Thoughts on Method Acting?

I was script supervising on set this weekend and witnessed something I had never seen before. One of the actors is a method actor. Before and after auditions he stayed in character, so the director knew he would have to navigate this. But on day one of the shoot, he came to the set late and held up production for 2 hours. Why? He said that's what his character would do. He would be late and inconvenience everyone. Now, the guy is a talented actor, and when the time came, he gave his all, but at the expense of the rest of the cast and crew. Curious to get the actor's perspective on this. And even other filmmakers that might be reading this.

James Drago

No method actors? No one who has experienced something similar?

C Harris Lynn

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

James Drago

What a contribution!

C Harris Lynn

I would (not) work with that person! :D

Richard "RB" Botto

I've seen method actors stay in character when the cameras aren't rolling, but that's really over the top. Fine to be method, not fine to keep other people waiting.

On a related note, here's an article I posted on the Weekend Blog regarding method acting some time ago. Digest, discuss.

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/is-method-acting-destroyi...

JD Hartman

Who's in charge? The Producer and Director or?? Was this: a short; a feature; episodic; commercial; something else?

Martina Camatta

If he is a paid actor then he should have respected others and be punctual. If he was an incredible actor doing it as a favour with lunch and car expenses as only pay-back, then it's OK to be a bit patient...I did few no budget shorts and some people were not being very professional, but it was a relaxed set as I didn't think it was fair to ask too much when people were already doing me a favour...but if you get paid, then you are expected to be professional, in or out of your part.

Stephen Foster

It depends on the role. It's a matter of concentration! whey I was filming "Off Hollywood" I had to keep a lot to myself just so I could keep the character very near me.

James Drago

It was a short JD Hartman Expensive shoot for a short.

James Drago

Martina Camatta he was getting paid to be there. I agree with your take.

James Drago

Stephen, but didn't hold things up by doing so, right?

JD Hartman

I have to agree with C Harris Lynn, they wasted everybody time including the crew. Nobody on a short is irreplaceable, had I been you, they would have been fired.

James Drago

Overall, the consensus was that he was selfish and wasted everyone's time. I think down deep, the director felt the same way. This was the actor he wanted though. Plus, everything had been set up, all schedules had been rearranged (weekend shoot) and the money was tight. So he tolerated it.

C Harris Lynn

I was actually just being silly - as in working with said actor would mean I would not be working with him - but of course that's ridiculous. He probably had a hangover or something.

James Drago

An ego hangover.

Kahlid Elijah Tapia

He is correct in his execution but not in his professionalism. I would compare this to stock traders shorting a stock based on an earthquake in some major city. This may be legal but it's not ethical. I love method acting, I enjoy the insanity and grittiness of it but we aren't in the 1970's and 80's anymore where Method was becoming mainstream and people were doing off the wall stuff to get noticed. This is 2017, if the actor is unable to convey his character's personality within the confines of the time that's given then maybe he should rethink his career.

James Drago

Thanks for adding your thoughts Kahlid Elijah Tapia Everyone has their process. Everyone. That includes the actors down to the gaffers. There should be a mutual respect.

Dyani Dominguez

I see what he was trying to do, but to play with the cast and crew's time like that is unacceptable.

Kahlid Elijah Tapia

I didnt mean to sound overly harsh.

James Drago

I don't think you were harsh at all.

Peter Gill Johnston

The point of method acting is of course to get into the characters skin. This allows the actor a unattainable path to 20/20 vision through the characters eyes. The practice has some merit as a tool but it should never be the only tool or the overly accessed tool.
When is a deep method actor unified, as that is the ultimate goal of a method actor? Are the physical ramifications debilitating to the body of the actor as opposed to the body image of the characters physiology which is genetically unique. Over exuberance for the method may not be the choice of the character.
Actors and Directors seek a perfection and hence the paths to that perfection. The most revered artist have to find a point of rest and recognize when the canvas is as best as it is going to get.
Therefore yes, the method actor is free to explore the intricacies of each character they portray but there is always only one place, just one place to apply the practice and that is in the scene. The life of the character begins and ends with the scene.

James Drago

Hello Peter. Thanks for contributing to my thread. A valuable entry to say the least. Your last sentence really brings your point home.

C Harris Lynn

There's a great story (no idea if it's true) about Dustin Hoffman staying up for 24 hours, smoking and drinking coffee, to film a scene in Marathon Man. He was bragging about his dedication to I guess Roy Scheider (for some reason, I thought it was Gene Hackman), and whoever it was turned to him and said, "Jesus, Dustin - you ever tried acting?" :D

Richard "RB" Botto

I've heard this one too...Great story.

Barry Clifton

I believe, and have always been taught, that being a "generous" actor is a thing to be desired and pursue. His behavior does not strike me as generous.

Martina Camatta

That was a class act like Lawrence Olivier who, tired of Hoffman trying to be a smart a^^ with him, told him to try acting...actors have their egos like we all have I guess, but if even Olivier can understand the difference between acting and real life, then nobody is justified to mix the two :)

Douglas Eugene Mayfield

Sounds like a good start for short dark comedy about the film business.