All About History
How to METHOD ACT
STAGE THE MOST EMOTIONAL PERFORMANCE Of your Acting life US, 1930S
In the midst of the Golden Age of Hollywood, a new way of portraying characters on screen emerged: method acting. Developed in the 1930s by actor Lee Strasberg, who was inspired by Russian theatre practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski, it encouraged actors to draw upon their past experiences to bring real thoughts and emotion to their performance.
Based on the belief that actors need to know every detail of a character’s life, it took off in the 1940s and came to dominate the silver screen. Since actors had to consider how they would feel in their characters’ situation, method acting was thought to evoke an enhanced sense of realism.
Be natural. When Marlon Brando mumbled his dialogue in A Streetcar Named Desire, he didn’t sound like he was performing.
Method acting allows you to improvise to a much greater degree than classical acting, which has its roots in British theatre.
Move with ease
You need to feel comfortable in your character’s skin, so move around freely. Brando got very close to the camera on occasions.
When Brando made his entrance, he constantly touched and scratched his body, portraying a character that felt crude and brutish.
Draw on your life experience and try to recreate the circumstances around a memory to bring it into the present.