The Acting Method is a technique that has gained a respectable reputation on the Internet—and for good reason. The most recent infamous double is perhaps by Jeremy Strong. The actor followed in the footsteps of his idol Daniel Day-Lewis by immersing himself in the role successioneternal sad boy Kendall Roy. “I take him as seriously as I take my own life,” Jeremy said in his now infamous New Yorker profile, which includes bizarre details such as his request to spray tear gas for his role in Chicago Trial 7. For what it’s worth, he calls his process method not a game, but “identity dissipation”, which involves “clearing almost everything around and inside you” and is very similar to Daniel Day-Lewis’ signature immersive style.
Serial internet boyfriend Andrew Garfield is the latest in a long line of actors to come out in defense of the method of acting. On the Marc Maron podcast, he admitted to being “troubled by the misconception” that the method is just crude on set, and spoke about his own experience with the controversial technique when he played a 17th-century Jesuit priest. To enter the image for SilenceMartin Scorsese’s 2016 devotional epic, Garfield fasted and abstained from sex for six months, which he said caused “pretty wild, weird experiences.”
in the words from Batman star Robert Pattinson, the man who draws a line to his own weirdness — which, among other things, included lying about an exploding clown — in a method game: “You’ve only ever seen people use this method when they’re playing an asshole.” It’s not entirely true: Daniel’s brilliant career has become a movie legend, and Leonardo DiCaprio finally got his Oscar for eating a raw bison in 2016. survivor. Of course, there’s Jared Leto, who has been terrorizing his co-stars from the very beginning of the recording: with dead rats, condoms, and an adherence to an Italian accent so venomous that he boasted of snorting “arrabbiata sauce lines.” (Probably a joke, but I wouldn’t miss it).
In fact, what we today call a methodical game is not quite what Konstantin Stanislavsky imagined. This method actually involves using personal emotions and life experiences to give the character credibility. But somewhere along the way, that definition got confused by exaggerated profiles and pesky award campaigns; the actors are equally praised and ridiculed for their dedication to the “method” of staying in character while the cameras are down. In this confusion, the idea of using the personal as the basis of the character was lost. The body is now just a vessel.
But what connects each of these actors is a flood of critical acclaim and awards, and in Jeremy’s case, a legion of stands. Celebrities make themselves suffer because they can afford it and because we reward them for it: Too many Oscar campaigns are based on the premise of trauma and the misguided, if persistent, notion that the only way to create real art is through pain. . You can’t win an Academy Award just for being good, you have to give your blood, sweat and tears to prove it. The process is to come up with your own underdog story, overcoming self-imposed difficulties to discover something (supposedly) beautiful. With the exception of Jared Leto, playing by the method clearly can bring results. But what’s really praised is the ability to erase the movie star shine.
Of course, actors who take their craft to the extreme aren’t just limited to men, but it’s no surprise that they tend to be responsible for the most egregious examples of such behavior. Hilary Swank used this technique in a much less extravagant way for her unfortunate casting call. Boys don’t cry; Charlize Theron tried this method but later abandoned it after performing in monster, because she preferred to “live and breathe the moment.” And this is quite normal! For every Lady Gaga who spoke with a Patricia Reggiani accent for months on end, there were dozens of actresses who could turn it off. method, she became a woman, becoming the object of exhausting arguments that accused her of going too far and trying too hard.
While this technique can be a great excuse for some to act out, it’s clear that it doesn’t work for everyone, especially those who aren’t in the boys’ club.
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