Studying the Greats

A list of those performances, that for some reason or another, have stood out above the rest in keeping me inspired and dedicated to always growing as an artist. Some such as Brando in Streetcar, first turned me on to wanting to become an actor.

I believe watching great actors can help you tremendously. Study the greats! Some of them are even considered legends so why wouldn’t you want to study their every move?

These are the actors, and more specifically the films, I find myself returning to time and time again whenever I’m in need of soul-nourishing inspiration. John Belushi in Animal House always lends himself to any comedy I’m doing and the energy Burt Lancaster exudes in Elmer Gantry (and just recently DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street) have always served me well in emulation. For you see, it’s not copying what they have done, but relating to the energy and transforming it into your own. Adding to it what is uniquely you, as you are your own individual and artist.

Just a technique I believe in and hey, it’s fun to watch movies!

Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront 

Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire 

Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke 

Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate 

James Dean in East of Eden 

James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause 

James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy

James Cagney in Angels With Dirty Faces 

James Cagney in White Heat

Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump 

Clark Gable in Mutiny on the Bounty 

Clark Gable in It Happened One Night 

Errol Flynn in They Died With Their Boots On

Errol Flynn in The Dawn Patrol 

James Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 

James Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life

Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace 

Claude Raines in Notorious 

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Departed 

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street 

Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark 

Burt Lancaster in Elmer Gantry 

Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster in From Here to Eternity

John Belushi in National Lampoon’s Animal House 

Zachary Quinto in The Glass Menagerie (Broadway, 2013-2014)


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