"Tracking Tracey" by Michael Dare (Interview magazine, January, 1989) Edit
Working with the same people week after week brings out inspiration. You have to have an open discussion or you end up with actors saying fuck you to the writers and writers saying fuck you to the actors.
Every character I do is based on someone I know. I try to justify every sketch we do. If it's not working, we find someone to talk to who it has happened to.
What I fear most is that you will know where the laughs are going to come, or that you will know a character so well that you know when they're going to sing a song. In some shows, you just know that the audience is sitting there going "Oh no, she's going to sing."
They hold onto a small child who's hungry, then go back to their homes and feel good about themselves. That's how I perceive actors getting involved in politics and charities. They want even more attention for themselves, it's in their nature.
Why does everyone think the future is space helmets, silver foil, and talking like computers, like a bad episode of Star Trek?
"ULLMAN, BY HOOK & BY 'CROOKS' Tracey's tireless efforts landed her a role as Woody Allen's leading lady" by Nancy Mills (New York Daily News, 14 May 2000) Edit
"People think I'm a demented little pixie but I'm not 'on' all the time. I'm sensible. I pay my bills. I've never done drugs. I don't drink or smoke. I eat organic. I'm a goody-goody, really, but I can play bad girls."
Referring to the many different characters she plays: "It's very therapeutic, what I do. Other people get this anonymity and thrill from being in an Internet chat room, where they can be anybody they want to be. That's the feeling I get, but to an even greater extent. I physically take on these characteristics. Afterwards, I feel I'm a parrot. I need a black bag put over my head until I become myself again."
I'd stand in front of the mirror and talk to myself until I fell asleep, you know. I'd interview myself as women with problems, you know, like, women in documentaries who had three kids and chainsmoked and husbands in prison that hit them! I'd be in the mirror going, [lowers voice] yeah well, you know, it's not easy since Derrin went into prison. My eyes aren't black anymore, but the twins, Tilly and Wayne, you know, they don't stop crying. SHUT UP TILLY SHUT UP TILLY!
My mum went and married a really horrible horrible man, who drove a taxi at night and had a sticky-fingered son and he smoked cigars in the toilet. Smelled terrible! Again, there's no therapy, there's no counseling over the whole situation! Just married the maniac. And there was a new person in her bed now, and I couldn't do my nightly performance anymore. I was nine years old and my show had been canceled!
I thought, is this what it's all about? Do you have to be blonde and girly and have freckles and a snub-nose and sort of act the coquette in show business? WELL YES!
Everybody in Berlin is gay!
As we twirled and snapped our fingers, I felt light and airy and fancy-free. Of course I did, I had no bloody panties on! And the cartwheel lift's coming up! And I'm a brunette!
Tracey Ullman shot like a sparkler into my vision on the set of [1985 film] Plenty ... I thought I’d found my soulmate: a restless, silly, musical wild mimic, with a dark underlay of sangfroid. I loved her on sight. I was absolutely blackout-shocked to discover she was barely 23 years old (I was 33) and I still feel like her (slightly cowed and aspirant) little sister. She hasn’t changed in spirit or matter in all these years that we have remained close. I have no objectivity, clearly, but I am not alone in this assessment of her!