You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off…

… metaphorically speaking.

Here’s an interview with the eternally workmanlike Michael Caine. Caine is talking about the skills of acting, and says that beginner actors will want to play drunks by consciously trying to slur their words and walk crooked, while real drunk people are trying their best NOT to slur their words or walk crooked. It’s a cute piece of advice, but not very useful unless you know how to behave so that normal behaviour is an effort – unless it is actually getting drunk, a la method school, before every performance (and even then, what do you do for scene 2, where you’re supposed to be sober again?) . I think the secret is consciousness and self-awareness – everything you do must by controlled and deliberate – calibrating the nitro you must use very exactly, if you like. I’m not quite sure how to articulate this, but I feel it’s at the heart of good writing as well as good acting.

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