You know the phrase. You know that actors are simply acting as their characters. Nothing more nothing less. Actors well they act. It’s simply their profession. This phrase is very handy in dealing with actors who are playing villainous roles and not quite the most amazing human beings. You write off what they’re doing as a character and make sure that crazy internet stalkers can distinguish them as a real person.
Acting is a real and true profession one of which I respect with my whole heart and it is actors that have had a great and profound influence on my life. But that’s just it right there. Actors have influenced me, and so have their characters. I think we need to discuss that while actors are not their entire characters, in situations such as TV especially, an actor is our first experience of a character.
What I mean by this is obviously characters are the sum of their writing but each actor has their own flare and style, yes? So you take that style and apply it to a character and thus you get what culture perceives as what character was written. Little bits and pieces of an actor are sprinkled through out each character. Which is why I really don’t like to ‘separate’ them so much more as fluently understand who the writer wanted portrayed and what really comes through in an actor. I don’t believe seeing portions of themselves in a character is bad acting because I think some people can only play a role if they’ve experienced a said feeling.
It’s fun to see an actor’s quirks and how they bring those to the table, or nevertheless hid them from the table. I believe in strong characters coming from strong actors. Or if they haven’t been in that emotional situation then they can empathize with it and that’s what’s very important. Empathy.
Empathy is a wonderful thing and I don’t think we have as much of it as we once did. Empathy towards actors is also important. I don’t want to go on too long about it but we have to treat actors as they are. Human. That’s simply it and have empathy for them despite their lifestyle. Behind every ‘rich’ person there is a person who’s dedicated to their craft and we should treat with respect as we would a coworker or friend.
Sometimes actors can be their characters, they can feel them so deeply and be so moved that they sign on for that very reason. Are they always exactly their characters? No. And don’t expect them to be throwing every ounce of themselves behind someone who’s a polar opposite on them. Just simply watch and see, let them show you who they are and who they play. Sometimes its not what you expect.