Featured Articles

  • 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. […]

  • Dealing with fame - or not

    Dealing with fame – or not

    Many other talented and acclaimed actors also reach a certain level of public recognition because of their work, and Jennifer Lawrence notes fame is “a dangerous topic” and comments about how assaultive and how much negative impact it can have: “I teeter on seeming ungrateful when I talk about this, but I’m kind of going […]

  • Jessica Chastain: "I'm not an actor to be a personality."

    Jessica Chastain: “I’m not an actor to be a personality.”

    Why choose to be an actor? Or pursue any form of creative expression? The answers help define our identity as a creative person, and fuel our motivation. Actor Ciarán Hinds recalled an armourer who spoke to him on the set of one of his sword-and-sandal epics: “He said, ‘Do you know what we call you […]

  • The impostor phenomenon - Feeling like a fraud

    The impostor phenomenon – Feeling like a fraud

    “It’s all been a big sham.” “Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can’t do this; I’m a fraud. They’re going to fire me — all these things. I’m fat; I’m ugly…” Those admissions by Kate Winslet [Interview mag. Nov 2000] were made after her […]


Scarlett Johansson: "I'm comfortable with being uncomfortable."

Scarlett Johansson: “I’m comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

As many actors and other creative people have noted, facing our fears is often a key to developing creativity and doing exceptional creative work. Talking about taking on one of the most iconic theatrical roles, Maggie in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Scarlett Johansson refers to making more demanding choices on herself for roles. […]

Emily Blunt on showing her real side and being balanced

Emily Blunt on showing her real side and being balanced

“I think I’m starting to show the real side of myself in my roles.” Emily Blunt adds, “People have told me my recent movies are the most like me.” Her current movie “The Five-Year Engagement” is her first broad romantic comedy, a genre she had resisted a long time out of fear over playing “the […]

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 […]

Actor's Privacy and The Dark Side of Fame

Actor’s Privacy and The Dark Side of Fame

“When you’re famous, you kind of run into human nature in a raw kind of way.” Marilyn Monroe Ayn Rand wrote a commentary in the Los Angeles Times, two weeks after Marilyn Monroe’s death on August 5, 1962. Referring to the “sordid and horrifying childhood of Monroe, Rand wrote: “To survive it and to preserve […]

Michelle Williams on Interpreting Marilyn Monroe

Michelle Williams on Interpreting Marilyn Monroe

Her portrayal of the icon is earning praise from many reviewers. Claudia Puig writes in USA TODAY that “While My Week With Marilyn is more an awestruck reverie than a revelatory biopic, it’s worth seeing for Williams’ bravura performance.” Roger Ebert thinks “The movie seems to be a fairly accurate re-creation of the making of […]

Actors and creative polymathy: Mayim Bialik, James Franco and others

Actors and creative polymathy: Mayim Bialik, James Franco and others

Actor Mayim Bialik earned her Ph.D. from UCLA in Neuroscience, and on “The Big Bang Theory” she plays Amy Farrah Fowler, a neurobiologist and “not-girlfriend” of physicist Sheldon Cooper. In a Los Angeles Times article, Bialik comments, “The first episode I did for them, the executive producer said, ‘Do you really have a PhD?’ I […]

Vanessa Hudgens on striving to be strong and aware

Vanessa Hudgens on striving to be strong and aware

Like many actors who want to develop their talents, Vanessa Hudgens observes people – and also uses the experience for personal growth. She also develops her awareness through reading, such as the book The Four Agreements. Hudgens chose to act in “Sucker Punch” – and wear risqué costumes for the role – because she found […]

Emily Blunt on fate and stammering and acting

Emily Blunt on fate and stammering and acting

In her varied roles, Emily Blunt is often a strong presence, intriguing for her complex emotions and intelligence – sometimes not quite expressed, but showing in her eyes. With her new movie The Adjustment Bureau so much about fate, it is interesting to read some of her perspectives on what she was like earlier in […]

Nicole Kidman on fame, and actors as highly sensitive people

Nicole Kidman on fame, and actors as highly sensitive people

Jennifer Aniston: What attracts you to a project? What’s the key element that has to be there? Nicole Kidman: Usually something strange. It’s a little weird or offbeat or very uncomfortable. I have to be convinced to do things that are more mainstream. As a kid, I was always a bit, I suppose, darker. I […]

Winona Ryder on staying sane with so much attention and work

Winona Ryder on staying sane with so much attention and work

Winona Ryder has expressed a number of thoughtful comments and perspectives on being an actor, and the kinds of pressures affecting her life – and many other talented and sensitive artists. Here are some excerpts from an Interview magazine article. Stephen Mooallem: When you were younger did you ever get into one of those situations […]

Stephen Dorff on working with less "cheats" and more raw

Stephen Dorff on working with less “cheats” and more raw

Probably most actors find that costumes and the props they interact with help bring their characters to life – along with dialogue, of course. Stephen Dorff talked in a recent interview about working in Sofia Coppola’s movie “Somewhere” with much less of all of those. Moviefone Blog: There’s hardly any dialogue in this script. Isn’t […]

Actors and self esteem

Actors and self esteem

“Mustering up enough self-esteem to say, ‘I want to be an actor,’ was a big turning point.” Julia Roberts  [Parade mag. Nov 9 2008] Many creative people report feeling incompetent, inadequate and having low self esteem or self-regard at times. But there are ways to shift those feelings. A number of film actors report they […]

Emma Watson on how college is "empowering and liberating"

Emma Watson on how college is “empowering and liberating”

Now a Brown University sophomore, Emma Watson was interviewed by Jeanne Wolf of Parade magazine on some of what college means to her. Here are some excerpts : I may do some theater next summer, but this college experience is really important to me, and I won’t give it up for anything. I’m not going […]

Acting and Body Image: Portia de Rossi, Toni Collette

Acting and Body Image: Portia de Rossi, Toni Collette

Body image issues can be particularly acute for people in entertainment, which also provides most of the icons and role models of appearance. In her new memoir Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, Portia de Rossi writes about a dark side of pursuing a “perfect” look. “Anorexia was my first love. I didn’t […]

Amanda Seyfried on fame, anxiety and being self-critical

Amanda Seyfried on fame, anxiety and being self-critical

In a recent interview, Amanda Seyfried says she isn’t comfortable with her new fame and status: “I mean, why am I considered an ‘it girl?’” she asks. “Because I’m in a lot of movies right now or am on the covers of magazines? I just hope there is something solid behind that. “Because here’s the […]

Acting, emotion and personal growth

Acting, emotion and personal growth

By guest author Carmen Lynne After spending the greater part of my life as an actress and performer, I became a therapist in early 2007. While I still do a little bit of acting when I have a chance, I now mainly spend my time helping other people to fulfill their creative ambitions or to […]

Amanda Bynes, Kyra Sedgwick, Anjelica Huston on motherhood

Amanda Bynes, Kyra Sedgwick, Anjelica Huston on motherhood

It can be a major decision to be a mother and still pursue a demanding life as an artist. On her Twitter profile, Amanda Bynes says: i want to be a mom but not til i’m 30 and even if i get married b4 then i still want to wait to have kids til long […]

Romola Garai on potential distortions of an acting career

Romola Garai on potential distortions of an acting career

What choices and compromises do you make to gain attention and opportunities as an actor? Romola Garai has expressed a number of thoughtful perspectives on these topics. Here are some quotes from her imdb.com profile. On Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights : “I wouldn’t have done something that I thought had no merit in it at […]

Joan Chen on the emotional need to retreat

Joan Chen on the emotional need to retreat

Joan Chen comments about first seeing “Edward Scissorhands” in 1990: “It was unique cinema that felt like pure magic. The bizarre beauty of the film and the gentle hero with his lethally sharp scissorhands stayed with me through out the years. “Looking back, after almost 20 years, I now understand better the fierce longing and […]

Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke on using multiple talents and interests

“I think it’s my job to risk looking foolish. One of the things I’ve learned from the actors I’ve worked with is you don’t get something for nothing. If you don’t risk looking foolish, you’ll never do anything special.” Ethan Hawke Those quotes are from the article Ethan Hawke says ‘Daybreakers’ is no ‘Twilight': ‘It’s […]

Bryce Dallas Howard on learning more fearlessness from her character

Bryce Dallas Howard on learning more fearlessness from her character

Bryce Dallas Howard portrays the “unapologetic” Fisher Willow in The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, from a screenplay by Tennessee Williams. Howard says “The Hollywood scene, these parties, freak me out. I’ve never had a sip of alcohol in my life. I wasn’t interested in losing control. “There was alcoholism in my family, so I […]

Amber Riley on rejection: “How can I better myself?”

Amber Riley on rejection: “How can I better myself?”

Amber Riley is one of the dynamic actor-singers on the musical/comedy series Glee. She recalls her rejection from American Idol: “My life was crushed when they told me ‘No.’ But I was 17, it was a long time ago and rejection like that only makes you stronger, gets you asking — how can I better […]