On choosing both serious and popcorn-movie roles: "There's art and there's commerce. You have to find a way to mesh the two. It's important to do the little movies just for the love of the art. But it's those big movies that take you around the world and make you globally famous."
I want to be the next Spike Lee. I want to help other black folks to get into Hollywood and be successful in Hollywood.
I guess you could say I have bad taste in men. But I no longer feel the need to be someone's wife.
Beauty? Let me tell you something - being thought of as 'a beautiful woman' has spared me nothing in life. No heartache, no trouble. Love has been difficult. Beauty is essentially meaningless and it is always transitory.
This moment is so much bigger than me, This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll... It's for the women that stand beside me, Jada Pinkett Smith, Angela Bassett, Vivica A. Fox... and it's for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance, because the door tonight has been opened. - During her Oscar acceptance speech.
What is my real purpose here? I've looked at what I do. I make believe and make movies. I entertain people and get paid for it. Sometimes it seems like such a shallow existence. How insignificant in the scheme of life.
(On receiving a film festival award while pregnant) I am three times the girl I used to be. This is the second red carpet where I didn't have to think about sucking in my stomach - because I can't!
Blackness is a state of mind and I identify with the black community. Mainly, because I realized, early on, when I walk into a room, people see a black woman, they don't see a white women. So out of that reason alone, I identify more with the black community.
When I was a kid, my mother told me that if you could not be a good loser, then there's no way you could be a good winner. And I hope to God I never see these people again. - on accepting her Razzie Award for Worst Actress
I never wanted to be a model. My modeling career was nothing but a stepping stone to my acting career and that's all I ever saw it as. A pointless rock in the river that has to be stepped on in order to get to the meaningful oasis of acting.
I don't see a white woman. I see a black woman, even though my mother is white (her father Jerome is black). Knowing that has made my life easier, I think.
The worst thing a man can ever do is kiss me on the first date.
I spent a lot of time with a crown on my head.
I was black growing up in an all-white neighborhood, so I felt like I just didn't fit in. Like I wasn't as good as everybody else, or as smart, or whatever.
I'll never get married again, and I always hate to say never to anything, but I will never marry again.
On Dorothy Dandridge: "...You have to find a way to be sad on every day, in every scene, in every moment. And always try to hide the sadness. And (then) you'll get the essence of who she was."