Tuesday, June 14, 2011

THE ART OF METHOD ACTING (Topic For Only Serious Minded Actors)

By Miss TiLii
I have mentioned here on this blog many times my love for method acting and I thought i elaborate on that a lil more today - and after you read it tell me whom you think in Nollywood or Ghana movie industry or anywhere else in Africa you would describe as the best method actor or actress. This article may not be of interest to many - this is only for the serious minded who aim to take their profession to higher heights - who truly respect the art of acting.
Many have asked me - with this much passion that i have for movies, have i ever wanted to be an actresss - the answer as i have said time and time again is "NO" - i never have had the desire to be an actress, but I have always as long as i can remember (since my first movie at age 10: Sound of Music) wanted to be a casting agent. At a later stage I am thinking of writing a script and whatever Gods may be afterwards, he will lead and I follow - HE is the master of my fate.

You dont have to read but one page of this blog to detect how extremely PASSIONATE i am for the ART OF ACTING and MOVIES as a whole. I respect it - I love it- I live it - and there is no descrimination - I watch it all - if they are good - regardless of language barriers - i will watch it. I love it when an actor has incredible intellect and emotional depth to bring to the character to the screen with great acting and when they love the art of acting like I do (and not evidently doing it for the money/fame like most in our african movie industry do) - i instantly fall in love with them. You can always tell how much a person respects and love the true art of acting by the choices of scripts they accept to do and whom they choose to work with.
Before i move on to my topic on Method Acting - I advice my serious minded Actors - who have a goal to succeed in the international world as a well respected acclaimed actor to read the book (INTENT TO LIVE: ACHIEVING YOUR TRUE POTENTIAL AS AN ACTOR) by Larry Moss - which you can get from Amazon
Watch Larrys's interview and be extremely attentive to everything he is saying here in this 55mins clip, (not far from what i have said many times here before (ie let your family or friend watch your movie on mute for the whole movie and ask them if they were able to tell the story line - if they do not - then you have to rethink this whole acting thing and take some further lessons - You act with your actions and become the character - you dont act with just your screams/shouts/cries and this is the whole meaning of Method Acting - you become the character so much so -I cant differentiate between you and the fictional person - you become one - in that moment)

(HEAR YE ! HEAR YE! -Ghana, Nollywood and all other lackluster african directors - did you hear that - if you didnt just rewind it and hear it again)

(take away)
Even though i am no actor i took a lot from this video but the most that sticks out which i will advice all serious actors to take away from is Watch Daniel Day Lewis (movies: Last of the Mohicans, Room with a View) and Meryl Streep (movies: Sophies Choice, Bridges of Madison County) WITHOUT SOUND, to try and see what they are doing with their body language. You hear them and you feel them even without sound. 
(My favourite actor of all time, hands down)
If you dont know Daniel Day Lewis - Several times Oscar Winner and the ultimate Method Actor - Ladies and Gentlemen I introduce to you "Daniel Day Lewis" Like all the many names listed below - find any movie he is in and study it like science to master the art of acting - this clip here is from "Gangs of New York" also starring another method actor and my all time favourite "Leonardo Di Caprio" 

Method acting is a phrase that loosely refers to a family of techniques used by actors to create in themselves the thoughts and emotions of their characters, so as to develop lifelike performances. It can be contrasted with more classical forms of acting, in which actors simulate the thoughts and emotions of their characters through external means, such as vocal intonation or facial expression. When an actor pours their whole being into their work and comes out shining and willing to lose themself and become who the character

Best Method Actors (By: Shawn Lealos )
Method actors became popular when students trained by pioneers Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler came to prominence in the fifties. The training pushed actors to become the characters, using their own personal experiences to find the emotional core they portray. These teachers trained students who went on to win Oscars as the best actors of their generation.

Leonardo Di Caprio:

Meryl Streep:

Anthony Hopkins:

Daniel Day-Lewis. Daniel Day-Lewis is a two-time Oscar winner, while receiving four nominations for his work. His method acting appears in films such as “My Left Foot,” where Lewis refused to leave his character’s wheelchair, spoke in the broken dialect of an individual afflicted with cerebral palsy and even had crew members feed him. The hard work won the method actor his first Oscar. Daniel method acting could be considered a bit extreme and here is why (movie titles in red):
***The Boxer: Trained for 18 months with former world champion Barry Mcguigan who later said that Day Lewis could have easily been a professional afterward. 
***The Crucible: Etched actual tattoos onto his own body. 
*** Gangs of New York: In preparation for his role as Bill the Butcher, Daniel Day Lewis actually took up an apprenticeship as a butcher; he would sharpen his knives during breaks in filming. He was also diagnosed with pneumonia on set, after continuously refusing to wear warmer modern coats as they 'wouldn't have existed in the 19th century'. 
***My Left Foot: During filming as paralytic Christie Brown, Lewis refused to leave his wheelchair between scenes, so he could truly experience the problems associated with the condition. His constant refusal to break from character also earned him 2 broken ribs, from his continually hunched position in the wheelchair. He somehow sat still so hard that he broke his own ribs, and still didn't move. 
**** Last of the Mohicans: Lived in the wild for 6 months, surviving only on necessities. No word if he ate a mountain lion whole and took a grizzly bear as his "Woods Wife," so we are forced to assume he did. 
**** In the Name of the Father: For the part of a prisoner, Lewis lived in solitary confinement at an abandoned prison. The only reason he was not dragged away by the furious ghosts of long dead prisoners was the vast weight of his balls rooting him to the spot.
Marlon Brando. Marlon Brando remains the poster child for method acting. The actor received eight Oscar nominations from 1952 to 1990, winning two for “The Godfather” and “On the Waterfront.” An example of the method actor’s training includes spending a full month confined to a veteran’s hospital in preparation for his debut film “The Men.”3.Robert De Niro. Robert De Niro won his second Oscar for his portrayal of boxing champion Jake LaMotta. For the role, which spanned 23-years, De Niro worked out to achieve a lean, muscular body and then gained over 50 pounds for the film’s climax as a washed-up has-been. De Niro won his first Oscar for “The Godfather: Part II” and earned four other nominations.
Robert DiNiro.Robert De Niro - With nigh-countless Oscar winning performances in films such as The Godfather and Raging Bull, De Niro is arguably one of the greatest actors of our time. He's also extremely dedicated to method acting. Why, he's been playing the role of "over the hill one note comedic flop" for nearly a decade now! While preparing for his role as Max Cady in Cape Fear, De Niro decided that he wanted his character's appearance to reflect the fact that he had spent a long time in prison. In order to do this, he paid a dentist roughly $20,000 to fuck up his teeth. It's a shame he wasted the money, if only he'd waited 14 years he could've gotten an audience member coming out of Meet the Fockers to do it for free.
Al Pacino. Al Pacino is a co-president of the Actors Studio, the school he studied in under the method acting philosophies of Strasberg and Adler. Pacino earned seven Oscar nominations before finally winning his first in 1993’s “Scent of a Woman.”
Jack Nicholson. Jack Nicholson said in an interview with "Esquire" that he utilizes method acting more than almost any actor in Hollywood. He received twelve Oscar nominations in his career, the most of any male actor as of 2010, and won for “As Good as it Gets,” “Terms of Endearment” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Ed Norton. Edward Norton is another actor who studies the Strasberg method techniques. He earned an Oscar nomination for his first role in a film. When he portrayed the split personalities of a man accused of murdering a priest, it was a tour-de-force.

Christian Bale. Christian Bale followed the footsteps of Robert De Niro over the years in his approach as a method actor. In 2004, Bale dropped to 120 pounds for the film “The Machinist” before working out and gaining almost 100 pounds six months later for his role as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s 2005 film “Batman Begins.”

Forest Whitaker. While not the first name mentioned when talking about method actors, Forest Whitaker finally won his first Oscar for his portrayal of Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland.” For his role in “Ghost Dog,” Whitaker studied eastern philosophy and mediated continuously throughout the film shoot.

Adrian Brody. Adrian Brody won an Oscar for his starring performance in the 2002 Roman Polanski film “The Pianist.” To prepare for his role as a man who lived in a war-torn Warsaw, Brody gave up his car and apartment because he felt he owed it to the Polish Jews he represented in the movie.

Heath Ledger. Heath Ledger’s method acting work affected his health while filming “The Dark Knight.” In an interview with the New York Times, he said he felt exhausted and refused to let his mind stop. He filled notebooks with strange, off-the-wall writings as he buried himself in the persona of The Joker. His hard work paid off; he posthumously won an Oscar for the performance

A little clip with some of the best Hollywood Acting -talking about the challenges of Acting (Deniro, Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie) -

In conclusion i recommend all serious minded actors to invest just $13.00 and buy this book and read it 10 times over. You will thank me later

The Intent To Live
By Larry Moss

Sanford Meisner on Acting
By Sanford Meisner


In West African Movie Industry (Ghana and Nigeria) - in my opinion - the best method actors we have are just Majid Michel and Genevieve Nnaji - Majid and Genny are my best method actors in Ghana and Nollywood - just love them to bits. When they act - they become the character, the character doesn't become them (if you know what i mean)
I considered Method Acting greatest acting than any other - as i describe here too. The British trained actors are masters at this as evident with my list above.
I saw this of Majid when i first saw him in Nov 2007 watching Crime to Christ acting as Al Pacino and of Genevieve I saw this of her in numerous of her characters but it hit me the most in a scene between her and Tony Umez in the movie "My First Love", when Tony was trying to seduce her in his house. Thats when it hit me bam! that this chick is a serious Method Actress.
I hold Majid and Genny in high esteem when it comes to acting in africa - many don't like that - but it is what it is. I just tell it like it is. Thats why i started this blog - cos in other blogs my voice was suppressed, here i can speak my mind


Anonymous said...

Hello Ms T, I love your passion for this blog and I ask the Lord Almighty to grant you everything you wish and ask for.

I read your blog at least twice a day and it's brilliant. You are always on point with your critic.

Here are a few people who I believe should be on the category: Genevieve Nnaji
Rita Dominic
Ramsey Noah Jnr
Jim Iyke
Stella Aboderin
Zack Orji
Madam Patience Ozwokor
Pete Odochie
Sir Olu Jacobs & Joke Silver
Dakore Egbuson
Justice Esiri

Ghana actors: Edinam Atatsi
David Dontoh
Pascaline Edwards
Akorfa Ejeni Asiedu

Nena said...

I really enoyed this article, other actors that I think bear mention in this category are Colin Firth esp. for his role in "The Kings Speech" and Natalie Portman who nails just about every role she plays.
Well U don talk am, let's see if anybody listens.

Victoria.U said...

Hi Ms T,great job you are doing,hope our Nollywood(African actors) get to the consciousness level of Method acting,and to add to the above list there's a Nollywood actor (tho not done too many movies) Eyinna Nwigwe I think has a lot to offer,met him at the Cannes film festival in May where his latest movie "Black Gold" was screened and did a short interview on him,ddnt take much to feel his depth, and he also believes in self development,was impressed to know we had Naija actors willing to develop.God bless you for your selfless effort at shaping the industry the way you are.LONG LIVE NOLLYWOOD

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