Thursday, March 31, 2011
Chris Browning on Subtlety in Acting
Chris had a great scene in "Book of Eli" as the leader of a band of hijackers that loses his hand to Denzel Washington. He was burned alive in a stagecoach in "3:10 to Yuma" and he was an underused soldier under the command of John Connor in the latest installment of the Terminator franchise. I also enjoyed his work on one of my personal favorite flicks, "Dark Country". You'll also catch him in the upcoming blockbuster "Cowboys and Aliens".
The point is, Chris is a WORKING actor. He's got to share the screen with some amazing folks on some outstanding projects. A particular actor that Chris received some advice from was Mr. Christian Bale.
Bale passed on some info to Chris that he had picked up from Michael Caine. When reading for a dayplayer you have to master the art of "just saying the line, as opposed to performing it. With smaller roles especially, the parts are written to get information to the audience. So, if you are "cop #2", the director wants you to give the info to the lead actor in such a way that it doesn't draw focus from what he wants the audience to do, which is watching the lead as he hears this information. The job is about NOT being noticed."
I've heard a similar phrase used by a lot of casting directors. "Just throw it away". Basically, it's not about you...and that's okay. You're getting a credit, an amazing experience and a decent paycheck!
Browning also emphasizes something I talked about a few posts back. "On bigger roles, or at least a role where the scene is about you, I try to find out what the most likely choices are, and then do something else. Being different stands out, as long as its still believable."
Remember, a casting director/director is going to see a lot of reads for any given role. Making yours stand out is a great way to ensure you're at least back for the second round. Getting noticed for the right reasons is always good!
I'd like to thank Chris for offering up some of the wisdom he's learned on the ropes. In addition to the rocking projects I mention above, Everyone should be on the look out for "Beneath the Dark" which just release on DVD. Check out the trailer below,
Also, make sure to drop by Chris's IMDB page and check out some of his other work: