These are some incredible film monologues to sink your teeth into! We generally encourage actors to use theatre monologues for auditions, but there have been some mighty fine monologues from the big screen over the years that are definitely worth a look. There is a stigma around auditioning using a movie monologue, and so often it isn’t done. I think this is because alongside any great film monologue is usually an iconic performance. How can you perform a monologue from Good Will Hunting, without Robin Williams springing to mind, or Erin Brockovich without being compared to the inimitable Julia Roberts? You don’t want a director, producer or casting director looking at your work and spending the whole time comparing you to Julia Roberts!
It’s a problem. And it’s a problem that can’t be solved by performing it like the original. Mimicry is the enemy of good acting, and good art. You want to be original and show your unique approach to a script. You want to give it your own flair. But just because these great monologues have been performed by some of the best actors of all time, does that mean we should ignore the slew of incredible scripts written for film? Of course not!
There are some amazing movie monologues that are great to work on as actors. Even if it’s just for a bit of fun, learn one of these monologues below and enjoy…
Male Monologues from Movies
Truth is, I don’t think people understood what it was I was doing at Schaffer. I wasn’t there to conduct. How many fucken morons can wave his arms and keep people in tempo? I was there to push people beyond what’s expected of them. I believe that is an absolute necessity. Otherwise we’re depriving the world of the next Louis Armstrong, or the next Charlie Parker. Have I told you that story about how Charlie Parker became Charlie Parker? Parker’s a young kid, pretty good on the Sax, gets up to play at a cutting session, and well, he fucks it up. And Jones nearly decapitates him for it, throws a cymbal at his head. And Charlie’s laughed off stage. Cries himself to sleep that night. But the next morning, what does he do? He practices. And he practices and he practices and he practices. With one goal in mind – never to be laughed at again. And a year later he goes back to the Reno, and he steps up on that stage and he plays the best motherfucken solo the world has ever heard. So imagine if Jones had just said, “Well that’s okay, Charlie, that was alright. Good job.” And Charlie thinks to himself, “Well, shit I did do a pretty good job.” End of story. That to me is an absolute tragedy. But that’s just what the world wants now. No wonder Jazz is dying.
I tell you man, every Starbucks “Jazz” album, just proves my point really – there are no two words more harmful in the English language than “Good job”.
The truth is Andrew I… never really had a Charlie Parker. But I tried. I actually fucking tried. And that’s more than most people ever do, and I will never apologise for how I tried.
Well, try this one and I’ll say it just once….Tell you what, we could’ve had a good life together! Fuckin’ real good life! Had us a place of our own. But you didn’t want it, Ennis! So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain! Everything’s built on that! That’s all we got, boy, fuckin’ all. So I hope you know that, even if you don’t never know the rest! You count the damn few times that we have been together in nearly twenty years and you measure the short fuckin’ leash you keep me on – and then you ask me about Mexico and you tell me you’ll kill me for needing somethin’ that I don’t hardly never get. You have no idea how bad it gets! And I’m not you – I can’t make it on a coupla high-altitude fucks once or twice a year! You are too much for me, Ennis, you sonofawhoreson bitch! I wish I knew how to quit you.
You had three weeks. The universe was created in a third of that time.
Here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna announce the names of everyone who designed the launch demo. I’m gonna introduce everyone and ask them to stand up. The bag was designed by Susan Kare, the Macintosh font that’s crawling across the screen was designed by Steve Capps, the starry night and sky writing was Bruce Horn. Down to the calculator. And then I’m gonna say the voice demo that didn’t work, was designed by Andy Herztfeld. 5 in 6 is your first chance of surviving the first round of Russian Roulette, and you’ve reversed those odds. So unless you wanna be disgraced in front of your friends, family, colleagues, stockholders and the press, I wouldn’t stand here arguing. I’d go try get some more bullets out of the gun.
Do it, Andy!
Stop – you. [Steve points to a man in a blue shirt]
What size shirt do you wear? Does anyone know what size shirt he wears? Does anyone know what size shirt I wear? The disk fits in your pocket. I need a shirt with a breast pocket, I can take it out on stage. I need a white shirt, in my size with a breast pocket![Steve turns to Joanna]
Go to the lobby, find someone who’s my size who’s wearing a white shirt, tell them I’ll trade him for a free computer and he can keep my shirt.
[Steve is unbuttoning his shirt and takes it off.]
It has to be white. The Mac is beige, I’m beige, the disk is blue, the shirt has to be white.
([Steve turns to Andy]
Andy? [Steve makes a gun with his hand, and points it at his own head]
I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn’t a second at all. It stretches on forever, like an ocean of time. For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout Camp, watching falling stars. And yellow leaves from the maple trees that lined our street. Or my grandmother’s hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper. And the first time I saw my cousin Tony’s brand new Firebird. And Janie, and Janie. And Carolyn. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me, but it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain, and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry. You will someday.
Before you leave, can I have a second?
I’ve got it. AIDS. I wanted you to hear it from me.
Stop it, don’t. Right now, it’s between us, alright, just us. But please, if any of you fuss about it, or frown about it, or worst of all, if you bore me with your sympathy, that’s just seconds wasted, seconds that could be used for making music, because that’s all I want to do with the time I have left. I don’t have time to be their victim, their AIDS poster boy, their cautionary tale. No, I decide who I am. I’m going to be what I was born to be, a performer, to give the people what they want. Go to the heavens, Freddie fucking Mercury.[Roger Taylor: You’re a legend, Fred.]
You’re bloody right I am. We’re all legends. But you’re right, I am a legend. Now give me a chance to get my bitchy little vocal cords in order, and we’ll go and punch a hole through the roof of that stadium.
Alright, enough of this. Now even though you’re crying like sweet little girls, I still love you.
You know, despite all the bullshit that comes along with it – I remember my childhood as this, you know, this magical time. I do. I remember when, uh, my mother first told me about death. My great-grandmother had just died and my whole family had just visited them in Florida. I was about three, three and a half years old. Anyway, I was in the backyard playing, and my sister had just taught me how to take the garden hose, and do it in such a way that, uh, you could spray it into the sun. And you could make a rainbow. And so I was doing that, and through the mist I could see my granmother. And she was just standing there, smiling at me. And, uh, then I held it there, for a long time, and I looked at her. And then finally, I let go of the nozzle, you know, and then I dropped the hose, and she disappeared. And so I went back inside and I tell my parents, you know. And they, uh, sit me down and give me this big rap on how when people die you never see them again, and how I’d imagined it. But I knew what I’d seen. And I was just glad that I saw that. I mean, I’ve never seen anything like that since. But, I don’t know, it just kind of let me know how ambiguous everything was, you know, even death.
Col. Hans Landa:
Now if one were to determine what attribute the German people share with a beast, it would be the cunning and the predatory instinct of a hawk. But if one were to determine what attributes the Jews share with a beast, it would be that of the rat. If a rat were to walk in here right now as I’m talking, would you treat it with a saucer of your delicious milk? (LaPadite: “Probably not”) I didn’t think so. You don’t like them. You don’t really know why you don’t like them. All you know is you find them repulsive.
Consequently, a German soldier conducts a search of a house suspected of hiding Jews. Where does the hawk look? He looks in the barn, he looks in the attic, he looks in the cellar, he looks everywhere he would hide, but there’s so many places it would never occur to a hawk to hide. However, the reason the Führer’s brought me off my Alps in Austria and placed me in French cow country today is because it does occur to me. Because I’m aware what tremendous feats human beings are capable of once they abandon dignity.
Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding:
Get busy living or get busy dying. That’s goddamn right. For the second time in my life, I’m guilty of committing a crime. Parole violation. Course, I doubt they’re going to throw up any road blocks for that. Not for an old crook like me. I find I’m so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.
Good Will Hunting
If I asked you about art you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo? You know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientation, the whole works, right? But I bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. Seen that. If I asked you about women you’d probably give me a syllabus of your personal favourites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You’re a tough kid.
I ask you about war, and you’d probably, uh, throw Shakespeare at me, right? “Once more into the breach, dear friends.” But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap and watched him gasp his last breath, looking to you for help. And if I asked you about love you probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone could level you with her eyes. Feeling like! God put an angel on earth just for you…who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel and to have that love for her to be there forever. Through anything. Through cancer. You wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting’ up in a hospital room for two months holding her hand because the doctors could see in your eyes that the term visiting hours don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, because that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself. I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much. I look at you; I don’t see an intelligent, confident man; I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you’re a genius, Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine and you ripped my fuckin’ life apart. You’re an orphan right? Do you think I’d know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally, I don’t give a shit about all that, because you know what? I can’t learn anything from you I can’t read in some fuckin’ book. Unless you wanna talk about you, who you are. And I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t wanna do that, do you, sport? You’re terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
I’d like to, I’d like to say something that I’ve prepared tonight. Hello. How ’bout that ride in? I guess that’s why they call it Sin City. You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack. But when my sister brought Doug home, I knew he was one of my own. And my wolf pack, it grew by one. So – there were two of us in the wolf pack. I was alone first in the pack, and then Doug joined in later. And six months ago, when Doug introduced me to you guys, I thought, ‘Wait a second, could it be?’ And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolf pack. Four of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine. So tonight, I make a toast! (He pulled out a knife and cut his palm) Blood brothers!
Female Monologues from Movies
La La Land
Because I’ve been to a million auditions and the same thing happens every time. Where I get interrupted because someone wants to get a sandwich. Or I’m crying and they start laughing. Or there’s people sitting in the waiting room, and they’re, they’re like me but prettier and better at the…because maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe I’m one of those people that has always wanted to do it, but it’s like a pipe dream for me. You know, and then you, you said it. You change your dreams and then you grow up. Maybe I’m one of those people and I’m not supposed to. And I can go back to school and I can find something else that I’m supposed to do. Cause I left to do that. And it’s been six years and I don’t wanna do it anymore.
I been standing with you! I been right here with you, Troy. I got a life too. I gave eighteen years of my life to stand in the same spot with you. Don’t you think I ever wanted other things? Don’t you think I had dreams and hopes? What about my life? What about me? Don’t you think it ever crossed my mind to want to know other men? That I wanted to lay up somewhere and forget about my responsibilities? That I wanted someone to make me laugh so I could feel good?
You not the only one who’s got wants and needs. But I held on to you, Troy. I took all my feelings, my wants and needs, my dreams . . . and I buried them inside you. I planted a seed and watched and prayed over it. I planted myself inside you and waited to bloom. And it didn’t take me no eighteen years to find out the soil was hard and rocky and it wasn’t never gonna bloom.
But I held on to you, Troy. I held you tighter. You was my husband. I owed you everything I had.
Every part of me I could find to give you. And upstairs in that room . . . with the darkness falling in on me . . . I gave everything I had to try and erase the doubt that you wasn’t the finest man in the world, and wherever you was going . . . I wanted to be there with you. ’Cause you was my husband. ’Cause that’s the only way I was gonna survive as your wife. You always talking about what you give . . . and what you don’t have to give. But you take too. You take . . . and don’t even know nobody’s giving!
I’m gonna stop you there. When you do this for real, don’t ever say that. When you do this for real don’t ever say that. People don’t accept mothers who drink too much wine and yell at their child and call him an asshole. I get it, I do it too. We can accept an imperfect Dad. Lets face it, the idea of a good father was only invented like 30 years ago, before that fathers were expected to be silent, and absent and unreliable and selfish, and we can all say we want them to be different. But on some basic level we accept them. We love them for their fallibilities. But people absolutely don’t accept those same failings in mothers. We don’t accept it structurally and we don’t accept it spiritually. Because the basis of our Judeo-Christian whatever, is Mary, Mother of Jesus, and she’s perfect. She’s a virgin who gives birth! Unwaveringly supports her child and holds his dead body when he’s gone. And the dad isn’t there, he didn’t even do the fucking! God is in heaven! God is the father, and God didn’t show up. So you have to be perfect and Charlie can be a fuck-up but it doesn’t matter. You will always be held to a different higher standard. And it’s fucked up, but that is the way it is.
Anyway, you were asking about Charlie. So yes, so I was happy with Ben, but aware of the deadness.
And then I went to New York to meet a director for a space movie, but one where they take space seriously. Sex trafficking in space. It was political, or they wanted us to think it was. It was actually just fulfilling the same need certain fucked up porn does. Anyway, while I was there, the producer invited me to a play. It was in someone’s living room with all the lights on and like nothing I’d ever seen before. A strange, surreal dystopian story. So well acted and one of the actors was this big shaggy bear who played all his lines looking directly at me which I knew couldn’t be really the case, but it felt that way, and of course later I learned that it was.
(also realising) The cookies are really great too.
Afterwards, I was introduced to the cast and this bear turned out to also be the director. He didn’t really know who I was – or he did, or he figured it out later – and that was it. He started talking to me. And I talked back – and the dead part wasn’t dead, it was just in a coma. And it was better than sex, the talking. Although the sex was also like the talking… everything is like everything in a relationship, do you find that? … We spent the whole night and next day together, and I just… never left. And to be honest, all the problems were there in the beginning, too. I just went along with him in his life because it felt so damn good to feel myself alive. In the beginning I was the actress, the star, so that felt like something. People came to see me, at first.
But then the farther away I got from that and the more the theatre company got acclaim, I had less and less weight. I became “Who?” “Oh you remember, that actress who was
in that thing that time.” And he was the draw. And that would have been fine, but…I got smaller. I realized that I didn’t really ever come alive for myself, I was just feeding his aliveness. He was so smart and creative, it didn’t matter. I would tell him things at home, in private, and then they would work their way into public conversation, into his work and for a while that felt like enough. I was just so flattered that someone like him would find an idea of mine worth using or a comment of mine worth repeating. And then I got pregnant. And I thought “having a baby will be ours, really ours, and it will also really be mine” and he was so excited. And it was nice for a while. But kids… they belong to themselves. Like the instant they leave your body, it’s just a process of going away from you. And I didn’t belong to myself. It was stupid stuff and big stuff– All of the furniture in our house was his taste. I wasn’t even sure what my taste was anymore because I’d never been asked to use it. I didn’t even pick our apartment, I just moved into his. I made noises about wanting to move back to LA, but it came to nothing. We’d come here on holidays because he liked my family, but whenever I suggested we do a year or something, he’d put me off. It would be so weird if he had turned to me and said “And what do you want to do today?” I watched that long documentary about George Harrison and I thought “just own it, own it like George Harrison’s wife. Being a wife and mother is enough.” And then I realized I couldn’t remember her name.
So this pilot came along, and it shot in LA and it paid so much and it was like there was a little lifeline thrown to me “Here is a bit of earth that’s yours.” And I was embarrassed about it in front of him, but also, it felt like “this is who I am, this is what I’m worth and it’s stupid, but at least it’s mine.” And if he had taken me in a big hug and said “Baby, I’m so excited for your adventure and of course I want you to have your own piece of earth” then we might not be getting divorced. But he made fun of it. And was jealous, like he is. BUT then he realized about the money and told me I could funnel it back into the theatre company. And that’s when I realized that he truly didn’t see me. He didn’t see me as something separate from him. And I asked him to say my phone number. And he didn’t know it. So I left.[Nora wipes an ink-stained tear from Nicole’s cheek and hugs her.]
(realizing she forgot to include) I think Charlie also slept with Mary Ann, the stage manager.
I always wanted to be in the movies. When I was little, I thought for sure, one day, I could be a big big star. Or maybe just beautiful. Beautiful and rich like the women on TV. Yeah, I had a lot of dreams. And I guess you could call me a real romantic because I truly believed that one day, they’d come true. So I dreamed about it for hours.
As the years went by, I learned to stop sharin’ this with people. They said I was dreaming, but back then, I believed it wholeheartedly. So whenever I was down, I would just escape into my mind, to my other life, where I was someone else. It made me happy to think that all these people just didn’t know yet who I was gonna be. But one day, they’d all see.
I heard that Marilyn Monroe was discovered in a soda shop and I thought for sure it could be like that. So I started goin’ out real young and I was always secretly lookin’ for who was gonna discover me. Was it this guy? Or maybe this one? I never knew.
But even if they couldn’t take me all the way, like Marilyn, they would somehow believe in me just enough. They would see me for what I could be and think I was beautiful. Like a diamond in the rough. They would take me away to my new life and my new world, where everything would be different. Yeah. I lived that way for a long, long time. In my head, dreaming like that. It was nice. And one day, it just stopped.
Requiem for a Dream
I’m somebody now, Harry.
Everybody likes me. Soon, millions of people will see me and they’ll all like me.
I’ll tell them about you, and your father, how good he was to us. Remember? It’s a reason to get up in the morning. It’s a reason to lose weight, to fit in the red dress. It’s a reason to smile. It makes tomorrow all right.
What have I got Harry, hmm? Why should I even make the bed, or wash the dishes? I do them, but why should I? I’m alone. Your father’s gone, you’re gone. I got no one to care for.
What have I got, Harry? I’m lonely. I’m old. Ah, it’s not the same. They don’t need me.
I like the way I feel. I like thinking about the red dress and the television and you and your father.
Now when I get the sun, I smile.
My parents were married fairly young and they never had kids. They were academics. Then they eventually, my dad moved away… But then later, years later, they ran into each other at a party and they…they got together that night. And that’s how I was conceived. On the bed with all the coats. My mum always said it’s because I needed to be born.
My mother raised me on her own. She was a professor of 9th century British poetry. She wasn’t very practical. So I ended up doing all the day-to-day stuff. I was organising the bills by the time I was twelve. She came from a Quaker family, so she used to take me to Quaker meetings with her. I still go sometimes. We had a nice life. And then, when I was sixteen, she died. So I moved in with my dad after that. It was cordial, and quiet. My dad is a kind man, and he made the best of it. We both did.
Million Dollar Baby
I’m 32, Mr. Dunn, and I’m here celebrating the fact that I spent another year scraping dishes and waitressing which is what I’ve been doing since 13, and according to you I’ll be 37 before I can even throw a decent punch, which I have to admit, after working on this speed bag for a month may be the God’s simple truth. Other truth is, my brother’s in prison, my sister cheats on welfare by pretending one of her babies is still alive, my daddy’s dead, and my momma weighs 312 pounds. If I was thinking straight I’d go back home, find a used trailer, buy a deep fryer and some Oreos. Problem is, this the only thing I ever felt good doing. If I’m too old for this then I got nothing. That enough truth to suit you?
500 Days of Summer
I dream about flying. Not really flying. More like… floating. Like, it starts out I’m running really fast. And then the… terrain… gets all rocky and steep. But I don’t slow down. I just climb higher with every stride. Before I know it, I’m… floating.
I’m going so fast my feet don’t even touch the ground. I’m up in the air and I’m … I don’t know… free. It’s this incredible feeling.
But then I look down. And the minute I do… everything changes. There I am… I’m floating, high above the earth, nothing can touch me, right? I’m free and I’m safe and it hits me, just like that… I’m completely, utterly, alone.
And then I wake up. I’ve never told anyone that.
*this monologue doesn’t appear in the final cut of the film.
Something’s Got To Give
This is really fascinating, what’s going on at this table. Let’s take you and Erica. You’ve been around the block a few times. What are you, around 60? 63. Fantastic! Never married, which as we know, if you were a woman, would be a curse. You’d be an old maid, a spinster. Blah, blah, blah. So instead of pitying you, they write an article about you. Celebrate your never-marrying. You’re elusive and un-getable, a real catch.
Then, there’s my gorgeous sister here. Look at her. She is so accomplished. Most successful female playwright since who? Lillian Hellmann? She’s over 50, divorced, and she sits in night after night after night because available guys her age want something—forgive me, they want somebody that looks like Marin. The over-50 dating scene is geared towards men leaving older women out. And as a result, the women become more and more productive and therefore, more and more interesting. Which, in turn, makes them even less desirable because as we all know, men— especially older men— are threatened and afraid of productive, interesting women.
It is just so clear! Single older women as a demographic are about as f*cked a group as can ever exist.
How to choose a monologue?
Picking a monologue can be tough. There’s the voice in your head constantly saying “you’ll find a better one”. The solution: just make the call.
You will never find the perfect monologue, so stop trying. As you are reading through lots of monologues see which ones resonate with you. Which ones give you that little excited feeling like you want to get up on stage or in front of a camera and play that role.
Note: as I mentioned in the introduction, I wouldn’t pick a famous movie monologue for an audition. It is distracting and you can’t help but be compared to the original actor who played the role. I would only choose a movie monologue if you have specifically been asked to prepare one.
Read more: How to Choose a Monologues
How to prepare your monologue?
Do the work!
Every actor has a different process, but whatever that process is, make sure you do it. It’s easy to just learn the lines and wing it, but it won’t be your best work.
Really take the time to think through the text. Read the script or watch the film and get a sense for the overall story. How does your monologue fit in the overall story?
Note: if you are doing a famous movie monologue, never mimic the original performance. Find a way to make it yours
So that rounds out some of our favourite film monologues! As I mentioned at the top, I would avoid using anything too iconic for an audition or for a clip on your casting profiles, but don’t be afraid to tackle great film monologues for practice. When it comes to monologues we often just turn to the theatre, but there is a treasure chest of monologues available in film.