Actors on building identity

Zoe Kazan in Ruby Sparks

Zoe Kazan commented on feeling reluctant to act:

“It’s just that actors are all lumped together as this vague mass of fame-hungry, swag-wearing, drug-using, eating-disordered people, and I sometimes get sick of being lumped with that group.” [imdb.com]

Zoe Kazan wrote and starred in “Ruby Sparks” – and responded to an interviewer asking “How do you transition from writing a character to embodying it?”

Kazan: “I think that’s a huge jump. I was rewriting for production, and doing costume fittings, and going to auditions, and there was so much activity right before we started shooting that I wasn’t even really thinking about playing it.

“And you know, like two weeks beforehand, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I need to start preparing!’ The nice thing is that you’ve done a lot of your homework already.

“I think a large part of an actor’s job in preparation is just making the words feel organic to them, and obviously they came out of me, so they felt organic to me already.

“And then I think then it was all about clearing away all the other voices so that Ruby’s voice was the only voice I was hearing, and just letting her come through and not trying to impose something on her.”

From Zoe Kazan’s LA Dream Girl By Colleen Kelsey, Interview Mag., 07/24/12.

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Judi DenchJudi 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 reflect me back, or to give me their reflection,” she says.

From the book Honky Tonk Parade: New Yorker Profiles of Show People – by John Lahr.

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BD Wong[You don’t like being the first Asian-American this or that?]

B.D. Wong: “I have a fear of labels. If someone labels me, I have to respond — do I acknowledge it, reject it, deny it, live up to it, and defy it? Labels can affect your ability to be yourself.

“If you’re not careful, like I wasn’t when I was young, that can take a toll on you. You find yourself conforming to everyone else’s ideas of who you are.”

He made related comments in an interview article on one of his movies. The article notes:

‘He believes “racial exclusion in Hollywood” is one of the reasons his Dr. Wu character was scaled down to a single scene in “Jurassic Park.” In Michael Crichton’s book on which the film is based, Dr. Wu has a major presence.

“When you’re an ethnic actor you always have to question why this character got scaled down so much,” Wong told BI. “You go, ‘Oh, darn, this is an opportunity that got wasted.’ Because the movie needs to be Caucasian-centric in order for the filmmakers to feel that they need to succeed and reach people.”

From Actor BD Wong blames ‘racial exclusion in Hollywood’ for his small role in ‘Jurassic Park’,
Business Insider, By Jason Guerrasio.

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Sheetal Sheth on discrimination: “Whenever I hear people talking about actors of South Asian descent like me ‘crossing over into the mainstream,’ I wonder, Crossing over from where? From Jersey? I’m an American girl! [Her hometown is in New Jersey.]

“And it hurts to hear that I’m ‘too ethnic’ when I audition for parts. I picked just about the only profession where it’s OK to be discriminated against because of your race – but this kind of rejection only makes me more determined to succeed.”

Quotes from the page: Identity

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Article publié pour la première fois le 29/09/2015