Emotionally Driven

The Method Acting of Taylor, Dean, and Wood

BY: Claire Connors

Perhaps you’re familiar with Konstantin Stanislavski, perhaps not. But we can guarantee that you’ve seen some of the most intense, award-winning performances on stage and screen because of him.

A Russian actor, director, and theater producer, Stanislavski created what is now known as Method Acting, training techniques used to convey true, emotionally expressive performances by an actor.

In the 50s, thespians such as Marlon Brando (A Street Car Named Desire), James Dean (Rebel Without A Cause), Natalie Wood (Splendor in the GrassMarilyn Monroe (The Misfits), Elizabeth Taylor (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), and Montgomery Cliff (A Place in the Sun), to name just a few of the greats in their greatest films, studied The Method. There were three heirs to Stanislavsky’s technique, Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, and Sanford Meisner, all teaching these actors how to internalized the hell out of their emotions, resulting in some of the most breathtaking performances in the history of film.

These authentic acts continue today, with actors like Robert DeNiro, Cate Blanchettand Daniel Day-Lewis in films such as Taxi DriverCarol, and There Will Be Blood.

The short documentary, How Stanislavski Reinvented the Craft of Acting, is a fascinating window into the emotionally driven style of performing by some of the greatest actors of the 20th and 21st Centuries.