Skip to main content

Method gambling is a technique that has earned a worthy reputation on the internet – and it’s not without reason. Perhaps the most recently notorious take is that of Jeremy Strong. The actor followed in the footsteps of his idol, Daniel Day-Lewis, by immersing himself in the role of SuccessionKendall Roy, the eternal sad boy of Kendall Roy. “I take it as seriously as I take my own life,” Jeremy said in his now infamous New Yorker profile, which includes bizarre details such as his request to be tear gassed for his role in The Chicago 7 Trial. For what it’s worth, he doesn’t call his process method acting, but “identity diffusion,” which involves “cleaning almost everything around and inside of you” and sounds a lot like Daniel’s signature immersive style. Day Lewis.

Serial internet boyfriend Andrew Garfield is the latest in a long line of actors to come to the defense of method acting. On Marc Maron’s podcast, he admitted to feeling “embarrassed by the misconception” that the method is simply about being rude on set, and discussed his own experience using the controversial technique when he played a 17th century Jesuit priest. To get into the character of The silenceMartin Scorsese’s 2016 religious epic, Garfield fasted and abstained from sex for six months, which, in his words, caused “some pretty crazy, trippy experiences.”

In the words of The Batman star Robert Pattinson, a man who draws the line on his own quirkiness – who notably lied about an exploding clown – to method acting: “You never see people doing method when they play an asshole .” That’s not quite true: Daniel’s illustrious career is a movie legend, while Leonardo DiCaprio finally received his Oscar for eating raw bison in 2016. The ghost. Of course, there’s Jared Leto, who’s been terrorizing his bandmates since recordings began: with dead rats, condoms and a commitment to an Italian accent so toxic he’s bragged about snorting “arrabbiata sauce lines.” “. (Probably a joke, but I wouldn’t put it in front of him).

In reality, what we call the method game today is not quite what Konstantin Stanislavski had conceived of it. The method actually involves tapping into personal emotions and lived experiences to bring authenticity to a character. But somewhere along the way, that definition has been confused by hyperbolic profiles and sickening rewards campaigns; the actors are praised and ridiculed for their dedication to “method” by staying in character while the cameras aren’t rolling. In this confusion, the idea of ​​using the staff as the foundation of a character was lost. The body is no more than a vessel.

But what connects each of these actors is a shower of critical acclaim and awards – and in Jeremy’s case, a legion of stans. Celebrities hurt themselves because they can more than afford it and because we reward them for it: too many Oscar campaigns are built on the premise of trauma and the misguided but persistent notion that the only way to create true art is through pain. . You can’t get an Oscar just for being good, you have to give your blood, sweat and tears to prove it. The process is simply to invent your own underdog story, to overcome self-imposed difficulties to discover something (allegedly) beautiful. Jared Leto aside, method play can clearly produce results. But what’s really praised is the ability to erase that movie star shine.

Of course, actors taking their craft to extremes aren’t limited to men, but it’s no wonder they tend to be responsible for the most egregious examples of this type of behavior. Hilary Swank used the technique in a much less extra way for her unfortunate casting in boys don’t cry; Charlize Theron tried and then abandoned the method after her performance in Freak, because she preferred to “live and breathe in the moment”. Very normal too! For every Lady Gaga who stays in the Patrizia Reggiani accent for months, there are dozens of actresses who can turn it off. method, she became a woman, becoming the object of exhausting speeches that accused her of going too far and trying too hard.

While the technique might be a good excuse for some, it’s clearly not working for everyone, especially those outside of the boys’ club.

Follow iD on Instagram and TikTok for more opinions.