Featured Articles

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 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 […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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 […]

Casting director book: A Star Is Found

+-*Two of the top casting directors in the business, who most recently cast the new James Bond, Janet Hirshenson and Jane Jenkins reminisce about the many films they’ve cast, including Harry Potter, and A Beautiful Mind; the actors they’ve discovered, such as Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio and Scarlett Johansson; and some of the A-list directors, […]

Actor resources – Cynthia Bain about teaching young actors

+-*Cynthia Bain has been training young actors for 10 years and has established herself as one the premier coaches and performance consultants. Her students include some of the top young performers in film and television. In our interview, she addresses a number of questions, including : How important is it for your students to have […]

Celebrity and personal growth – Joseph Gordon-Levitt on feeding the soul & the poison of fame

+-*Salon.com: Did you consider other careers? Joseph Gordon-Levitt: I went to college. I wanted to have a wide-open future with endless possibilities. [Laughs] It wasn’t so much that there were other careers in particular that I was considering so much as I just wanted to stop acting. I really wanted to move away from home […]

Actors on building identity

+-*Judi Dench claims not to be “good at my own company.” Rather, to understand her own identity she needs to be in the attentive gaze of others – as the psychologist D. W. Winnicott puts it, “When I look I am seen, so I exist.” Dench is clear on this point. “I need somebody to […]

Building identity – Claire Danes on taking time to discover and become herself

+-*Looking back at her earlier career and the fame of her 1994 show My So-Called Life, Claire Danes admitted in an interview that she always took herself very seriously. “I think because I am as earnest as I am, people were accepting of my evolving into a certified, legitimate…grown up. “When I was 18, I […]

Acting and therapy – Melissa George on being ‘in treatment’

+-*Melissa George plays Laura in the HBO series In Treatment: “An attractive young anesthesiologist in the midst of a relationship crisis” seeking the help of a psychoanalyst, played by Gabriel Byrne. HBO: Did you have any personal experience with therapy or was this a completely new world to you? Melissa George: A completely new world, […]

Personal development for actors – Jeffrey Tambor on using fear

+-*Actor and teacher Jeffrey Tambor describes how fear can impact presence and creativity in performances and auditions, and how to shift the experience of fear. “I think the main idea behind my teaching is the issue of fear and how we use that to our advantage,” he writes. “We are all fear-based creatures. And fear […]

Actors privacy – Debi Mazar on publicity

+-*Debi Mazar plays publicist Shauna on the HBO series Entourage. “The business has changed as far as the perception of celebrity,” she notes. “Before, you know, you were a working actor and it was cool, and people knew who you were. Now there’s all this tabloid bulls**t and perks that didn’t happen before. People are […]

Actors integrity – Selling out

+-*Brad Pitt In a magazine interview, Brad Pitt once candidly admitted, “I’ve got a couple of friends that might as well be family, and I’ve caught myself just ordering one of them to do something because you get accustomed to people doing things for you… It’s the money and the power, it just crushes everything.” […]

Dealing with self sabotage – Pierce Brosnan on being self-critical

+-*“I know what it’s like to loathe oneself. To feel that deep self-loathing. “It’s painful and ugly and f**ing unwanted. “And it got in the way. I can dip in there, into the old black-Irish melancholy. “You think ‘Am I smart enough? Am I equipped enough to deal with it all?’ “You don’t want it […]

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 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 […]