Making the audience believe in an emotional movie scene is definitely not as easy as it looks. Some actors and actresses are good at it and others are well…pretty awful at it. But one thing’s for sure, the audience will always know. Anyone can imitate someone and try and act upset or scared. But how does the actor or actress make the dialogue come alive to convince the audience? The goal of the person acting is to take that character from the page and turn it into a living, feeling person with a past, present and future who the audience totally believes is a real person. You would think it wouldn’t be that hard but to truly make it believable, isn’t an easy task. They need to be trained and seasoned to really pull it off.
So how does all this magic happen? It can be quite involved and it begins with asking a lot of questions. There are a series of questions based on Stanislavski’s acting techniques that brings everything together for the actor or actress. The first question would be, “Who am I?” If you start thinking about yourself you think about your family, where you grew up, what the house was like, what the backyard looked like, your childhood friends, your first boyfriend/girlfriend, your first job, what you like and dislike, etc. So the main objective would be to learn and know the character as well as yourself. The place to start would be the script. There’ll be info about the character there, but then it’s time to do some research.
When did the story take place? Find out the history, the town. Was it a poor, rich or middle class neighborhood? The next question is, “Where am I?” Is the scene in a room, or outside? Is it cold or hot? Has the character been there before? Is the room your room or someone else’s room? The answers to these questions are very important, because each answer could influence how they’ll perform. Some of the other questions would be, “When is it?”, “Where have I just come from?”, “What do I want?” etc. All these questions need to be researched and thought out thoroughly to really bring to life a character the audience can truly believe.
Some actors and actresses use method acting which involves them tapping into their past to different experiences. This can be good and bad. It’s great if the experience is something they have dealt with in a positive way. But if it’s an unresolved issue or something that has been pushed down and not dealt with, it could be problem for the actor.
As you can see, to create and totally become a character to where the person in a film is completely and emotionally connected, it takes a lot of hard work, research, training, technique and good direction. It also requires someone who can tap into their inner self, which is something not everyone can do and the key is to make sure the audience never sees any of it.