Here are the five key traits of Method Actor Oscar Winners.
1. They’re dedicated to characterAmit Sadh . They go into intricate detail and often create unique physicality by mimicking an animal. Robert De Niro played a crab in Taxi Driver – he thought the character was indirect and tended to shift from side to side.
As Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire, Marlon Brando played an ape, while Dustin Hoffman played a weasel in Midnight Cowboy. In Method Acting training, the actors have special acting classes on animal work.
2. They don’t fake emotion. Method actors tend to recreate their own feelings by thinking about something from their own life to produce the correct emotional response. They need to know their own psyche and their own conditioning.
If you’re going to play somebody else, the theory goes; you have to understand yourself first. Method Acting drama schools have acting courses focused on affective memory – one of the acting tools used by Method Actors which they develop during their actor training.
3. They use their own lives to make it personal to them. Christopher Walken said that when he did the Russian roulette scene in The Deer Hunter; he was recalling being sent to summer camp by his parents, which he hated. He felt betrayed, ostracised, and alone – all of which he felt the character was experiencing at that point in the film.
4. They’re highly disciplined. They need a high level of concentration to think about their own experiences, and to generate the right emotion before the shoot. There’s a myth that Method actors are out of control – but it’s actually the exact opposite. They have trained for many years to precisely manipulate their emotions. The Method drama courses are constructed to allow the actor to investigate their own emotions.
5. They sacrifice their own ego for the character’s. They’re not blasé or arrogant; they tend to be humble. De Niro is so shy, it’s hard to believe he plays these characters. People who have big egos aren’t able to suppress their own ego enough to play the character.