I put everything I had into it — all my feelings and everything I'd learned in 46 years of living, about family life and fathers and children. And my feelings about racial justice and inequality and opportunity.
I think I should have been more ferocious in pursuit of the whale, more cruel to the crew, and I think I'd have a better grasp now of what Melville was talking about. Ahab focused all his energies on avenging himself against the whale, but he was trying to penetrate the mystery of why we are here at all, why there is anything. I wasn't mad enough, not crazy enough, not obsessive enough. I should have done more. … At the time, I didn't have more in me.
I don't think I could stay interested for a couple of months in a character of mean motivation.
On usually playing likable characters, as quoted in "Gregory Peck, a Star of Quiet Dignity, Dies at 87" by William Grimes in The New York Times (13 June 2003)
If these Mount Everests of the financial world are going to labor and bring forth still more pictures with people being blown to bits with bazookas and automatic assault rifles with no gory detail left unexploited, if they are going to encourage anxious, ambitious actors, directors, writers and producers to continue their assault on the English language by reducing the vocabularies of their characters to half a dozen words, with one colorful but overused Anglo-Saxon verb and one unbeautiful Anglo-Saxon noun covering just about every situation, then I would like to suggest that they stop and think about this: making millions is not the whole ball game, fellows. Pride of workmanship is worth more. Artistry is worth more.
Acceptance speech on receiving the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in 1989, as quoted in "Gregory Peck, a Star of Quiet Dignity, Dies at 87" by William Grimes in The New York Times (13 June 2003)
It just seems silly to me that something so right and simple has to be fought for at all.
You have to dream, you have to have a vision, and you have to set a goal for yourself that might even scare you a little because sometimes that seems far beyond your reach. Then I think you have to develop a kind of resistance to rejection, and to the disappointments that are sure to come your way.
As quoted in The ArtSlut's Guide to Makin' It — As a Visual Artist (2007) by Barb Benson
Entertainment is all right, but entertainment with an idea behind it is much more important.
I hold no brief for Communists, but I believe in and will defend their right to act independently within the law. I question whether members of the committee are interested in defending our form of government or whether they are attempting to suppress political opinion at odds with their own.
On the Red Scare and the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Gregory Peck: A Charmed Life by Lynn Haney (2003). page 167. ISBN 0786714735.