Steve McQueen may have been the strong, silent type and a man of few words, but this racer-who-acted (or was it actor-who-raced?) still said more than just his lines. Here're some of the choicest bits from the King of Cool to rev your engine. If you forgot what he sounds like because all you can hear in your mind is a V8, here's a video.
Ever Heard of Pon De Ring Donuts?
1. "I'm not sure that acting is something for a grown man to be doing."
2. "I don't believe in that phony hero stuff."
3. "My influences come from real life. I'm not interested in cinema for cinema's sake. I'm interested in life—what one does and how one interacts."
4. "I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth."
5. "Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting."
6. "There's something about my shaggy dog eyes that makes people think I'm good. I'm not all that good."
7. "I'm not a great actor—let's face it. I don't have a great deal of scope. There are certain things I can do, but when I'm bad, I stink."
8. "I'm not sure whether I'm an actor who races or a racer who acts."
9. "I'm certainly not who people think I am. I always do whatever I want to do, and my films are personal to me."
10. "I'm about challenging people. Like, properly challenging them and their assumptions."
11. "I'm not that interesting of a person."
12. "I'm out of the Midwest. It was a good place to come from. It gives you a sense of right or wrong and fairness, which I think is lacking in our society."
13. "When I did The Great Escape, I kept thinking, 'If they were making a movie of my life, that's what they'd call it—the great escape.'"
14. "I scrounged around for the next couple of years, trying to get the scam on the human race and just where the hell I fitted in—I discovered there were no openings."
15. "I live for myself and I answer to nobody."
16. "I learned that life is a long and difficult road, but you have to keep going, or you'll fall by the wayside."
17. "I just want the brass ring and the pine trees and my kids and the green grass. I want to get rich and fat and watch my kids grow."
Ethan Wolff-Mann is an editor at Supercompressor. He loves Bullitt. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.