The Method behind Great Actors Term Paper by Nicky

The Method behind Great Actors
A discussion about method acting.
# 145002 | 2,640 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Oct 22, 2010 in Drama and Theater (Dramatic Art) , Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.)

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This paper looks closely at what comprises the gift of the method actor. Examples of specific actors and works are used in making discussion points, and comparing the skills and abilities of the method actor to the non-method actor. Method acting is defined an ability to "feel," and to convey those feelings in a way that helps the audience know and get inside the mind of the character being acted out. The paper explores why method acting is considered more suited for stage rather than film. Despite this, the paper points out that many of the great actors cite their stage experience as a reason for their incredible screen acting success. The paper concludes with a discussion of what makes a talented method actor.

The Ultimate Method Actor Role

From the Paper:

"Since method acting requires that the actor be able to be completely the character, it requires understanding the character, getting into the character's feelings and mind, then, conveying that to the audience. In Last Tango, Brando and Schneider do this remarkably well, and one of the reasons that it is so noticeable is because we put together two people, the American, Brando; and the French film star, Schneider, in a film that requires Brando, the American who does not speak fluent French, and the non-English speaking Schneider. The film takes place in two primary locations: an apartment, and a dance emporium. Not only must the characters find the universal language to communicate with one another, but they must also find the universal language to convey that communication to the audience."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Benedetti, Jean. Stanislavski: An Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2004. Questia. 29 Nov. 2008 <>.
  • Conroy, Marianne. "Acting Out: Method Acting, the National Culture, and the Middlebrow Disposition in Cold War America." Criticism 35.2 (1993): 239+. Questia. 29 Nov. 2008 <>.
  • Harrop, John. Acting. New York: Routledge, 1992. Questia. 29 Nov. 2008 <>.
  • Leiter, Samuel L. The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage, 1940-1950. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992. Questia. 29 Nov. 2008 <>.
  • McTeague, James H. Playwrights and Acting: Acting Methodologies for Brecht, Ionesco, Pinter, and Shepard. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994. Questia. 29 Nov. 2008 <>.

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