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What makes someone a great actor/actress?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Lightnin', Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Lightnin'

    Lightnin' Tele-Meister

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    In your opinion, what are some things that make a person a great actor/actress? Examples would be great, but aren't necessary.
     
  2. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

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    When no matter how many different roles they play and how they seemed linked to a given character, and how big a celeb they may be, you forget all that and believe in the one they're playing.

    Example - Nicholson in the Shining and Cuckoo's Nest, and About Schmidt.

    Examples of actors who aren't capable of being different characters, largely because they do the same sorts of movies - John Wayne, Arnie, Vince Vaughn...
     
  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    For me, it's versatility.
    If an actor can be a leading man/woman, villain or comic, convincingly, I'm impressed.
    I also am impressed when an actor is willing to appear in unflattering roles.
    The actors the Coen Brothers cast in their movies are great examples.
     
  4. garytelecastor

    garytelecastor Poster Extraordinaire

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    For Hollywood it is someone who is related in some way to another actor or actress. Most of the time a son or daughter.

    I see it as a person who is real in their portrayal. Who actually draws you into the storyline and makes you care about the character.
    Hoffman, Nicholson, Deniro, that level, male or female, Shelley Duvall, Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks.
     
  5. Lightnin'

    Lightnin' Tele-Meister

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    What about Denzel Washington or Michael Chiklis?
     
  6. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Porn or Legit? ;)

    Actually I'm in with the same idea Drubbing suggests. When an actor or actress can get me to suspend belief in reality and see them as the character they're portraying then they have my attention. I generally watch movies based on who the actors or actresses are as opposed to following just the hype.

    Another addition to his list of actors who can't make me suspend belief is Kevin Costner. He finds some great stories to produce and make movies out of but he's always Kevin Costner playing Kevin Costner.
     
  7. AndyLowry

    AndyLowry Friend of Leo's

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    If they can make me understand their fictional inner state without saying anything, then I'm impressed.
     
  8. Sherpa

    Sherpa Tele-Holic

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    When their acting skills are such that the character and actor are one and the same in the audience's mind, with the ability to reproduce the same impression across a broad range of acting parts.
     
  9. CrisHendrix

    CrisHendrix Tele-Afflicted

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    Somebody that's photogenic and is able to display an on-screen personality that appeals to a lot of people. They should also be able to pick out the commercially viable projects from the dreck.

    If you have those three covered the rest is just showing up and reading lines.

    http://www.SunbeltRyders.com
     
  10. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Talent, character, personality, appearance & good networking.
     
  11. Gautfrid

    Gautfrid Banned

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    The ability to lie convincingly.
     
  12. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    a good script
     
  13. Kirchensfan

    Kirchensfan Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A great actor makes you forget them and focus on the character they are portraying.
     
  14. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are there acting forums where actors can sit around talking about what makes someone a great guitarist? :p

    I don't think the Academy Awards are going to be asking my opinion anytime soon, but I like actors who are fun to watch, passionate, and plausible.

    I think Brad Pitt is an example of someone who is fun to watch.

    It's not just that he's photogenic, which he obviously is, but he has a repertoire of mannerisms and quarks which catch the eye and make him more interesting on screen.

    Whether he's eating something, raising an eyebrow, or walking with a lilt or a swagger, he always brings something a little extra to every scene he shoots, which makes the scene more interesting than it would have been otherwise.

    For example, I doubt his hand splash/face wash was scripted in this scene:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP3GWf3p4fQ
     
  15. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Friend of Leo's

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    That sounds like the definition of a popular actor, not necessarily a great one.

    I agree with those who say you can believe the person is that character, as opposed to themselves.
     
  16. Nightatthehotel

    Nightatthehotel Tele-Holic

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    They need to have a volleyball named Wilson at some point in their career...
     
  17. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

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    You've just described Tom Cruise. He can't act for crap.
     
  18. Jimmyspaz

    Jimmyspaz Tele-Holic

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    Hard work, a lot of time studying their craft, practice (practice, practice) and natural talent. Notice where talent falls on that list. Much the same as playing the guitar really,,,
     
  19. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

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    A great actor is one who can draw on their own emotions and not be afraid to show them.
     
  20. brianswindall

    brianswindall Tele-Afflicted

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    Being photogenic does NOT make a good actor. A good actor who is "ugly" can convince you he/she is not ugly by the end of a production. Nor is being able to pick a script - that's what agents are for. Also, most actors do not have the luxury of choosing their parts. Hunger is the motivator there.

    A good actor excels at characterization, as stated. A really good actor has skills and technique, much like any artist. That's is where being classically trained is important. Stage presence, using their voice, being able to sing and dance as well as act, these are the hallmarks of a good actor. Most really good actors are trained for the stage. Screen acting involves a lot of waiting, the stage is where it's at for true performers. Hollywood has skewed our idea of what an actor is.
    Also, great actors have something extra - passion and drive - that comes through in a production. Anthony Hopkins, Peter O'toole, Judy Dench are a few that spring to mind. Although we know them from films, I guarantee each of these actors would mesmerize you in a stage production. Just my opinion.
     
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