $2800 Balenciaga bag, and diamonds on their fingers, and they have on the new ChloƩ flats that are $600, and you think, what do you have to look forward to? Who are your parents and how bad do they feel?".

* "I think we're as much a product of our failures as we are of our successes. The idea is that you grow and try not to make the same mistake twice".


* "Life is a game of chance, like poker. The idea is that you should only play great hands, and don't get anxious. You're never going to win on the flop!"

"The best reason to do something is because you're afraid. The idea of doing something new is scary. We're all comfortable doing something we've done a million times".