Over summer we rehearsed on every possible occasion we could find. We fleshed out the characters, the actors giving invaluable input as to who they thought they can be.
We consumed copious amounts of coffee and chatted about life. We analyzed relationships till the cows came home. We argued about the state of Europe and the institution of marriage.
Since neither Chris or Miranda were married with kids, the burden fell on me to supply a taste of the aforementioned condition. Soon rehearsing became a cathartic process. A psychoanalytical platform where insecurities were explored and ideas were suggested and nurtured.
It’s during rehearsals that you get a chance to understand where the limit of every actor lays. The limits are pushed later on during filming where time pressure and on-set familiarity forces the co-stars to open up and bond even more.
We had intimate scenes of sexual nature to contend with and that was always going to be tricky. I’ve tried various methods of relaxing them.
Acting is not about acting. In fact acting is about not acting. It’s about feeling the moment and reacting.
Acting is not about acting. In fact acting is about not acting. It’s about feeling the moment and reacting. It’s about taking small risks. Getting out of your comfort zone and experimenting with a version of yourself you have never met.
My aim was to create a hub of comfort where all the actors could feel free to experiment. Emotionally, intellectually and physically. Knowing that they were also metaphors for countries and concepts such as – the consumer, or the media for example, added extra weight to how they would decipher their lines and actions. So clarity was important. Who they were as people had to be the backbone of their approach.
Early on while tackling rehearsals and later on while filming, I made a conscious decision to concentrate on the characters and not on what they represented. This approach gave actors clear guidelines of their personality - faults and attributes and made them real while avoiding questions such as: 'based on the assumption that the financial world has no unconditional empathy for its weak links how would Rich treat his step child?’
In devising sessions I tend to work equally with the actor’s strengths and weaknesses. I try to look for the merging of both in one united voice, that will challenge and comfort at the same time. If an actor says, ‘I have no fears or insecurities in tackling this part’ they are lying. The best performances come after accepting and working with your weaknesses and fears. Success is when you embrace your vulnerability and become stronger because of it. Who you are is not to be hidden and mismanaged, it is to be shown to the world for its beauty and reality. The more open with yourself you are, the better your performance will be. You can’t separate yourself from a scene. Whether in front or behind the camera, you must get lost in that emotion, then you know it’s real.
I look forward for the moment I’ll forget to shout ‘CUT’.