7.7 01. Woody Allen
"How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?"
"If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever."
"I do not believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear."
"The chief problem about death, incidentally, is the fear that there may be no afterlife -- a depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave. Also, there is the fear that there is an afterlife but no one will know where it's being held." ["The Early Essays," Without Feathers (1976)]
"I do occasionally envy the person who is religious naturally, without being brainwashed into it or suckered into it by all the organized hustles." [Rolling Stone magazine, 1987]
7 02. Asia Argento
“God is a concept by which we can measure our pain. I just believe in me. Yoko and me. And that’s reality. The dream is over. What can I say?”
[Fan Q&A with Asia]
4.9 03. Lance Armstrong
TIME magazine Sept 29, 2003 pg 8, "10 Questions for Lance Armstrong"
Interviewer: "For a miracleman, you're not very religious."
Armstrong: "I don't have anything against organized religion per se. We all need something in our lives. I personally just have not accepted that belief. But I'm one of the few."
Lance Armstrong was quoted by ET Magazine as saying "If there was a god, I'd still have both nuts."
8.3 04. Darren Aronofsky
[interviewer]: "You know, a lot of filmmakers seem to be either very literary-based or else very movie-based who just watch movies. You seem to really be developing this new visual style that suits each story. You know, how did you find this third road?"
DA: "It's probably because I'm Godless. And so I've had to make my God, and my God is narrative filmmaking, which is -- ultimately what my God becomes, which is what my mantra becomes, is the theme. ”
7.1 05. Kevin Bacon
"I think there is a puritanical wind that is blowing. I have never seen such a lack of separation between church and state in America, I don't believe in God, but if I did I would say that sex is a Godgiven right. Otherwise it's the end of our species."
Wendy Ide interviewing Bacon, 'The Outsider Wants In', The Times (London), 1 December 2005, Features, Pg. 20
1 06. Russell Baker
In his Pulitzer Prize winning memoir Growing Up, Baker reported losing his faith in God after his father died when he was five years old: "After that I never cried with any real conviction, nor expected much of anyone's God except indifference, nor loved deeply without fear that it would cost me dearly in pain. At the age of five I had become a skeptic and began to sense that any happiness that came my way might be the prelude to some grim cosmic joke." (p. 61)
7.1 07. Antonio Banderas
From an interview in People Magazine, April 2006.
Q: The movie [Take the Lead] has an uplifting message. Are you religious?
A: I have to recognize that I am agnostic. I don't believe in any kind of fundamentalism. I prefer to take life in a different way, with a sense of humor. I try to teach my kids to be open. Whatever they believe is fine with me.
8.1 08. Javier Bardem
In a final act of deflection, he explained away all this Oscar business by blaming [Cuban writer Reinaldo] Arenas: "I don't believe in God," he said. "But I do believe in guardian angels. He chose me for his movie."
Kristin Hohenadel, '"Don't Call Me Actor," says a Nominee for Best, Um...',
The New York Times, 4 March 2001,
Section 2A; Column 1;
Arts and Leisure Desk; Pg. 3.
8.4 09. Simone De Beauvoir
7.8 010. Monica Bellucci
In the documentary movie The Big Question, about the film The Passion of the Christ, she stated:
"I am an agnostic, even though I respect and am interested in all religions. If there's something I believe in, it's a mysterious energy; the one that fills the oceans during tides, the one that unites nature and beings."
9.1 011. Ingmar Bergman
In his autobiography The Magic Lantern (N.Y.: Penguin: 1988) Bergman gave the following account of his religious beliefs:
"I have struggled all my life with a tormented and joyless relationship with God. Faith and lack of faith, punishment, grace and rejection, all were real to me, all were imperative. My prayers stank of anguish, entreaty, trust, loathing and despair. God spoke, God said nothing. Do not turn from Thy face."
"The lost hours of that operation provided me with a calming message. You were born without purpose, you live without meaning, living is its own meaning."
"When you die, you are extinguished. From being you will be transformed to non-being. A god does not necessarily dwell among our capricious atoms."
7.7 012. Paul Bettany
"I was brought up Catholic. I'm lapsed. From the age of three I was with the nuns. Now I'm an atheist. I think religion does a lot for us but I can't quite believe it, alas... It's just a personal choice. I love the idea of heaven though. Who doesn't? It's lovely."
Paul Bettany, Bettany the Non-Believer,
Movie & Entertainment News,
WENN.com, 10 May 2006 (accessed 10 June 2008).
7 013. Björk
Q: Who does Björk pray to?
Björk: "I've got my own religion, " she concludes, giving her nose a final scatch, poke and lug before heading off for a soundcheck. "Iceland sets a world-record. The United Nations asked people from all over the world a series of questions. Iceland stuck out on one thing. When we were asked what do we believe, 90% said, 'ourselves'. I think I'm in that group. If I get into trouble, there's no God or Allah to sort me out. I have to do it myself."
4.4 014. Warren Buffett
In an article in WIRED about Warren Allen Smith, the creator of the website Philosopedia, it discusses how Smith has spent 6 decades writing people to ask if they believe in God. He's received a variety of responses and Buffett's came back, scrawled on a postcard with a one word answer: "Agnostic".
"He did not subscribe to his family's religion. Even at a young age he was too mathematical, too logical, to make the leap of faith. He adopted his father's ethical underpinnings, but not his belief in an unseen divinity." --from Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist, by Roger Lowenstein (Doubleday, 1995), page 13.
8.8 015. Luis Buñuel
Many of his films were openly critical of middle class morals and organized religion, mocking the Roman Catholic Church in particular but religion in general, for hypocrisy. Many of his most famous films demonstrate this:
- L'Âge d'or (1930) – A bishop is thrown out a window, and in the final scene one of the culprits of the 120 days of Sodom is portrayed by an actor dressed in a way that he would be recognized as Jesus.
- Viridiana (1961) – A well-meaning young nun tries unsuccessfully to help the poor. One scene in the film parodies The Last Supper.
- Un chien andalou (1929) – A man drags pianos, upon which are piled two dead donkeys, two priests, and the tablets of The Ten Commandments.
- Simón del desierto (1965) – The devil tempts a saint by taking the form of a bare-breasted girl singing and showing off her legs. At the end of the film, the saint abandons his ascetic life to hang out in a jazz club.
Known for his one-liner, "Thank God I'm still an atheist."
"Father Julian... and I often talk about faith and the existence of God, but... he's forever coming up against the stone wall of my atheism..."
Luis Bunuel (1982, 1985). My Last Breath: p.254.
6.3 016. Amanda Bynes
7.2 017. Gabriel Byrne
Gabriel Byrne was on the Actors Studio (Original Airdate) 10 December 2000. video
The host (James Lipton) asked - "If Heaven exists, What would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Byrne answered - "You see, I do exist"
A further clarification from a British National Secular Society news item Link, 4/13/07:
"Irish actor Gabriel Byrne has said that he does not believe in God, despite spending five years of his childhood in a seminary training to be a priest.... He says, 'I spent five years in the seminary and I suppose it was assumed that you had a vocation. I have realised subsequently that I didn't have one at all. I don't believe in God. But I did believe at the time in this notion that you were being called.'"
7.5 018. James Cameron
The complete quote from his biography "The Futurist" by Rebecca Meegan (Chapter 1 Page 8 Hardcover edition) says:
"I've sworn off agnosticism, which I now call cowardly atheism. I've come to the position that in the complete absence of any supporting data whatsover for the persistence of the individual in some spiritual form, it is necessary to operate under the provisional conclusion that there is no afterlife and then be ready to amend that if I find out otherwise."
8.1 019. George Carlin
Although raised in the Roman Catholic faith (which he describes anecdotally on the albums FM & AM and Class Clown), Carlin often denounced the idea of a god and pointed out the flaws in any organized religion in interviews and performances, notably with his "Religion" and "There Is No God" routines as heard in You Are All Diseased. His views on religion are also mentioned in his last HBO stand up show "It's Bad for Ya" where he mocks the traditional swearing on the Bible as being "bullshit", "make believe", and "kids stuff". In "It's Bad for Ya", Carlin has a skit about the ironic differences in the types of hats religions ban or require as part of their practices. He mentions that he would never want to be a part of a group which requires or bans the wearing of hats.
George Carlin On The Ten Commandments
In his HBO special Complaints and Grievances, Carlin introduced the "Two Commandments", a revised "pocket-sized" list of the Ten Commandments ending with the additional commandment "Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself."
You Are All Diseased
Carlin also joked in his first book, Brain Droppings, that he worshiped the sun, one reason being that he could see it. This was later mentioned in You Are All Diseased along with the statement that he prayed to Joe Pesci (a good friend of his) because "he's a good actor," and "looks like a guy who can get things done!"
7.9 020. John Carpenter
From a 1998 interview for his film Vampires conducted by Kenneth J. Souza for BigO magazine:
OC: Do you expect any flack from the Catholic Church over their depiction in this movie?
JC: The Catholic Church has picked this up ... we got an extremely positive review in France. This is the only movie I've ever made where you have a hero priest at the end of the film pull out a cross and say "God has always been with us." This is my view of hope. This is hope, this is a positive message. I recommend some of my past films for the negativity.
OC: Although the church is often a source of sanctuary and social order in your films, you don't subscribe to any organized religion, do you?
JC: I'm an atheist, but I have a great fascination with this issue -- over God and whether there is one or not. I come to (my belief) personally for my own reasons and my own decisions. But I respect anybody who believes anything, I don't have the ultimate answers about anything.
6.3 021. Jimmy Carr
During an appearance on BBC's Would I Lie to You? (Series 1, Episode 3), Jimmy Carr revealed that he had been a Christian until his mid-twenties, and remained a virgin until the age of 26 due to his faith. Carr became aware of the writings of Richard Dawkins and renounced his religion, becoming an atheist. He stated that he felt religion limited people's desires to live their own lives.
6.9 022. Asia Carrera
"So me, the completely unsuperstitious atheist, goes and posts on a message board that 'no, I don't believe in bad luck on Friday the 13th.'" - Asia Carrera on her website via a bulletin on July 13, 2006.
"All of a sudden I find atheism to be a big relief - otherwise I think I would have started painting all my ceilings with lead so I could get a little privacy around here! Hehehe!! - Asia Carrera bulletin
6.4 023. Mackenzie Crook
"I don't believe in life after death. I'm a staunch atheist and I know when I die that will be it, I'll just blink out of existence. It's not an incredibly comforting thought but I'm completely at peace with that idea and it just makes me appreciate this life all the more. It's almost a panic to get as much done and to have as much experience as possible."
Mackenzie Crook interviewed by Teddy Jamieson,
The Herald (Glasgow), 19 April 2008, Magazine, Pg. 12
8.2 024. David Cronenberg
In a February 1992 interview in Esquire magazine
Cronenberg is said to describe himself as "not just an atheist, but a total nonbeliever."
From an interview in Film Threat, February 1997, p. 11:
Q: Most of your films deal with various characters' personal spirituality, yet you have never dealt directly with religion.
A: The reason why is that I'm not interested. You're absolutely right. For me, it's not even worth discussion. It doesn't interest me. It interests me only to be discarded. If I start there, I'm mired in a discussion that is very unfruitful to me. I'm simply a non-believer and have been forever. To discuss religion is to put me in a debate with myself. I'm interested in saying, "Let us discuss the existential question. We are all going to die, that is the end of all consciousness. There is no afterlife. There is no God. Now what do we do." That's the point where it starts getting interesting to me. If I have to go back and say, "What if there is a God?" then I'm doing a debate that is not very interesting. You have to create one character who believes and another that doesn't. It's not an issue.
and on pp. 11-12:
Q. How were you raised?
A. I'm an atheist and my parents were both atheists so it was never a big issue, and if I wanted to become an Orthodox Jew, it was never, "You must not do that." And I certainly went through all those things as a kid wondering about the existence of God or not, but at a very early age, I decided we made it up because we were afraid and it was one way to make things palatable.
6.5 025. Rodney Dangerfield
Born Jacob Cohen to Jewish parents.
Dangerfield said he was an atheist during an interview with Howard Stern in May 2004. Stern asked Dangerfield if he believed in an afterlife. Dangerfield answered he was a "logical" atheist and added, "We're apes––do apes go anyplace?"
Though he died without religion, actress Farrah Fawcett led a Native American butterfly release ceremony at his funeral.
7.8 026. Richard Dawkins
An engaging and energetic speaker, Dawkins promotes atheism as senior editor and columnist for the Council for Secular Humanism's Free Inquiry magazine, and as a member of the editorial board of Skeptic magazine since it was founded. In 2006 Dawkins founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and in 2007 founded the atheist "Out" campaign, and in 2008 he supported the Atheist Bus Campaign, Britain's first atheist advertising blitz.
He has been called "Darwin's Rottweiler" in the press for his strong support of evolution by natural selection. He has also written against creationism in the book The Blind Watchmaker and against theism in A Devil's Chaplain and The God Delusion, both popular best-sellers.
8.1 028. Terence Davies
Davies was born in Kensington, Liverpool to working-class Catholic parents, the youngest child in a family of ten children. Though raised Catholic by his deeply religious mother, he later rejected religion and considers himself an atheist.[x]
I began making films [out of] a deep need . . . to come to terms with my family’s history and suffering, to make sense of the past and to explore my own personal terrors, both mental and spiritual, and to examine the destructive nature of Catholicism. Film as an expression of guilt, film as confession (psychotherapy would be much cheaper but a lot less fun).
thanks Mr. Saturn
8.6 029. Daniel Day-Lewis
When asked by poet Eileen Myles in an Index Magazine interview whether he believed in God, he answered with
"I'm still not sure. I suppose I'm a die-hard agnostic. I don't know."
8 030. Guillermo del Toro
From a 2009 interview with Charlie Rose:
GDT: I mercifully lapsed as a Catholic, I say. But as Buñuel used to say, "I'm an atheist, thank God. You know, there is always, once a Catholic, always a Catholic in a way.
CR: So you're not with him or you are with him?
GTD: No. I think I'm lapsed enough. I'm lapsed enough. I believe in man. I believe in mankind....as the worst and the best that has happened to this world.
8.7 031. Johnny Depp
Interview with Larry King (October 16, 2011)
KING: Do you have faith?
DEPP: I have faith in my kids. Yeah, I have faith in my kids. And I have, I have faith, you know, as long as you keep moving forward, just keep walking forward things will be alright, I suppose, you know. Faith in terms of religion, I don't, religion is not my specialty.
8 032. Marlene Dietrich
"I have given up belief in a God."
Allen Smith, Warren (2002).
Celebrities in Hell: A Guide to Hollywood's Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Free Thinkers, and More.
Barricade Books Inc.. pp. 130.
6.8 033. Amanda Donohoe
Donohoe is probably best known as the actress playing C.J., the bisexual lawyer, on the TV drama L.A. Law. In the horror film, Lair of the White Worm, Donohoe played a reincarnated pagan priestess who belonged to a snake-worshipping cult stamped out by the early Christians. A controversial scene in the film required Donohoe's character to spit venom on a crucifix. When a reporter from Interview magazine asked her about the scene, Donohoe replied,
"I'm an atheist, so it was actually a joy. Spitting on Christ was a great deal of fun. I can't embrace a male god who has persecuted female sexuality throughout the ages. And that persecution still goes on today all over the world."
7.5 034. Bret Easton Ellis
Shortly after the release of American Psycho, an interviewer asked Ellis if he believed in God. This is what he replied:
"Are you asking me if I was raised in a religious family or if I go to church? I was raised an agnostic. I don't know - I hate to fly, I have a fear of flying. That means either that I have no faith in air-traffic controllers or that I've done something really bad, and this is God's way of getting at me. Maybe I'm caught in the middle... But no, I don't believe in God. That's such a strange thing to admit in an interview."
Source: Robert Love, "Psycho Analysis,"
Rolling Stone, Apr. 4 1991, pp. 50-1.
6.8 035. Brian Eno
In an interview (first published on the web) conducted while Eno was promoting his album Nerve Net a few years ago, the interviewer noted that Eno described his music as "Godless." He responded:
"Well, I'm an atheist, and the concept of god for me is all part of what I call the last illusion. The last illusion is someone knows what is going on. That's the last illusion. Nearly everyone has that illusion somewhere, and it manifests not only in the terms of the idea that there is a god but that knows what's going on but that the planets know what's going on. Astrology is part of the last illusion. The obsession with health is part of the last illusion, the idea that there's that if only we could spend time on it and sit down and stop being unreasonable with each other we'd all find that there was a structure and a solution underlying plan to it all, for most people the short answer to that is God."
6.4 036. Diane Farr
During a May 1999 show featuring Henry Winkler as a guest, Farr said "For Lent, when I was younger, I gave up Happy Days. Now I'm an atheist."
6.9 037. Peter Fonda
Peter Fonda (in an interview): “Oh I have been injured with motorcycles twice.”
Q: But you still love it?
Peter Fonda: “Yes. Well, it forces focus. I ride an MV Agusta. This is an Italian racing motorcycle. It forces focus. You have to be focused and in my life, in this business, focus is hard to find sometimes. So I need to force focus and that's great. The bike takes you on a free road. There's no fences on the roads I ride and I don't ride freeways. That's as much as I can tell you because there are more lands waiting for this little Christian boy. That's not true. I'm an atheist, but what the heck.”
7.7 038. Jodie Foster
Foster played the role of Dr. Eleanor Arroway, a radio astronomer in the movie Contact, based upon the best-selling novel by Dr. Carl Sagan.
From: The Georgia Straight, Interview with Jodie Foster by Dan McLeod, July 10-17, 1997; page 43.
Q. Where does Jodie Foster stand in the debate between science and faith?
A. I absolutely believe what Ellie believes - that there is no direct evidence, so how could you ask me to believe in God when there's absolutely no evidence that I can see? I do believe in the beauty and the awe-inspiring mystery of the science that's out there that we haven't discovered yet, that there are scientific explanations for phenomena that we call mystical because we don't know any better.
Jodie Foster was on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, September 7, 2007. In both the written version (page 41) and the online version of EW, Jodie says the following:
"Are you religious?
No, I'm an atheist. But I absolutely love religions and the rituals. Even though I don't believe in God. We celebrate pretty much every religion in our family with the kids. They love it, and when they say, Are we Jewish? or Are we Catholic? I say, Well, I'm not, but you can choose when you're 18. But isn't this fun that we do seders and the Advent calendar?"
8.4 039. Morgan Freeman
During an interview on CNN on June 2, 2010, this exchange occurred:
Kiran Chetry: And you’ve said before, Morgan, that you’re a ‘man of god.’ When you did this and so many of these questions were posed—
Freeman: When did I say I was a ‘man of god’?
Chetry: You’re not?
Freeman: [laughing} No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o. No no no no no.
Chetry: You’re a ‘man of faith’.
Freeman: Faith! There’s a big difference.
Chetry: Alright, so, the question of faith leads us, most of the time, to a god. What is your view of faith?
Freeman: Questions of faith is whatever you actually believe is. We take a lot of what we’re talking about in science on faith. We posit a theory… and until it’s disproven, we have faith that it’s true. If the mathematics work out, then it’s true. Until it’s proven to be untrue...
7.5 040. Nick Frost
Nick Frost is decidedly less wet behind the ears when it comes to being a movie connoisseur.
"I wasn't really a big film fan until I met Simon. He educated me in the way of the movie," Frost earnestly admits. "The Omen is one of my favorites. Even though I'm an atheist now, I was brought up Catholic and can remember thinking that it could actually be real! The first Dawn of the Dead is a great one. We had a TV serial in Britain called Day of the Triffids and that was always really terrifying for me as well."
7.4 041. Stephen Fry
At the 2005 Guardian Hay Festival, Fry participated in a debate on religion and blasphemy (audio recording).
While Fry's position is basically known from the outset, he states it very clearly about 20 minutes into the discussion, saying:
"Yes, there may be a creator. I don't think it at all likely."
In an article covering the event, Fry is quoted as saying:
"I've always believed that everything that is said from authority is either the authority of one's own heart, one's own brain, one's own reading, one's own trust, but not the authority of someone who claims it because they're speaking for God and they know the truth because it's written in a book. That, essentially, is where I come from. In a sense, tolerance is my religion. Reason is my religion."
6.4 042. Noel Gallagher
British National Secular Society news item, 4/13/07:
"The hard-living Oasis star Noel Gallagher has revealed to the New Musical Express that he has read Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion and loved it. 'Anything that disproves God, bring it on,' he is quoted as saying."
5.5 043. Bob Geldof
Geldof was interviewed live on the 19 Oct 2001 edition of "The Late Late Show" on RT (Irish national television). When asked if he was an atheist/agnostic (the presenter used both terms) Geldof said yes; he then confirmed that he doesn't believe in an afterlife.
7.2 044. Ricky Gervais
In a Daily Mirror interview "I'm basically a 'do unto others' type person. I don't have any religious feelings because I'm an atheist, but I live my life like there's a God. And if there was he'd probably love me." link
From his February 2008 essay in BestLife Magazine:
"My Argument With God - How I went from Jesus-loving Christian to fun-loving infidel...in one afternoon" ...
…within an hour, I was an atheist.
Wow. No God. If Mum had lied to me about God, had she also lied to me about Santa? yes, but who cares? The gifts kep coming. And so did the gifts of my newfound atheism. The gifts of truth, science, nature. The real beauty of this world. Not a world by design, but one by chance. I learned of evolution—a theory so simple and obvious that only England's greatest genius could have come up with it. Evolution of plants, animals, and us—with imagination, free will, love and humor. I no longer needed a reason for my existence, just a reason to live. And imagination, free will, love, humor, fun, music, sports, beer, and pizza are all good enough reasons for living.
But living an honest life—for that you need the truth. That's the other thing I learned that day, that the truth, however shocking or uncomfortable, in the end leads to liberation and dignity.
See full essay for the rest.
7.2 045. Paul Giamatti
"Do you get the big star treatment at home now?"
"No, no. My wife treats me worse now. She has no tolerance for that sort of behaviour! She’s Jewish and my son will probably be raised Jewish. I’m an atheist, so I’m waiting for my time to step in and tell him how things really are but I’ll do that when he’s a teenager. I figure he’ll be ripe for atheism when he’s a teenager. "
8.2 046. David Gilmour
From the Chicago Tribune, published March 31, 2006:
"When you get to 60, one of your preoccupations is that the life you have ahead of you is quite a lot shorter than the life you have behind you [laughs]. You can't help thinking about that. It's something inside all of us, even though I'm not a believer in God or an afterlife. I'm an atheist. I'm sort of resigned to my lot in life, and content in it."
8.1 047. Eva Green
Green is an atheist, having not been raised to follow any religion.
Palmer, Martyn (December 2007).
"Faith No More".
Total Film: pp. 90.
4.9 048. Kathy Griffin
'My parents sent me to Catholic school, which only made me the vehement militant atheist that I am today" link
“I’m sick to death of Jesus. I feel that Jesus and Paris Hilton are both overexposed. I’ve seen enough of both of them. And I think I’m getting more atheist because of the way the country is getting more into Bible- thumping.”
6.5 049. Rachel Griffiths
The Australian actress in a magazine profile (Madison, May/June 2000) was asked, "Are you religious?" to which she answered:
"Although I'm not Christian, I was raised Christian. I'm an atheist, with a slight Buddhist leaning. I've got a very strong sense of morality -- it's just a different morality than the loud voices of the Christian morality...I can't tell you how many films I've turned down because there was an absence of morality. And I don't mean that from any sort of Judeo-Christian/Muslim point of view. I'm not saying they're wrong and can't be made. But, fundamentally, I'm such a humanist that I can't bear to make films that make us feel humanity is more dark than it is light."
8.5 050. Matt Groening
Matt Groening -- the executive producer of "The Simpsons," who pokes a lot of fun at religion -- was asked by The New York Times whether he believed in God and what he considers the most comical story in the Bible.
Said Groening: "I was very disturbed when Jesus found a demon in a guy, and he put the demon in a herd of pigs, then sent them off a cliff. What did the pigs do? I could never figure that out. It just seemed very un-Christian. Technically, I'm an agnostic, but I definitely believe in hell -- especially after watching the fall TV schedule."
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