Keeping out of your head to act

James WoodsJames Woods appreciates being an actor:

“I’m just like an idiot savant. I have one enormously enjoyable, pleasurable – for me – talent, which is being able to act. I do it without any confusion or restriction or ambivalence or hesitation, and it just flows, almost as naturally as anything in my life.”

He also has said he is “tired of the Actors’ Studio bullshit that has ruined movies for 40 years. All these guys running around pretending they are turnips or whatever the hell they do.

“You just play the character as he really is. As a loudmouth, blowhard, coward, shithead. You know, it’s OK to be just who the guy is.”

He thinks the process of acting “requires you to be unconscious [of it] when you do it. When you’re aware of what you’re doing, it’s never very good. If you just let go and you’re in the scene, all of a sudden, it’s good. I can’t act; I swear to you, I feel like I can’t. I dread it every time I do it. I feel like the more I do it, the less I know. Which is a good thing.”

[quotes from bio]

Jennifer Lehman – taking risks

In my interview with Jennifer Lehman, a film acting teacher and consultant, she compares the linear mind or ego to the police department motto “To Serve and Protect” – and notes that “when you’re in a creative state like acting, it’s not about protection – it’s about revealing and risk-taking. It takes tremendous courage to do that, and if the mind steps in, it’s there to pull you back from that experience: ‘Whoa, wait a minute, we’re getting into the danger zone here!’

“Exceptional acting performance is about being willing to stay right there with the emotional heat – ‘on the stove’ – without becoming self-indulgent,” she adds. “As soon as you’re ‘on the stove’ it’s not about hopping off as fast as you can, or staying there, ‘frying’, but knowing when to get off, and that’s an intuitive thing.”

Annette Bening – absorb yourself

In another post – Annette Bening on unconscious versus conscious – I quoted a comment of hers on this topic. She said:

“What separates us as actors is that there’s this whole kind of emotional synthesis you’re looking for where you then have to step away from your intellect completely in trying to absorb yourself.”

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Article publié pour la première fois le 21/03/2015