The Difference Between Method Acting and Natural Acting
by Eguaogie Eghosa Oct 16, 2021 Views (629)
For some of us, the first time we probably came to hear the phrase "method acting" was as a result of some well-known actors' shenanigans, like Jared Leto on the set of Suicide Squad or Daniel Day-Lewis staying in character as Bill the Butcher for weeks on end.

However, Method acting has a lengthy history. Many acting schools teach it, and it's more than simply a gimmick. It's a technique used by performers to get into character. 

Based on the approach developed by Stanislavsky and popularized in the United States in the 1930s, method acting is a technique of acting in which an actor aspires to perfect emotional connection with a part. Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg, in particular, developed method acting, which is linked with actors such as Marlon Brando and Dustin Hoffman.

What is Wrong with Method Acting?
For some, method acting has a darker side that the technique unleashes when boundaries aren't clear as to how far an actor should go in assuming the persona he or she is playing. Method acting as a technique requires performers to emotionally empathize with the characters they are portraying. In this technique, the actor "becomes" the character and frequently remains in character for long periods.

You are urged to feel the true sentiments you require in each scenario rather than compartmentalize and fake them. This can cause psychological and behavioral changes for as long as they are in the position.

There's a tight line between acting as if you're feeling something on film and then bringing those feelings home with you. It can be difficult to reclaim yourself afterward. Some method techniques are also ones that performers come to regret later in life. When you play with your brain's psychology, there's always the risk of negative consequences.

Heath Ledger was a talented actor who was tragically stolen from us way too young. Fully immersed performers "forget themselves," according to research, in the sense that they consciously overlook facts about themselves, temporarily subordinating their thoughts and feelings to those of their character.

Tom Hanks was not fully method when he played Castaway, but he did develop diabetes as a result of his weight shifting for the character.

Method acting is not inherently risky, but it has the potential to go wrong.

Is Method Acting Naturalistic?
The method acting today still incorporates the holistic approach of Naturalism. The technique requires an actor to be able to understand how their character’s history shapes its current motivations, and portray a truthful version of it. 

It is this ability of an actor to completely replicate the psychological and emotional detail of his subject that makes the method acting naturalistic.

Is Method Acting Acting?
Method acting is a realism-based preparation technique that can be used for any part. The method acting technique can be used by character actors as part of their preparation, but it is most commonly associated with realistic, dramatic performances. This is why many method actors refuse to leave their roles until the shoot is finished.

The creative imagination's utilization of one's own life experiences fills each option with actual thought, desire, sensation, action, and sentiment, resulting in psychologically in-depth conduct.

The Method teaches actors how to use their physical, mental, and emotional selves to create characters, emphasizing the importance of personal experience in igniting the imagination. It avoids clichés in favor of human authenticity and a reality that is deeply rooted in the script's conditions.

So, what does Method Acting entail? As Lee Strasberg put it, "All performers have always done Method Acting whenever they acted properly." The Method, on the other hand, is how you get there.

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