“I recently played the lead in Macbeth, a drama about ambition, on the stage—unhealthy ambition, one might say, that carries resentment, aggression, treachery and acquisitiveness. Lady Macbeth says of her husband, ‘Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.’ But I think this pejorative association with ambition is a dangerous thing. Ambition can give us a sense of purpose, meaning and determination. And I think that ambition need not be ruthless. Ambition begets adventure, a process that teaches us that the journey is potentially more enjoyable than the arrival. Ambition has given me tremendous energy and a way of looking at the world. What I’ve learned about ambition is to share it, that it need not always be about you, that it works best quietly but insistently and can indeed be healthy, despite what Lady Macbeth says.”
—Branagh is an actor and director. His latest film, Cinderella, is out in March.