As we approach awards season and actor roundtables, I get a sense of dread. Almost every year, without fail, an actor declares to the world that he went method for some dramatic role. Jared Leto famously went method to play the Joker in Suicide Squad. Going method for Leto meant sending used condoms to his co-stars, which will forever be disgusting. Previous years included Leonardo DiCaprio, who prepared for his role in The Revenant by… eating raw bison and sleeping inside an animal carcass. Yes, really!
Method acting has always implied that an actor is committed to a specific role, an auteur, a master at his craft, yada yada yada. But, you know what? Robert Pattinson may have won the year by putting method acting into perspective: It’s only for playing assholes.
During Variety’s “Actors on Actors” interview alongside Jennifer Lopez, Robert Pattinson, who will next be seen in Matt Reeves’ The Batman made a fantastic point about going method. No one ever does it when they’re playing nice characters. Mind. Blown.
“I always say about people doing method acting, you only ever see people doing method when they’re playing an asshole. You never see someone just being lovely to everyone going, ‘I’m really deep in character’,” he told J.Lo.
And yup, even Jennifer Lopez agrees with that assessment! At the end of the day, does anyone need to go method to play an asshole or does going method just mean you are the asshole? I’ll leave that for you to decide. All I know is that there’s no reason to be disrespectful to anyone or even sleep in carcasses to get into a character and that it says a lot more about the actor than anything else.
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