3 thoughts on “It’s Not Cool to Hit Your Co-Stars to Get a More ‘Authentic’ Reaction

  1. I always thought method acting was a sham – just my opinion – don’t slap me over it. And from what I remember, Sir Laurence Olivier felt the same way. When Hoffman went into his whole method acting thing on the set of Marathon Man, Olivier is reported to have responded with “My dear boy, why don’t you just try acting?”

  2. I’ve been meaning to do a legend on that Hoffman story for years now. I thiiiiiink it didn’t happen, at least not the way that it is reported. Either way, though, the basic concept of the legend (that Olivier thought Hoffman’s method acting was dumb) seems legit, I just don’t think it came out in a piece of banter like the legend goes.

    But yes, method acting to the extreme of hurting people (even yourself) is dumb.

  3. From what I understand (and I’m sure you’ll find out if it’s accurate), the way Hoffman tells the story, Olivier made the comment, but then followed it up by saying how he sometimes did stupid and unnecessary things for movies, too. (Also, Hoffman’s excuse that he stayed up for three days to play his character as tired wasn’t really true; he had actually spent the time at Studio 54, and probably stayed awake due to… shall we say, chemical assistance?)

    The one observation about method acting that always sticks in my mind is: why doesn’t anyone who claims to be method acting ever method act as a NICE person? Why is it always an excuse to be a jackass?

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