Featured Articles

  • Kristen Johnston on overcoming her love affair with chemicals

    Kristen Johnston on overcoming her love affair with chemicals

    Kristen Johnston is one of my favorite actors. She reminds me of exuberant movie star ‘dames’ such as Rosalind Russell. But, like many talented people, she has used and abused drugs. A newspaper article says she was “propelled” into drug and substance abuse at an early age due to low self-esteem – not an uncommon […]

  • Creative Inspiration: The Art of Discovery book

    Creative Inspiration: The Art of Discovery book

    What experiences inspired you to pursue being an actor or other artist? This book is about those kinds of experiences. The Art of Discovery: Hollywood Stars Reveal Their Inspirations Edited by Robin Bronk, CEO of The Creative Coalition; photos by Jeff Vespa; designed by typographer and art director Nancy Rouemy. The book features one hundred […]

  • Actors and perfectionism

    Actors and perfectionism

    Many talented and accomplished actors and other creative people are energized – or burdened – by this drive of perfectionism. Acting in the final two “Potter” movies, and thinking about choosing college, Emma Watson talked about criticism of her work as Hermione, and modulating her perfectionism. “I will look back on this part of my […]

  • Being Shy or Introverted and an Actor

    Being Shy or Introverted and an Actor

    Many dynamic actors, musicians and other performers report being shy as a child, or still as an adult. But some people call themselves shy, when they may be introverted or highly sensitive. For more about these traits and how they differ from each other, see further down the page. Hayley Atwell comments: “I was really […]

  • Liv Tyler on Feeling Real

    Liv Tyler on Feeling Real

    In an issue of Interview magazine, director James Mangold and Liv Tyler had a stimulating conversation on many aspects of being a creative artist, on excellence in acting, and being vulnerable and authentic. James Mangold: “There are some actors who, when they feel insecure in a scene, will just turn up the volume or the […]

  • Actors and Drugs and Addiction

    Actors and Drugs and Addiction

    Like other talented and creative people, many actors use and abuse drugs, often as self-medication. Sometimes they risk addiction. Philip Seymour Hoffman used drugs and alcohol a lot. “It was anything I could get my hands on. I liked it all.” He has also commented that “Film is a very uncomfortable medium for an actor. […]

Acting and image – ethnicity and casting

Navi Rawat One of the pleasures of the tv series “Numb3rs” is a character [Amita Ramanujan - played by Navi Rawat] who is not only a math whiz, but a woman of exotic beauty, not the standard blonde [as appealing as many blonde actors may be]. Navi Rawat was born to a German mother and […]

Vera Farmiga: It’s a profession so much to do with ego

Vera Farmiga: It’s a profession so much to do with ego

“I really don’t feel a need to be famous. But I do feel a need to make a difference, to shed light on human emotion through acting.” Vera Farmiga [Los Angeles Times: Anthony Minghella said: "Increasingly, audiences are uncomfortable with any subject that is not aspirational." It seems that you think about projects versus products...] […]

Acting careers – Sylvester Stallone warns against fame addiction

In a recent news story, the accomplished actor, director and producer “warned aspiring actors against getting entangled in the idea of popularity as it could be destructive. “The 60- year old, academy nominated actor has blamed Hollywood and attendant fame for the discomposure and bedlam in his personal life. “Success and fame are as addictive […]

Acting careers – Limiting yourself with drugs

A common struggle In my article Actors and Addiction, I quote Philip Seymour Hoffman about using drugs and alcohol earlier in his life: “It was anything I could get my hands on. I liked it all.” He got sober, he says, because “You get panicked. I was 22, and I got panicked for my life.” […]

Building identity – Naomi Watts on the struggle for integrity

Being told who you are “You can’t be yourself because you’re always being judged.” That is a line from “Ellie Parker” about an actress trying to get a start in Los Angeles, played by Naomi Watts, who also produced the film. That sort of uncertainty of identity and insecurity affects many artists on the way […]

James Franco on being a loner

Comfortable being alone In an interview about “Tristan and Isolde,” James Franco commented about how acting relates to being someone who is more comfortable being alone. Question: You talked about being a loner when you were at school. How hard is it going from being a loner to putting that aside an being an actor […]

Monica Raymund: being relaxed about the audition got her the role

Monica Raymund: being relaxed about the audition got her the role

Monica Raymund trained four years at the Juilliard School of drama, and performed at the Broadway Theatre Project in Tampa, before winning her role on the drama series Lie to Me, as an expert in nonverbal communication. She comments about her audition: “I just really didn’t think I was any good on TV,” she says, […]

Are performers raging narcissists?

Are performers raging narcissists?

“Actors and actresses, because that’s their career, can be sort of self-obsessed.” Kristen Bell says that for her film “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” she “just looked into the depths of the most hard-to-admit or vulnerable or bad characteristics of my own personality and what an actress can become if given that kind of self indulgence or […]

Helen Mirren: "I'm a would-be rebel."

Helen Mirren: “I’m a would-be rebel.”

“Actors are rogues and vagabonds. Or they ought to be. I can’t stand it when they behave like solicitors from Penge. … I’m a would-be rebel. The good girl who’d like to be a bad one.” Helen Mirren   [imdb.com, unknown date] But being “bad” [at least in ways that are not self- or socially-destructive] can […]