DON’T JUDGE YOUR CHARACTER. This is a note I give again and again, even in this column.
Recently I’ve been interviewing actors for characters who are drug dealers, criminals and strip club dancers. When you are creating these characters, please remember that they are actually human beings. They have parents, friends, lovers. They breathe, eat and sweat.
Often when actors are assigned characters like this, they decide to judge them or put themselves outside of them. For example, I’m playing a gangster so he should have a low gravelly voice. If YOU don’t have a low gravelly voice, please don’t put one on. In film acting, we want to see YOU in the role. As soon as you start layering on, you get further and further from yourself and the character becomes less and less believable. The biggest problem we have had in casting gangsters is that they become cliched cartoon characters.
Jamie Payne, the director who I’m currently working with kept reminding the actors who …