Is Method Acting real or just an act?

30 Sep 2016

Is Method Acting real or just an act?

After the release of recent Hollywood Blockbuster ‘Suicide Squad’, the acting industry was buzzing with revelations of Jared Leto’s commitment to his role of The Joker through Method Acting. 

method300.jpgSo committed to this Method Acting, Leto reportedly sent the cast and crew items such as a dead pig and a live rat. But was this really an acting method or just a marketing ploy?

What is Method Acting?

The Method Acting technique stems from the work of Stanislavski and was brought to the United States in the 1930’s, through prominent acting teachers including Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler and others. It is based on the principle of truthfully living the life of the character being portrayed. Many popular male actors are known to abide by this technique including Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando, which is perhaps why the method has gained so much traction. The actor is supposed to live as the character on set, at home, both on and off the camera to really learn how to be the character. 

It is argued now however, that this method of acting has become more about presenting yourself as a dedicated actor, rather than focusing on the actual performance itself. 

One of the earliest examples of Method Acting being used for Marketing purposes, was Christian Bales dedication to his role in The Machinist, where he dropped 62 lbs for filming. The marketing for the film relied on tales of Bales diet to generate a buzz for the film, ultimately overshadowing his final performance. 

What may be a better method of Acting?


Here at AFTT, we incorporate the Eric Morris System of Acting, which extends on the work of the method practitioners and affords our student actors a robust and repeatable process of dealing with personal blocks and tensions which may inhibit or restrict their ability to connect with the work, while utilising specific techniques of the system to create compelling, truthful performances on film and stage.  

As an actor I was constantly frustrated with Method techniques that didn’t work for me… [Therefore] I developed an approach that is dedicated to seeking and finding the roads in to the self. It eliminates lifelong inhibitions against the acquisition of a state of BEING from which all theatrical truth can emanate”
-    Eric Morris.

The actor is taught to “use their energy and craft to “set-up” the stimulus, then the instrument functions naturally. As it does in a real life situation – when this happens, the actor moves FROM “acting” into EXPERIENCING his/her reality moment to moment.”

The systems taught at AFTT involves unique and dynamic processes of learning that will equip acting students with a robust and logical pathway to producing physical and emotional performance. This training is the only kind in the country that fuses the psychology of acting with an approach to moving and embodying the character for both stage and screen.

This therefore allows the actors to take on a professional and arguably safer method of acting, to develop professionally within the industry. 

Find out more about studying Acting for Stage and Screen at AFTT or Enquire now.