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Padmaavat, Phantom Thread and method-acting: Ranveer Singh, Daniel Day-Lewis are masters of their own characters

The afterglow of Padmaavat belongs to Ranveer Singh, fair and square. His aggressive, impulsive and dramatic performance as Alauddin Khilji has won wows from audiences, critics and those who have not liked the film. In true form, the garrulous star has shared his experience of staying in character as a negative, evil conquerer. He nearly hit someone on set — such would be his palpable anger and violence. Too bad, Bhansali, his mentor, didn’t write in a few more shades to this masterful war strategist and successful ruler.

Ranveer’s reference to staying in character rakes up instances of some classic ones from Hollywood and British cinema that are the norm in acting. To clarify, staying in character or building a character is different from classic ‘method acting’- a more stark technique that is better explained with examples below. The great lengths to which actors have pushed themselves convinces you that when it really matters, acting can genuinely be a tough and really demanding job.

Ranveer Singh in a still from Padmaavat. Twitter@Film_Padmaavat

Ranveer Singh in a still from Padmaavat. [email protected]_Padmaavat

Altering speech for a role can be massively challenging. Ranbir Kapoor managed to pull this bit off with the ill-fated Jagga Jasoos, where he lisps his way to your heart. Similarly, Colin Firth stammered and stuttered, while trying to control both responses, in The Kings Speech. The Oscar winning part had Firth first listen in to King George’s speeches, view footage of the royal over and over again, and then rehearse for hours on end with different speech techniques to crack the role. He stammers his way right to the top of brilliant acting performances with this one. Firth continued to stammer and speak in a weaker voice weeks after completing filming.

If one recalls Lincoln, the Steven Spielberg film with Daniel Day-Lewis playing the American President, the actor speaks in a reedy, thin voice for his part. Lewis practiced the voice basis readings and accounts of Lincoln from newspapers, journals of the time, and then ‘stayed in character’ for seven whole months while filming continued. Lewis would walk with a jaunt; stand straight like ‘honest Abe’. Curiously, he would text his co-star Sally Field, who plays his wife in the film, as Abe and in lingo contemporary to the past. Field, interestingly, would text back in the same tone.

Lewis’ penchant for becoming a character is legend. He had stayed in a wheelchair and insisted on being spoon fed and carried around physically for My Left Foot, yet another Oscar winning performance. For In the Name of the Father, where he plays a prison inmate, he slept in a jail and ate prison rations throughout filming. He also stayed on set for The Crucible, a medieval village without running water or electricity and built his wooden home with tools of the medieval era to get a feel for his character.

Lewis brings alive the term ‘method acting’ to its true form. Thankfully, for his swansong, Phantom Thread, yet another Oscar nominated film, his preparation included pleasant experiences like shopping for perfectly tailored suits in Saville Row, London, sourcing lavender silk pyjamas from bespoke tailoring houses, learning to sew and choosing ties. Needless to say, Lewis has assembled his own looks for most of the film, and also chosen the name for his character.

While method acting is an oft-misused term to describe some actors, the process is closer to self-association with one’s deepest emotions or dissociation from one’s reality. Edward Norton and Leo Di Caprio have delivered some fine performances in recent memory. Both seem reluctant to use the term method for their work. Norton seems to prefer dipping into realms of research and the immediate mindset of a character.

For Stone, where he plays an arsonist, the actor spent hours talking to and recording criminals on death row. He built his husky, grainy voice for the film around these conversations. Fight Club, his most iconic role, required him to train in boxing, taekwondo and also soap making from a plush soap boutique. Additionally, he would get drunk and often really hit co-star Brad Pitt rather than pretend act, to elicit a normal reaction. Pitt would retaliate, making Norton’s pain look as real as it felt. No wonder the film remains a cult with a growing following.

Mary Krieps and Daniel Day-Lewis in a still from Phantom Thread. YouTube

Mary Krieps and Daniel Day-Lewis in a still from Phantom Thread. YouTube

Di Caprio, on the other hand, has rarely spoken about his acting technique. Rather he has hinted at his process at the select few conversations that he’s had with the press. He tends to use the isolation technique, whereby he locks himself out from the world in preparation and does a whole lot of reading, research and viewing to become a character. He used these processes to build the character of Howard Hughes and his twang while talking as well as J Edgar Hoover, the infamous FBI chief. Leo was so deeply engaged in his character of Calvin Candie that he cut his hand in a scene, and got blood over his co actor Kerry Washington’s face. Even as his fellow actors look shocked by the scene, Leo carried on with his lines. Di Caprio lived in an animal carcass and ate raw bison and liver for The Revenant. But for each of his films, his research has been immaculate and personal, thereby making each character stand out.

Amongst the younger lot of actors in Hollywood, Daniel Radcliffe seems to take extreme steps to become a character. For his film, Jungle, where he plays a Bolivian explorer, he ate a single chicken breast and a protein bar for months to become very thin; and to stay in character as one foraging in a forest. Radcliffe has managed the difficult feat of acting in one of the longest nude scenes in theatre earlier, with Equus. He has also studied medicine sincerely for the TV series A Young Doctors’ Notebook. While commercial success has been slow to come his way after the Harry Potter films, Radcliffe shows a penchant for pushing his physical and mental boundaries for suitable roles.

These extreme cases of getting into character proves that acting is a physically difficult and demanding job, and a particularly challenging role can leave a few marks on the actor. It’s their commitment that makes the performance such fun to watch, but the effort and costs are definitely not an easy bargain for the actor.

Published Date: Feb 10, 2018 08:16 AM | Updated Date: Feb 10, 2018 08:29 AM


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Berlin Independent Film Festival 2018: Aditya Kripalani’s directorial debut Tikli and Laxmi Bomb wins Best Film Award

Author-filmmaker Aditya Kripalani’s Tikli and Laxmi Bomb have bagged the Best Film Award at the Berlin Independent Film Festival 2018, reports Mumbai Mirror. Tikli and Laxmi Bomb is a film featuring Chitrangada Chakraborty and Vibhawari Deshpande as sex workers and marks the directorial debut of Kripalani. The story of the film has been borrowed from the director’s third novel of the same name.

Poster for Tikli and Laxmi Bomb. Image from Twitter/@brand_banter_m

Poster for Tikli and Laxmi Bomb. Image from Twitter/@brand_banter_m

The feminist drama has an all-women technical crew, according to the same report and was lauded by the critics following the screening on 16 February. The film bagged the top prize on 18 February at the 10th edition of the prestigious film festival, which aims to bring small-budget, indie films to the fore.

Not just Berlin, Tikli and Laxmi Bomb has been garnering praise at other international festivals too. It happens to be the only Indian film to be screened at New Zealand Asia Pacific Film festival. “But what is greater than the win at the Berlin Independent Film Festival is that we’re also screening at London’s oldest cinema house on 21 March as part of the UK Asian Film Festival, where two powerful films — Lipstick Under My Burkha and A Death In The Gunj — were also screened,” an excited Kripalani tells Mumbai Mirror.

The film is set in Mumbai and follows the life of Laxmi and Putul, who take over the reigns of the sex trade.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2018 10:53 AM | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2018 11:37 AM

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Alicia Vikander, who plays Lara Croft in upcoming Tomb Raider, says she loves ‘being drawn into big adventure films’

IANS

Feb,20 2018 12:10 41 IST

Los Angeles: Oscar winning actress Alicia Vikander says she loves “independent and arthouse” cinema, but is also attracted towards the big adventure films.

Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Twiiter/@TombRaiderMovie

Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Twiiter/@TombRaiderMovie

The actress, who will be soon seen as Lara Croft in the forthcoming film Tomb Raider, also shared that she found training and muscle-building exercise for the role, empowering.

“My mother, who’s an actress (Maria Fahl Vikander), introduced me to the world of theatre and film. I loved independent, arthouse films, but like most people, I also loved being drawn into big adventure films, like the Indiana Jones movies,” Alicia said in a statement.

“So, with Tomb Raider, I had the chance to work on something that’s very different from my previous work, but which has long been close to my heart: a big action and adventure film,” she added.

Tomb Raider is based on a popular reboot of a video game with the same name. The Warner Bros Pictures project will release in India on 9 March.

Talking about her role, the actress said, “Along with that came the opportunity to explore my physical side on a film. I come from a dancing background, so when I learned that playing Lara would involve three or four months to get in shape — well, that kind of preparation and the chance to create a new physique are gifts. I found the training and muscle-building to be empowering.”

Tomb Raider is directed by Roar Uthaug with Oscar-winner Graham King producing under his GK Films banner. It also features Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu and Nick Frost.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2018 12:10 PM | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2018 12:10 PM


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Kamal Haasan’s Indian 2 to reportedly be remade in Hindi; Will Ajay Devgn play lead role of top cop?

While Kamal Haasan will be soon seen in S Shankar’s Indian 2, the filmmaker is also planning a Hindi remake of the same and will reportedly approach Ajay Devgn to play the lead role of a cop.

Kamal Haasan. Facebook

Kamal Haasan. Facebook

DNA reports that the details of the plot of the sequel, titled Hindustani 2, are not known yet but Shankar, who is currently awaiting the completion of one of the biggest sequels and movies to be ever be made in India, the Rajnikanth and Akshay Kumar starrer 2.0, a sequel to the 2010 smash hit Enthiran or Robot, looks all set to reboot one of his earliest hits after twenty two years. 2.0 is currently delayed due to massive VFX work and the Rs 400 crore magnum opus has been deferred even further than the previously announced 27 April release, with no new date announced yet.

Meanwhile, Devgn is currently busy with another sequel, Indra Kumar’s Total Dhamaal, along with Raj Kumar Gupta’s Raid, where he plays an honest income tax officer from UP.

The original Indian was a story of an ex-freedom fighter who is disillusioned by systemic corruption turns vigilante while his son indulges in illegal activities. Haasan had essayed both the roles, of father and son, and the film was known for its iconic use of prosthetic makeup, a landmark in the 90s for an Indian movie. The film also starred Manisha Koirla and Urmila Matondkar and featured music by AR Rahman.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2018 12:33 PM | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2018 12:33 PM

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Padmaavat, Phantom Thread and method-acting: Ranveer Singh, Daniel Day-Lewis are masters of their own characters

The afterglow of Padmaavat belongs to Ranveer Singh, fair and square. His aggressive, impulsive and dramatic performance as Alauddin Khilji has won wows from audiences, critics and those who have not liked the film. In true form, the garrulous star has shared his experience of staying in character as a negative, evil conquerer. He nearly hit someone on set — such would be his palpable anger and violence. Too bad, Bhansali, his mentor, didn’t write in a few more shades to this masterful war strategist and successful ruler.

Ranveer’s reference to staying in character rakes up instances of some classic ones from Hollywood and British cinema that are the norm in acting. To clarify, staying in character or building a character is different from classic ‘method acting’- a more stark technique that is better explained with examples below. The great lengths to which actors have pushed themselves convinces you that when it really matters, acting can genuinely be a tough and really demanding job.

Ranveer Singh in a still from Padmaavat. Twitter@Film_Padmaavat

Ranveer Singh in a still from Padmaavat. [email protected]_Padmaavat

Altering speech for a role can be massively challenging. Ranbir Kapoor managed to pull this bit off with the ill-fated Jagga Jasoos, where he lisps his way to your heart. Similarly, Colin Firth stammered and stuttered, while trying to control both responses, in The Kings Speech. The Oscar winning part had Firth first listen in to King George’s speeches, view footage of the royal over and over again, and then rehearse for hours on end with different speech techniques to crack the role. He stammers his way right to the top of brilliant acting performances with this one. Firth continued to stammer and speak in a weaker voice weeks after completing filming.

If one recalls Lincoln, the Steven Spielberg film with Daniel Day-Lewis playing the American President, the actor speaks in a reedy, thin voice for his part. Lewis practiced the voice basis readings and accounts of Lincoln from newspapers, journals of the time, and then ‘stayed in character’ for seven whole months while filming continued. Lewis would walk with a jaunt; stand straight like ‘honest Abe’. Curiously, he would text his co-star Sally Field, who plays his wife in the film, as Abe and in lingo contemporary to the past. Field, interestingly, would text back in the same tone.

Lewis’ penchant for becoming a character is legend. He had stayed in a wheelchair and insisted on being spoon fed and carried around physically for My Left Foot, yet another Oscar winning performance. For In the Name of the Father, where he plays a prison inmate, he slept in a jail and ate prison rations throughout filming. He also stayed on set for The Crucible, a medieval village without running water or electricity and built his wooden home with tools of the medieval era to get a feel for his character.

Lewis brings alive the term ‘method acting’ to its true form. Thankfully, for his swansong, Phantom Thread, yet another Oscar nominated film, his preparation included pleasant experiences like shopping for perfectly tailored suits in Saville Row, London, sourcing lavender silk pyjamas from bespoke tailoring houses, learning to sew and choosing ties. Needless to say, Lewis has assembled his own looks for most of the film, and also chosen the name for his character.

While method acting is an oft-misused term to describe some actors, the process is closer to self-association with one’s deepest emotions or dissociation from one’s reality. Edward Norton and Leo Di Caprio have delivered some fine performances in recent memory. Both seem reluctant to use the term method for their work. Norton seems to prefer dipping into realms of research and the immediate mindset of a character.

For Stone, where he plays an arsonist, the actor spent hours talking to and recording criminals on death row. He built his husky, grainy voice for the film around these conversations. Fight Club, his most iconic role, required him to train in boxing, taekwondo and also soap making from a plush soap boutique. Additionally, he would get drunk and often really hit co-star Brad Pitt rather than pretend act, to elicit a normal reaction. Pitt would retaliate, making Norton’s pain look as real as it felt. No wonder the film remains a cult with a growing following.

Mary Krieps and Daniel Day-Lewis in a still from Phantom Thread. YouTube

Mary Krieps and Daniel Day-Lewis in a still from Phantom Thread. YouTube

Di Caprio, on the other hand, has rarely spoken about his acting technique. Rather he has hinted at his process at the select few conversations that he’s had with the press. He tends to use the isolation technique, whereby he locks himself out from the world in preparation and does a whole lot of reading, research and viewing to become a character. He used these processes to build the character of Howard Hughes and his twang while talking as well as J Edgar Hoover, the infamous FBI chief. Leo was so deeply engaged in his character of Calvin Candie that he cut his hand in a scene, and got blood over his co actor Kerry Washington’s face. Even as his fellow actors look shocked by the scene, Leo carried on with his lines. Di Caprio lived in an animal carcass and ate raw bison and liver for The Revenant. But for each of his films, his research has been immaculate and personal, thereby making each character stand out.

Amongst the younger lot of actors in Hollywood, Daniel Radcliffe seems to take extreme steps to become a character. For his film, Jungle, where he plays a Bolivian explorer, he ate a single chicken breast and a protein bar for months to become very thin; and to stay in character as one foraging in a forest. Radcliffe has managed the difficult feat of acting in one of the longest nude scenes in theatre earlier, with Equus. He has also studied medicine sincerely for the TV series A Young Doctors’ Notebook. While commercial success has been slow to come his way after the Harry Potter films, Radcliffe shows a penchant for pushing his physical and mental boundaries for suitable roles.

These extreme cases of getting into character proves that acting is a physically difficult and demanding job, and a particularly challenging role can leave a few marks on the actor. It’s their commitment that makes the performance such fun to watch, but the effort and costs are definitely not an easy bargain for the actor.

Published Date: Feb 10, 2018 08:16 AM | Updated Date: Feb 10, 2018 08:29 AM


Readmore

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Entertainment

Berlin Independent Film Festival 2018: Aditya Kripalani’s directorial debut Tikli and Laxmi Bomb wins Best Film Award

Author-filmmaker Aditya Kripalani’s Tikli and Laxmi Bomb have bagged the Best Film Award at the Berlin Independent Film Festival 2018, reports Mumbai Mirror. Tikli and Laxmi Bomb is a film featuring Chitrangada Chakraborty and Vibhawari Deshpande as sex workers and marks the directorial debut of Kripalani. The story of the film has been borrowed from the director’s third novel of the same name.

Poster for Tikli and Laxmi Bomb. Image from Twitter/@brand_banter_m

Poster for Tikli and Laxmi Bomb. Image from Twitter/@brand_banter_m

The feminist drama has an all-women technical crew, according to the same report and was lauded by the critics following the screening on 16 February. The film bagged the top prize on 18 February at the 10th edition of the prestigious film festival, which aims to bring small-budget, indie films to the fore.

Not just Berlin, Tikli and Laxmi Bomb has been garnering praise at other international festivals too. It happens to be the only Indian film to be screened at New Zealand Asia Pacific Film festival. “But what is greater than the win at the Berlin Independent Film Festival is that we’re also screening at London’s oldest cinema house on 21 March as part of the UK Asian Film Festival, where two powerful films — Lipstick Under My Burkha and A Death In The Gunj — were also screened,” an excited Kripalani tells Mumbai Mirror.

The film is set in Mumbai and follows the life of Laxmi and Putul, who take over the reigns of the sex trade.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2018 10:53 AM | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2018 11:37 AM

Readmore

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Alicia Vikander, who plays Lara Croft in upcoming Tomb Raider, says she loves ‘being drawn into big adventure films’

IANS

Feb,20 2018 12:10 41 IST

Los Angeles: Oscar winning actress Alicia Vikander says she loves “independent and arthouse” cinema, but is also attracted towards the big adventure films.

Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Twiiter/@TombRaiderMovie

Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Twiiter/@TombRaiderMovie

The actress, who will be soon seen as Lara Croft in the forthcoming film Tomb Raider, also shared that she found training and muscle-building exercise for the role, empowering.

“My mother, who’s an actress (Maria Fahl Vikander), introduced me to the world of theatre and film. I loved independent, arthouse films, but like most people, I also loved being drawn into big adventure films, like the Indiana Jones movies,” Alicia said in a statement.

“So, with Tomb Raider, I had the chance to work on something that’s very different from my previous work, but which has long been close to my heart: a big action and adventure film,” she added.

Tomb Raider is based on a popular reboot of a video game with the same name. The Warner Bros Pictures project will release in India on 9 March.

Talking about her role, the actress said, “Along with that came the opportunity to explore my physical side on a film. I come from a dancing background, so when I learned that playing Lara would involve three or four months to get in shape — well, that kind of preparation and the chance to create a new physique are gifts. I found the training and muscle-building to be empowering.”

Tomb Raider is directed by Roar Uthaug with Oscar-winner Graham King producing under his GK Films banner. It also features Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu and Nick Frost.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2018 12:10 PM | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2018 12:10 PM


Readmore

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Kamal Haasan’s Indian 2 to reportedly be remade in Hindi; Will Ajay Devgn play lead role of top cop?

While Kamal Haasan will be soon seen in S Shankar’s Indian 2, the filmmaker is also planning a Hindi remake of the same and will reportedly approach Ajay Devgn to play the lead role of a cop.

Kamal Haasan. Facebook

Kamal Haasan. Facebook

DNA reports that the details of the plot of the sequel, titled Hindustani 2, are not known yet but Shankar, who is currently awaiting the completion of one of the biggest sequels and movies to be ever be made in India, the Rajnikanth and Akshay Kumar starrer 2.0, a sequel to the 2010 smash hit Enthiran or Robot, looks all set to reboot one of his earliest hits after twenty two years. 2.0 is currently delayed due to massive VFX work and the Rs 400 crore magnum opus has been deferred even further than the previously announced 27 April release, with no new date announced yet.

Meanwhile, Devgn is currently busy with another sequel, Indra Kumar’s Total Dhamaal, along with Raj Kumar Gupta’s Raid, where he plays an honest income tax officer from UP.

The original Indian was a story of an ex-freedom fighter who is disillusioned by systemic corruption turns vigilante while his son indulges in illegal activities. Haasan had essayed both the roles, of father and son, and the film was known for its iconic use of prosthetic makeup, a landmark in the 90s for an Indian movie. The film also starred Manisha Koirla and Urmila Matondkar and featured music by AR Rahman.

Published Date: Feb 20, 2018 12:33 PM | Updated Date: Feb 20, 2018 12:33 PM

Readmore

Continue Reading

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