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Interesting Question from IMDb


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by The Toronto Kid  IMDb

 

 I remember reading something about where Laurence Olivier criticized Dustin Hoffman during the shooting of Marathon Man because Hoffman was remaining in character outside of shooting. Olivier said something like "It's called acting." Isn't method acting, like when Carrey stayed as Kaufman in Man on the Moon, really sort of "changing" one's personality temporarily rather than really acting as a craft? Isn't is harder to act between "cuts" than it is to stay in character? Should we have more respect for people who can stop on a dime at "cut!" than we should for people who feel the need to "become" a character? Should the performances of method actors be discounted? I say yes.
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Should the performances of method actors be discounted?

 

 

Of course not.

 

Olivier prepared for his performance in his way, Hoffman in his. It's a toolbox and each craftsman uses whatever tools work best for them to achieve the result they envision.

 

If any person believes that Olivier's teasing quip to Hoffman represented any serious statement about acting, they're an idiot.

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by The Toronto Kid  IMDb
 
 I remember reading something about where Laurence Olivier criticized Dustin Hoffman during the shooting of Marathon Man because Hoffman was remaining in character outside of shooting. Olivier said something like "It's called acting." Isn't method acting, like when Carrey stayed as Kaufman in Man on the Moon, really sort of "changing" one's personality temporarily rather than really acting as a craft? Isn't is harder to act between "cuts" than it is to stay in character? Should we have more respect for people who can stop on a dime at "cut!" than we should for people who feel the need to "become" a character? Should the performances of method actors be discounted? I say yes.

 

Hmmm, interesting question.

 

Discounted? IMO, no. Although I think Hoffman is excellent, and Brando is a hack in anything outside of The Godfather and James Dean makes my teeth itch, I don't think method actors are any better or worse than traditional actors.

 

If an actor is good or great, they are good or great, and it doesn't matter how they learned their trade. If they have talent, then they have talent.

 

Method acting was simply a means to a very rich end for Lee Strasberg.

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by The Toronto Kid  IMDb
 
 I remember reading something about where Laurence Olivier criticized Dustin Hoffman during the shooting of Marathon Man because Hoffman was remaining in character outside of shooting. Olivier said something like "It's called acting." Isn't method acting, like when Carrey stayed as Kaufman in Man on the Moon, really sort of "changing" one's personality temporarily rather than really acting as a craft? Isn't is harder to act between "cuts" than it is to stay in character? Should we have more respect for people who can stop on a dime at "cut!" than we should for people who feel the need to "become" a character? Should the performances of method actors be discounted? I say yes.

 

 

It doesn’t matter to me which method or style they use, as long as they seem to be the character they are playing.

 

I always thought Lee J. Cobb was over-acting as a “method” actor in most of his films, such as in “Angry Men” and “Green Mansions”. Brando was great in “Streetcar” and “Waterfront”, but then he made a bunch of very boring movies.... so bad I didn’t even want to see or know his character. I saw parts of a few of those films on TV. His “Godfather” and “Col. Kurtz” were Ok, but they seemed to be more the invention and creation of the director of those films than Brando’s acting style.

 

Don’t stage actors “go into character” when they go on stage, but they have normal personalities for one or two years when their plays are running but during the hours when they are not actually on stage?

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But sometimes different acting styles can clash, to the detriment of at least one of the actors. Willliam Goldman, the two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter who wrote the novel "Marathon Man" and the movie's adapted screenplay, once told the Manchester Guardian that he did not respect Hoffman's treatment of Olivier, who was in his late 70s during the filming.

 

According to the piece, Hoffman, "who - in a reversal of their on-screen roles in 'Marathon Man' - subjected the ailing but gallant Laurence Olivier to considerable physical torment by forcing him to walk around and around for an hour rehearsing a scene, even though the ageing star's ankles were swelling."

 

" 'Olivier wasn't going to give in,' Goldman recalls. Why? 'Because he was Oliver.' "

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Primo might find this a bit interesting( or maybe not, because she didn't come up with it  ;) ).

 

In an interview, Brando, in answering a criticism of his accepting what at the time was considered an obscene amount of money for a scant amount of screen time, referred to acting as playing "let's pretend".  Which IS basically a correct presumption, if you think about it....

 

Sepiatone

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Little correction here:  MARATHON MAN was released in 1976.  Laurence Olivier sprung to life in May 1907 so he'd have been about 68 when it was filmed and not in his late 70s.  Still had the same health problems, just at a younger age.  (Olivier died in July 1989 at 82).

 

 

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Little correction here:  MARATHON MAN was released in 1976.  Laurence Olivier sprung to life in May 1907 so he'd have been about 68 when it was filmed and not in his late 70s.  Still had the same health problems, just at a younger age.  (Olivier died in July 1989 at 82).

 

Thanks for the math lesson! I'll bet Olivier felt like he was in his late 70s after working with Hoffman.

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I've always found the whole "staying in character" thing silly because that isn't really part of "The Method." Method acting is simply an internal process to achieve close emotional identification with the role the actor is playing, a way to find the core of the character within your own experience and to use that to realize a performance.

 

I have no problem with Method acting, but i disdain the superiority a lot of Method performers had about "their art" over their predecessors. I'd say Method acting is just as given to histrionics as anything that preceded it and that it often isn't terribly realistic...or at least any more realistic than the great performances of the 30s ("realism" is an illusion and there's no reason it should be the benchmark for everything - formalism and artificiality are just as good and necessary.)

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the superiority a lot of Method performers had about "their art" over their predecessors.

 

That's something I'd not been aware of - until I just now read it here.

 

Are you speaking about some who "studied" at Lee Strasberg's? Can you name anyone in particular who espoused that sentiment?

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Wasn't it Stella Adler who was most associated with "Method"? Was Strasberg also "method"?

 

Strasberg was the con man who coined the term 'The Method' and a simple-minded media ran with it.

 

Stella was an adherent of the Stanislavskian Method and was the person who had instructed Brando in its exercises and principles.

 

Brando said 'The Method' that the media was constantly chattering about was just some bush!t term that Strasberg was using to sell himself as some visionary teacher. He went on to say that he never learned a thing from Strasberg and that Strasberg "would take credit for the moon and stars if he could". Or something like that.

 

Strasberg owned the school (the Actors Studio in New York) and I guess he felt because the studio was his, he deserved the credit for Brando's dynamic, yet naturalistic, style which electrified audiences and influenced other actors forever after.

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Strasberg was the con man who coined the term 'The Method' and a simple-minded media ran with it.

 

Stella was an adherent of the Stanislavskian Method and was the person who had instructed Brando in its exercises and principles.

 

Brando said 'The Method' that the media was constantly chattering about was just some bush!t term that Strasberg was using to sell himself as some visionary teacher. He went on to say that he never learned a thing from Strasberg and that Strasberg "would take credit for the moon and stars if he could". Or something like that.

 

Strasberg owned the school (the Actors Studio in New York) and I guess he felt because the studio was his, he deserved the credit for Brando's dynamic, yet naturalistic, style which electrified audiences and influenced other actors forever after.

Strasberg was the con man who coined the term 'The Method' and a simple-minded media ran with it.

 

Ah, so I'm right. And don't forget, one of his most nefarious students named names, the dirty rat.

 

Brando said that? Good for him, I have to upgrade my opinion of him.

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