New Yorker Claire Danes is the youngest daughter of Carla, a day-care provider and artist and Christopher, a computer consultant and photographer. She has an older brother named Asa. She was educated at Dalton School, New York, The New York City Lab School for Collaborative Studies, The Professional Performing Arts School and Lycée Français de Los Angeles. From 1998, she attended Yale University, studying psychology, but dropped out after two years to concentrate on her acting career. Danes first came to major public attention when she appeared as "Angela Chase" in _"My So-Called Life" (1994)_ (qv). She won an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe award for this performance. A successful film career followed, including the role of "Juliet", opposite 'Leonardo DiCaprio' (qv), in 'Baz Luhrmann' (qv)'s _Romeo + Juliet (1996)_ (qv). After making _Brokedown Palace (1999)_ (qv), Danes took a break from her acting career to complete her education at Yale. She returned to the screen in 2002 and continued acting in such varied project as _The Hours (2002)_ (qv), _Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)_ (qv) and _Stardust (2007)_ (qv). In 2010, she appeared in the HBO Production, _Temple Grandin (2010) (TV)_ (qv), playing the title character. She received huge critical acclaim for the role, and won an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance.
- [on co-star 'Kate Beckinsale' (qv) and hoping to become friends] That was wrong. We didn't. She's complicated. She's prickly.
- I live in an adult world, but I'm a kid. I love the work. But I no longer have a group of friends to hang out with regularly.
- [on education vs. career] I was told that my going to college wouldn't be good for my career. I think that's nonsense. It's good to empower yourself by cutting yourself off from this business every once in a while.
- I have a huge, active imagination, [and] I think I'm really scared of being alone; because if I'm left to my own devices, I'll just turn into a madwoman.
- My line about ['Arnold Schwarzenegger' (qv)] is that he doesn't get in his own way. He is not apologetic about achieving his goals. And when you have that attitude, it's amazing what one can accomplish. He wanted to give me relationship advice. I was having trouble with a female friend, and he said, "Be really forthright and do not accommodate her needs excessively". I took his advice and we're not friends anymore. So there you go.
- [on _Stage Beauty (2004)_ (qv)] I was intimidated. There was the accent, the period of the film, and I had to act badly. I kept laughing during those scenes because I was god-awful. I've worked so hard to be good, and now I had to work even harder to be bad.
- It's very difficult to judge yourself. Extreme self-doubt is only attractive when it's fictionalized. Which is why people love the movies. They are so reassuring.
- I had an unwavering focus. My parents never condescended to me. As a child, I always sat at the head of our dinner table. I was always given a lot of responsibility. It was all rather amazing when I think about it now.
- I was a very confident child. I knew I wanted to be an actress from the age of 5. 'Madonna' (qv) was my original muse -- around 5, I saw her perform on TV, and I realized that performing could be one's vocation. Then, at 7 or 8, I realized that most actors don't make a lot of money, and I amended my plan. But at 9, I seized my destiny. I made a formal announcement to my parents that I had to be true to my art. Money or no money, acting is my calling.
- I never thought of myself as a child actor. I knew I was a kid, but they weren't related. There was nothing I could do about being a kid, and meanwhile I was an actress, and I had something to say in my acting.
- I think that everybody wants to create, to do something that feels genuine and kinetic and spontaneous. I think actors want to surprise themselves. When it's really good, you kind of transcend yourself, and that happens infrequently. Very, very rarely. You might get one or two of those moments on a film, say, and sometimes they don't even use the takes where that happens. And I'm not really that moralistic about how you get there.
- [12/21/05, on having children] I would like to have a family, but I'm trying not to make any plans, because when I do, everything goes wrong.
- [nn her notorious swimsuit scene in _To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday (1996)_ (qv)] I'll never wear a thong again. I'm a Speedo gal.
- [on her non-stop work schedule] Usually, my social life and my sanity and my health are the things that are sacrificed.
- The point of acting is to share, to connect. That's why I act. Acting is the greatest answer to my loneliness that I have found.
- I think people confuse fame with validation or love. But fame is not the reward. The reward is getting fulfilment out of doing the thing you love.
- On husband 'Hugh Dancy' (qv): He's such a cutie patootie. While relationships are work, this just didn't feel like it. It's the kind of work that feels energizing rather than enervating. I find it very freeing to know that, okay, it takes constant nurturing and attention, but I can also stop looking for the one.
- [on 'Steve Martin (I)' (qv)] He's a great, great fucking weirdo.
- [what she gained from working on Terminator 3] It made me realize I'm a professional actress.