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Method acting is an acting technique in which actors try to replicate real life emotional conditions under which the character operates, in an effort to create a life-like, realistic performance. This is contrasted with a more abstracted, less involved style of acting in which the actor himself or herself remains an outside observer of the character he or she is portraying.
"The Method" in method acting typically refers to the generic practice of actors drawing on their own emotions, memories, and experiences to influence their portrayals of characters.
Stanislavski's 'system' focused on the development of artistic truth onstage by teaching actors to "live the part" during performance. Despite being primarily known in The United States for Realism, Stanislavski developed the system to be applied to all forms of theater, directing and producing melodrama, vaudeville, opera, etc. In order to create an ensemble of actors all working together as an artistic unit, he began organizing a series of studios in which young actors were trained in his system. At the First Studio of MAT, actors were instructed to use their own memories in order to naturally express emotions. Stanislavski soon observed that some of the actors using or abusing Emotional Memory were given to hysteria. Although he never disavowed Emotional Memory as an essential tool in the actor's kit, he began searching for less draining ways of accessing emotion, eventually emphasizing the actor's use of imagination and belief in the given circumstances of the text rather than her/his private and often painful memories.
Among the actors who have employed Stanislavski's System in some form are Jack Garfein, Jack Nicholson, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Harvey Keitel, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Warren Beatty, Robert Duvall, Johnny Depp, Gregory Peck, Sidney Poitier, Jessica Lange, William Hurt, Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Benicio del Toro, Mark Ruffalo, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kate Winslet, Adrien Brody, Denzel Washington, Elizabeth Taylor, Hilary Swank, Anthony Hopkins, John Alexander and Sean Penn.
At age 26, Ledger became one of the youngest performers ever nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. In The New York Times review of the film, critic Stephen Holden writes: "Both Mr. Ledger and Mr. Gyllenhaal make this anguished love story physically palpable. Mr. Ledger magically and mysteriously disappears beneath the skin of his lean, sinewy character. It is a great screen performance, as good as the best of Marlon Brando and Sean Penn."
When Ledger removed both his sunglasses and his beloved green-peaked Castro hat his eyes were pale, vulnerable. His pallor was deathly. Dressed in a faded orange polo shirt, loose green trousers and rubber flip flops, Ledger could have been any backpacker on Bondi Beach — rather than the latest Aussie heartthrob.
In order to prepare for his role in Candy, Ledger had turned his back on the surf and immersed himself in the dark, troubled milieu of the heroin addict. It showed. "Yeah, I can't go out in the sun anymore. Surfing is out," he explained.
Despite his success Ledger always felt unsure about himself as an actor. Unlike so many of his Australian contemporaries (notably Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush) Ledger did not cut his teeth in the theatre. His method was a simple one: to climb inside the skin of the person you're playing.
"That's the only way that I can act," he said. "By tapping into the power that the character has otherwise you couldn't thrash around on the floor in tears."
Ledger never regarded acting as an occupation, but as compulsion — a necessary outlet for his creative urges.
Originally posted by jetxnet
Keith did a role in Broke-back Mountain that would have gotten him alot of bad attention in a predominately anti-gay society.
Not to belittle Mark or any other voice actor, but there's a HUGE difference between physically taking on the characteristics of a role and sitting in a comfy recording studio with a pair of cans doing v/o work.
Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
...take a look at the man who portrayed the joker for a longer period than any other person in history
yep, mark hamill
pretty normal guy.
nothing insane about him, and he was the voice of the joker for...i think a decade.
Jack the Ripper? I worked at a theater and got to watch From Hell two or three times a day for a couple of weeks. Talk about changing a person's sunny disposition!
Originally posted by Torsten
...what movie villain or real life villain is ever gonna top the Joker? He is pretty much the ultimate evil, no motivations other than liking to watch stuff blow up. Hats off to you, Ledger.