I love actors, both my parents were actors, and the work with actors is the most enjoyable part of making a film. It's important that they feel protected and are confident they won't be betrayed. When you create that atmosphere of trust, it's in the bag - the actors will do everything to satisfy you.
My advice to actors? To successful actors, it's, 'sock it away,' and unsuccessful actors, it's just, 'Just keep at it. Don't do it unless you have to do it, and if you have to do it, keep - you've got to keep your instrument in shape.' You just got to keep on getting better. If you're not getting better, you're standing still.
The actors in Britain are incredible, and I didn't appreciate that until I got there. They interpret your words and you realize how deliberate and thoughtful they are. There are great American actors, too, don't get me wrong, but the technique that British actors have is something really special.
I've never agreed with the conventional wisdom that 'actors are great liars.' If more people understood the acting process, the goals of good actors, the conventional wisdom would be 'actors are terrible liars,' because only bad actors lie on the job. The good ones hate fakery and avoid manufactured emotion at all costs. Any script is enough of a lie anyway. (What experience does any actor have with flying a spacecraft? Killing someone?) What's called for, what actors are hired for, is to bring reality to the arbitrary.
I decided I would open this little actors' workshop I always told actors to look for. That gave me something to do on Wednesday nights, and after about a year of that, I realized that some of the things I was saying to actors probably had broader application. I ran into a magazine called 'Speakers For Free.'
I know in Britain with 'Doctor Who' all the classic actors, and the people who you'd really want to, work on the show. I like that the fact that 'Torchwood' has actors that want to be involved from the stage. It has raised our game, and I'm just happy for good actors who want to be in sci-fi shows who love the genre.
There are so many brilliant, trained actors of color in America. If you just think about it, every year in the spring Julliard and NYU and Yale and hundreds of schools across the country graduate classes of trained actors, and in those classes are actors of color. So to say that there aren't enough actors of color is factually inaccurate.
Brad Pitt is a dude who just wants to make good movies. He's not afraid to surround himself with the greatest actors, which I always appreciate because I've also seen actors who only want to surround themselves with weak actors because it makes them look better. That ends up making a poorer movie.
I'm just more attracted to actors. I like their choice to be artists - that's ballsy. And a guy who has such access to his emotional life is sexy. Or maybe because lots of the actors I know are so broken. I don't think I'm compatible with anybody I've dated. Maybe I'm so attracted to actors because I'm not ready for the 'settled down' thing yet.
Indian actors, because of the format of our stories, need to be good actors, and be able to perform emotional sequences, do a bit of comedy, dance and singing, action, because all of this forms just one film. In many ways I'd say there are greater demands on Indian actors than there are on Hollywood.
We're interested by public personas and private personas, otherwise we wouldn't put on with actors rambling on with the same kind of stuff, over and over again, saying variations of the same thing. I'm always amazed by how fascinated people still are by actors because it's the same version of events that actors describe, all the time.
For me, a lot of these actors are new. For me, I only worked with Finn [Whittrock] and Michael Chiklis. So a lot of these actors are people I've been a huge fan of for years and are bucket-list actors for me to get to work with. It's pretty surreal now getting to step into scenes with them.You all get to find your characters together.
I'll say it, I love working with actors, I'm a fan of actors. They bring so much, and they can also break a movie, but when it works I give it all to the actors. I'll say it, I think that 'The Transporter' is great not because of my direction, it really is great because Jason Statham was great in it.
The difference between working with actors that have put their time in the theater and just straight film and television actors is that you trust theater actors a lot more. You know that they're seriously more trained than anyone else because theater is the best place to grow as an actor.
In the old days when I first was coming up, you would turn up on set in the morning with your coffee, script, and hangover and you would figure out what you were going to do with the day and how you were going to play the scenes. You would rehearse and then invite the crew in to watch the actors go through the scenes. The actors would go away to makeup and costume and the director and the DP would work out how they were going to cover what the actors had just done.
Particularly, the actors, to have analyzed the script in great detail from the point of view of their specific character. So that they have a handle on exactly where the character is in the chronology of things. In that sense the actors become your best check on the logic of the piece, and the way in which it all fits together. They become essential collaborators. The main thing is you have to work with very smart actors.
A lot of young actors have the idea that, "I've got to do this right. There's a right way to do this." But there's no right or wrong. There's only good and bad. And "bad" usually happens when you're trying too hard to do it right. There's a very broad spectrum of things that can inhibit you. The most important thing for actors - and not just actors, but everybody - is to feel loose enough to create what you want to create, and be free to try anything. To have choices.
Robert De Niro
There are etiquette things that actors, new actors, need to know about. Because it only takes one mess-up on a set to get fired. Not being where you're supposed to be or saying something to the wrong person that you're not supposed to say, and those are like basic things that the actors need to know.
To go into more specifics regarding actors, whether they're from Korea or the U.S., all actors know if they are loved by the director. When they feel that love from the director, they respond by giving a great performance on camera. Also, everyone on set - the crew, the actors - they were aware of the film's message and its broad theme, so these big issues were never discussed on set.
Learn as much as you can about performing. Live theater, improv classes, music, stand up comedy, dance, anything to make yourself confident and comfortable in front of an audience. It'll all come in handy when auditioning for producers and performing with other actors. The best voice actors all have a live performance background. And are competent, fearless, incredibly creative actors.