I would like to speak, briefly, to this obsession that film/TV/theater consumers and creators have with the "real."
Remember that viral anecdote about Will Smith in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air where his character is sobbing and saying "Why don't he want me, man?" about his absentee father, that the poster said was "all improvised"? It wasn't true. Will Smith is a good actor and that's it. Whether he brought his own personal dramas to the role or not, he didn't write those words. We weren't watching him live his real trauma onscreen. Much to the disappointment of the internet.
Remember Shelley Duvall's face in THE SHINING? Stanley Kubrick literally abused her on set to get her to make those faces. He called her worthless and told the camera crew to treat her badly. But it was all worth it for her performance, right? What a masterpiece! Her real pain was worth making a movie. Right?
There's a genuinely sweet moment in Sabrina where Audrey Hepburn's character is startled by Humphrey Bogart in Rome, possibly the only happy example of the three, and it's supposedly also improvised. But she laughs in delight, and it's fresh and pure and genuine. It's also two seconds out of the larger film and functions without it.
We like genuine. We live in a world where we're constantly being marketed to and manipulated and we're all dying for interactions which are real and pure and unfiltered - even onstage or screened fictional ones. But I would ask you, in your entertainment, to stop glamorizing the "real."
We have fight directors and choreographers and directors for a reason - to make the action safe for the humans playing the roles. Fights shouldn't be un-choreographed. it's not safe. Intimacy scenes shouldn't be un-choreographed. Actors get hurt and manipulated and abused, and their lives MATTER. They matter more than our "art."
I'm sorry if this upsets you, but even acting that is scripted and planned still has the power to move you. There's nothing inherently better or more special if the actor is undergoing real trauma in front of you or is really startled or scared or hunted or haunted or manipulated. Because guess what? If they've received good acting training, they can undergo ALL OF THOSE THINGS, drawing on their own life experiences, and still go home at the end of the day, a safe, untraumatized person, to be with their families again, and be a real person.
Human bodies do not exist for your consumption. Actors are not your toys. This goes for writers and directors too. Someone will have to act whatever you put in your shitty, misogynistic script. Someone's body will have to speak your words and live that life for your benefit. And actors, in their infinite wisdom, want to please you. And those of them who have not yet realized that they are owed their human dignity need you to take care of them, if they have not yet learned to stand up for themselves and say "I won't do this."
Please, please, in just this one area of our screwed up universe, I ask that you treat your entertainers better. It doesn't have to be "real" to be beautiful and meaningful. It will be true, and it can be good, and it can be beautiful, if you give each person involved in the storytelling their rightful, inherent human dignity.
tldr; fuck bad american interpretations of stanislavski
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