Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

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Stanley Kubrick, George C. Scott, Peter Sellers, Christiane Kubrick, & Weegee during the filming of the pie fight scene that was cut from Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Peter Sellers

Peter Sellers

“As far as I’m aware, I’m nothing. I have no personality of my own whatsoever. I have no character to offer the public. I have nothing to project.

…When I look at myself I see a person who strangely lacks what I consider the ingredients for a personality. I can see personality in other people but I can’t see any in myself. One feels that perhaps through playing so many characters one becomes a sort of nil on one’s own account.”

-Peter Sellers, quoted in The Many Voices of Peter Sellers (UPI, 6/1980)

Dr. Strangelove

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via Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964, dir. Stanley Kubrick)

“Some forms of reality are so horrible we refuse to face them, unless we are trapped into it by comedy. To label any subject unsuitable for comedy is to admit defeat.”

-Peter Sellers

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

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Peter Sellers and Stanley Kubrick on the set of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964, dir. Stanley Kubrick) (via The Stanley Kubrick Archives)

“I love Peter. I think he’s a great actor, but I am never any good on this sort of thing. I’m terribly inhibited about discussing an artist like Peter, but I’ll cautiously torture out a statement – I’m peculiar about this, but it’s a very personal relationship you have with an actor.

He’s the hardest worker I know. I’d come into the [Dr. Strangelove] studio at seven o’clock in the morning and there would be Peter Sellers. Waiting, ready. Full of ideas. When you are inspired and professionally accomplished as Peter, the only limit to the importance of your work is your willingness to take chances. I believe Peter will take the most incredible chances with a characterization, and he is receptive to comic ideas most of his contemporaries would think unfunny and meaningless. This has, in my view, made his best work absolutely unique and important.”

-Kubrick on Sellers, in a statement he wrote for Sellers biographer Peter Evans (Peter Sellers: The Mask Behind the Mask)