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Becoming the Character with Method Acting

Getting the part is only step one of being a successful actor. Part two is actually becoming the character. For some actors/actresses, it's possible to create a strong connection to a character simply by reading the script and the direction from the writer. For others, however, truly creating a strong character starts with immersing themselves in who that character is.


Understanding Method Acting

Method acting means that instead of simply reading the script and directions and playing the part of the character in a movie, the actor/actress actually takes on the persona of that character. For example, Meryl Streep used method acting to get into the role of Miranda Priestly in 'The Devil Wears Prada.' Heath Ledger also famously used method acting in his role as the Joker.


For this type of acting, the actor/actress actually does everything they can to become the character, both on-screen and off. They act like the character would act. Speak as the character would speak. Live like the character would live. And they do this for the entirety of the time that they are filming the movie. This might be several months or even longer, but it helps them to really feel like that character rather than feeling like they are playing a part.

The key is to truly become one with the part and to understand the character inside and out. That way, there is no distinction between where the actor/actress ends and the character begins. They feel like one and the same person.


Is it Worth It?

For some people, this method of acting is essential to truly make the part believable. When you watch a movie and you see the actor 'phoning it in' or it feels like you're seeing an actor rather than being pulled into the movie you definitely notice. And when you feel like there are no actors but you're actually watching real-life play out in front of you, you definitely notice that as well.


That's not to say that the level of immersion that a movie audience is looking for can't be achieved without method acting. Many actors and actresses do a great job at it. But the concept of method acting can truly create a connection between the audience and the movie itself.


So, is it really worth it? That's entirely up to the actor/actress in question and the type of performance that they are looking to give. Method acting is difficult. It takes a great deal of devotion to the craft and a great deal of time and effort overall.


This can be very difficult, and depending on the specific characteristics of the part that is being played, it could represent a completely different lifestyle for the actor/actress. But despite the difficulty of this process, method acting can also be extremely rewarding for everyone involved.


Making the part resonate is all about making the audience believe that you are the character, but just how you pull that off is up to you.

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