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  1. #1
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    In this interview, the Method Acting Teacher, Sam Rumbelow, discusses intense moments of acting by Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando, who went close to the edge to play their characters.

    For ‘Last Tango in Paris’ Marlon Brando pulls upon feelings of his mother when he reveals his character grieving his wife who has killed herself. Martin Sheen, meantime faces his inner demons in the hotel room scene in ‘Apocalypse Now’.

    Rumbelow comments on Brando's performance: "I feel that’s probably some of the best work that Brando has ever done as he came at it with such searing truth".

    Does anyone have any other suggestions of intense moments of acting?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: England cassidy's Avatar
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    Brando in "On the Waterfront" 1"I could have been a contender" etc and when he confronts Lee J Cobb "You killed Charlie who was one of your own".
    Quote Originally Posted by etienne View Post
    In this interview, the Method Acting Teacher, Sam Rumbelow, discusses intense moments of acting by Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando, who went close to the edge to play their characters.

    For ‘Last Tango in Paris’ Marlon Brando pulls upon feelings of his mother when he reveals his character grieving his wife who has killed herself. Martin Sheen, meantime faces his inner demons in the hotel room scene in ‘Apocalypse Now’.

    Rumbelow comments on Brando's performance: "I feel that’s probably some of the best work that Brando has ever done as he came at it with such searing truth".


    Does anyone have any other suggestions of intense moments of acting?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England
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    David Niven...Seperate Tables...Daniel Day Lewis...There Will Be Blood!
    Film man.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: Wales
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    During the making of Marathon Man, Hoffman was nagging Olivier for guidance "how should I approach this", "What am I thinking here" sort of stuff to which Olivier replied "You could always try acting dear boy" or words to that effect.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard_in_wales View Post
    During the making of Marathon Man, Hoffman was nagging Olivier for guidance "how should I approach this", "What am I thinking here" sort of stuff to which Olivier replied "You could always try acting dear boy" or words to that effect.
    Not completely accurate, the story goes that during a scene where Hoffman had to portray the character having been awake all night he really did stay awake all night, to which Larry gave the "try acting" retort.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Five minute long sustained scenes are something we get very little of anymore. I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of *moments*.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_UFVPKfqLs

  7. #7
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    Charles Laughton on the rack, or wheel whatever it was in the "Hunchback Of Notre Dame'. His style was once commented on as being "method without the bullsh*t". I'm not an actor so I wouldn't know, but it's powerful stuff indeed.

  8. #8
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    Another example of an actor who went close to the edge to play his characters, Christian Bale: from 73 kg to 54 kg to 100 kg.
    For his role in ‘The Machinist’ he starved himself losing 28 kg and then building up 46 kg through proper eating and weightlifting for his role in ‘Batman Begins’. Viggo Mortensen for ‘The Road’ and Michael Fassbender for ‘Hunger’ also lost a considerable amount of kg's to play their characters. On the other side of the scale Robert de Niro in 'Raging Bull' gained 27 kg to portray Jake La Motta in his early post-boxing years.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy_Lea View Post
    Not completely accurate, the story goes that during a scene where Hoffman had to portray the character having been awake all night he really did stay awake all night, to which Larry gave the "try acting" retort.
    Well I did say 'sort of', in future I'll be sure to mention if anything I link or use of a similar nature is verbatim or not; lets not get pedantic, its not really important information.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: England zettel45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard_in_wales View Post
    Well I did say 'sort of', in future I'll be sure to mention if anything I link or use of a similar nature is verbatim or not; lets not get pedantic, its not really important information.
    Indeed. The important information is that the comment was pretty rich coming from Sir Larry who was a terrible film actor.

  11. #11
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    Another moment: Malcolm McDowell for Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange'. The forced-open eyes of McDowell in filming the Ludovico technique scene caused that the actor was temporarily blinded.
    Last edited by batman; 09-10-11 at 07:48 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by etienne View Post
    Another example of an actor who went close to the edge to play his characters, Christian Bale: from 73 kg to 54 kg to 100 kg.
    For his role in ‘The Machinist’ he starved himself losing 28 kg and then building up 46 kg through proper eating and weightlifting for his role in ‘Batman Begins’. Viggo Mortensen for ‘The Road’ and Michael Fassbender for ‘Hunger’ also lost a considerable amount of kg's to play their characters. On the other side of the scale Robert de Niro in 'Raging Bull' gained 27 kg to portray Jake La Motta in his early post-boxing years.
    Sounds like some intense moments of miscasting too.....

    Renee Witherspoon does this, but it cannot be a healthy way to pursue matters. Why not give the work to a chubby actress in the first place?

    As for Kubrick.... well....... Maybe he should have suffered for his art first and seen how much he liked it.

    This daft modern idea that acting has to be *real* leaves me foxed. It seemed to start in the Sixties when suddenly it became macho fashionable for male actors to be said to do their own stunts. But of course that was actually impossible because one star with a broken leg and then the film is bankrupt, or the script has to be heavily re-written.


  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: Europe Heinrich's Avatar
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    So many movie stars cannot act their way out of a paper bag and essentially only deliver lines. It doesn't mean they are not entertaining at the same time. I would include Glen Ford in such a list. He admitted as much when he said he never acted in his life but was always only himself on screen and this is why he liked westerns so much. He was such a good horseman in real life that the was awarded the American Rodeo Association's rare and coveted "Buckle".
    On the other hand, acclaimed so-called actors were really only hams, in particular some of the most famous method "actors" such as Marlon Brando. Isn't it embarrassing to watch him pretend to be a German officer in The Young Lions (1948), in his Hollywood costume (tailored to show off his rear end), dyed hair to look the caricature Aryan, and attempting to speak with an accent. God in heaven help us!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZfAqQYSlOk&feature=related

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: England zettel45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin View Post
    This daft modern idea that acting has to be *real* leaves me foxed.
    When you say "modern" you should be aware that method acting comes directly from problems associated with performing the plays of Chekhov. So it reaches back to the late 19th/early 20th century. Not quite so modern after all, eh?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zettel45 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin View Post
    This daft modern idea that acting has to be *real* leaves me foxed. It seemed to start in the Sixties when suddenly it became macho fashionable for male actors to be said to do their own stunts. But of course that was actually impossible because one star with a broken leg and then the film is bankrupt, or the script has to be heavily re-written.
    When you say "modern" you should be aware that method acting comes directly from problems associated with performing the plays of Chekhov. So it reaches back to the late 19th/early 20th century. Not quite so modern after all, eh?
    I wasn't really talking about the Method. Personally I think most (if not all) of the most *touching* actors use the method principles as far as communicating *emotion* on screen. Many actors who have dismissed the Method, probably did it either because they preferred to maintain their own emotional privacy or because they didn't like to intellectualise about how they did what they did. I would even go so far as to say that Method Acting is the only effective way to be truly effective on-screen for the characters who engage the audience at some emotional level. You don't of course need the method to shoot guns and blow things up.

    No, I was more talking of the audience who conflate so much about the characters they like and the actors themselves nowadays ,and think the persona on-screen is somehow the reality of the person playing the roles. The promotional people often encourage this by presenting these stars as somehow the living embodiment of the parts they play and audiences worship the actor, when really the person they like is just a role - a fantasy. This seems to have a negative effect on many of the most successful actors, who then seem to get sucked into the same vortex and struggle sometimes it seems, to hang onto their own reality. This tendency can aply to actors, whether of the method or action variety alike.

    I suppose this is nothing new, but in the days of the Studio system the actors had the protection of that system whereas now, they can only hide in their walled Beverley Hills palaces ands await the next uncovering of their *hypocrisy*.

    Last edited by Moor Larkin; 08-10-11 at 10:39 PM.

  16. #16
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    Richard Burton's final speech at the end of The Wild Geese, totally classic & he was reading it off a board!

  17. #17
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmy_Lea View Post
    Richard Burton's final speech at the end of The Wild Geese, totally classic & he was reading it off a board!
    He had a magical voice. He could read the phone book and hold people enthralled by it.

    "To begin, at the beginning ..."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy0srtmv3og

    A crackly audio recording from Richard Burton's 1951 performance of Henry V doing the St Crispin's Day speech
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU7NrnLsr5g

    Of course he worked best with a good scriptwriter like Dylan Thomas or Will Shakespeare.

    But from soft and gentle to exploding with passion and hywl, his voice had it all

    Steve


    Steve

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: England Tonch's Avatar
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    Talking of Burton, it surely didn't come much more intense than "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?" - no doubt lent that extra frisson by the real life state of his relationship at the time with co-star Liz.

  19. #19
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    I'd nominate Toshiro Mifune as Taketoki Washizu in the final scenes from Throne of Blood. All the stops out and full steam ahead, to mix a metaphor or two. Quite electrifying.

    Nick

  20. #20
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Dando View Post
    I'd nominate Toshiro Mifune as Taketoki Washizu in the final scenes from Throne of Blood. All the stops out and full steam ahead, to mix a metaphor or two. Quite electrifying.

    Nick
    That was one of the clips shown in the latest episode of Mark Cousins' The Story of Film: An Odyssey. Yes, highly dramatic acting

    Steve

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