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character actor, supporting actor and method actor Options
Hemant Patel 1
Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2017 6:35:23 PM

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I don't know the differences and the similarities between those words. Please help me telling in what they differ.

character actor, supporting actor and method actor
leonAzul
Posted: Monday, June 26, 2017 12:54:28 AM

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Hemant Patel 1 wrote:
I don't know the differences and the similarities between those words. Please help me telling in what they differ.

character actor, supporting actor and method actor


The first two differ in the type of roles they play.

A character actor plays minor characters who exhibit quirks and peculiarities that are entertaining as well as being part of the story. They typically don't spend much time on the screen or stage, but rather appear in one or several brief interludes.

A supporting actor is part of the ensemble that supports the story of the leading actors. They are active throughout the story, but are not the primary focus of it.

A method actor is someone who approaches the performance of a role methodically. Sometimes this involves working at a job similar to the one that the character has, or spending time with persons who have similar experience to the role. It always involves doing research beyond what is written in the script in an attempt to give a more credible performance.

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, June 26, 2017 3:21:29 AM

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Thanks leon - I didn't really know these properly.

I thought a character actor would play one of the main characters, and a 'support' would play the secondary ones.
I've never been a theatre-goer, though.

I had 'method acting' correct though - an actor who tries to learn to act and react exactly as the character would - who tries to 'identify' with the character.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Monday, June 26, 2017 3:33:17 AM

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It's more specific than that, isn't it? It is 'character immersion' taken to the extreme in the specific technique of 'Method Acting' as taught at the Strasberg Institute.
You live the character in life.

You don't pretend to eat cockroaches, you eat cockroaches. You use memory to re-experience during the performance.

He said it was doing what all good actors have done. I think it shows a lack of imagination! Whistle
And it is always going to be bogus, because you are not really experiencing what the character did.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, June 26, 2017 4:50:13 AM

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Bit difficult when the character dies, though . . . Boo hoo!
A new actor for every performance.

Don't know about Strasburg, but the dictionary talks about Stanislavsky.

Quote:
Noun 1. method acting - an acting technique introduced by Stanislavsky in which the actor recalls emotions or reactions from his or her own life and uses them to identify with the character being portrayed.


According to the BBC (GCSE Course in Theatre):
Quote:
The main thing to remember is that he [Stanislavsky] takes the approach that the actors should really inhabit the role that they are playing. So the actor shouldn’t only know what lines he needs to say and the motivation for those lines, but also every detail of that character’s life offstage as well as onstage.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Monday, June 26, 2017 5:00:20 AM
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I am reminded of the Dustin Hoffman Sir Laurence Oliver story, whilst making the Marathon Man, Hoffman a method actor did not sleep, ran miles to fatigue himself, Sir Laurence was not impressed and it is said that he told him it was not needed.

Quote:
Dear boy, it's called acting.


But I don't think a character actors roles need be minor parts, they are distinctive and unusual but they may play roles that are important to the plot.
For instance Tilda Swinton who played Orlando in the titular film, the White Witch in The Lion,the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the Ancient One in Dr Strange is regarded as a Character Actor, so too is Sir Brian Cox who played the first Hannibal Lector in Red Dragon.


I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
Romany
Posted: Monday, June 26, 2017 6:36:13 AM
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Sarries is right: - being a character actor doesn't necessarily mean playing minor or small roles. Sometimes the 'character' is the main actor - such as David Suchet 'being' Poirot.

And yes, at most drama schools the Stanislavski method is much favoured; as is the Brechtian which was the most popular during my student days.

So: a Character Actor is one who plays a certain "type" of person: some men ALWAYS play, for example a British toff...and do it wonderfully; however, a character actor is rather limited: i.e. they are restricted to plays with a need for THAT particular character (the ditzy female; the cockney bad-boy etc. etc.).

A Supporting Actor doesn't play the lead, but is indispensable to the lead character. Their role complements the lead role and fleshes it out more - even if the script wasn't written that way. Or a supporting actor can end up binding the whole play together.

It's not unusual for a character actor to be the supporting actor.

A method actor is often a little over the top in their preparation for a role; & it seems most people are aware of this.

However, usually actors combine a mixture of different methods, including Stanslavskian tropes. Most people 'become' the character throughout the duration of the play - and sometimes for a movie - whatever method it is they are most comfortable with.
leonAzul
Posted: Monday, June 26, 2017 6:37:56 AM

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Sarrriesfan wrote:
I am reminded of the Dustin Hoffman Sir Laurence Oliver story, whilst making the Marathon Man, Hoffman a method actor did not sleep, ran miles to fatigue himself, Sir Laurence was not impressed and it is said that he told him it was not needed.

Quote:
Dear boy, it's called acting.


Makes one wonder how he prepared for "The Graduate". Whistle

I really don't want to know about "Midnight Cowboy". Anxious


Sarrriesfan wrote:

But I don't think a character actors roles need be minor parts, they are distinctive and unusual but they may play roles that are important to the plot.
For instance Tilda Swinton who played Orlando in the titular film, the White Witch in The Lion,the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the Ancient One in Dr Strange is regarded as a Character Actor, so too is Sir Brian Cox who played the first Hannibal Lector in Red Dragon.


Agreed, yet they are rarely given the opportunity to develop any deeper than the type or stereotype they represent in the story.

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Monday, June 26, 2017 11:44:26 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
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Neurons: 3,612
Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
leonAzul wrote:
Sarrriesfan wrote:
I am reminded of the Dustin Hoffman Sir Laurence Oliver story, whilst making the Marathon Man, Hoffman a method actor did not sleep, ran miles to fatigue himself, Sir Laurence was not impressed and it is said that he told him it was not needed.

Quote:
Dear boy, it's called acting.


Makes one wonder how he prepared for "The Graduate". Whistle

I really don't want to know about "Midnight Cowboy". Anxious


Sarrriesfan wrote:

But I don't think a character actors roles need be minor parts, they are distinctive and unusual but they may play roles that are important to the plot.
For instance Tilda Swinton who played Orlando in the titular film, the White Witch in The Lion,the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the Ancient One in Dr Strange is regarded as a Character Actor, so too is Sir Brian Cox who played the first Hannibal Lector in Red Dragon.



Agreed, yet they are rarely given the opportunity to develop any deeper than the type or stereotype they represent in the story.


LeonAzul that's true, but it's not quite the same as being a minor character, with a small amount of time in the drama.

I must also correct myself Sir Brian Cox was in Manhunter, which was the title that Michael Mann gave to the film when he adapted the book Red Dragon, there was a later version of the story called Red Dragon that's starred Anthony Hopkins.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
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