Check it out HERE.
Check it out HERE.
My goal as an actor is to completely transform myself every time I play a character. My acting heroes are Gary Oldman, Cate Blanchett, Samantha Morton, Daniel Day Lewis, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Robert De Niro to name a few. These actors fully commit to the truth of their characters and story by transforming their physicality.
Like the aforementioned actors, I pay particular attention to the physical behaviour of the character. I’ve discovered it is an essential tool to inform emotional truth and convincingly tell the story from a visual perspective. There are a variety of physical techniques I use and my base exercise is always the ‘Animal Exercise.’
I first learned of the ‘Animal Exercise’ while studying with Lori Triolo in the early 2000’s (Anyone who hasn’t studied with her, you’re seriously missing out. She was trained by Sanford Meisner and currently resides in Vancouver, Canada. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0873021/). Essentially, the exercise consist of researching every aspect of an animal you feel is appropriate to your character. After this research is done, you set up a fictional ecosystem and physically act out every aspect/scenario of that animal’s life. I like to set up the different stations in my apartment and work through them like a circuit. As I work through the exercise, I slowly begin to humanize the animal behaviour I feel will translate/inform the character.
This is how I began to build Peter in CANDiLAND. Peter has a Peter Pan complex. He’s very playful, impulsive, mischievous, and joyfully sexual. He’s also physically maimed. Because of this, I always visualized him as a wounded rabbit. As his character changes through the course of the film, so does my physical interpretation of the rabbit. By keeping this ever evolving animal behaviour in mind, the character’s behaviour naturally colors my own and a character is born.
Some notable examples of ‘Animal Work’ are: Marlon Brando’s ‘Ape’ in Streetcar Named Desire, De Niro’s ‘Crab’ in Taxi Driver, and Dustin Hoffman’s ‘Parrot’ in Rainman.
I also highly recommend Larry Moss’ explanation in his fantastic book ‘The Intent To Live.’ http://larrymoss.org/acting-coach-larry-moss-book-author.
Here’s another cool little article I found to further explain by Jane Robbins: http://www.janemarlarobbins.com/bookexcerpt2.htm
I will delve deeper into the Rabbit specifics I used for Peter later this month.