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Old September 17 2012, 10:44 AM   #43
Location: Kentucky
Re: The Top 40 Male Film Lead Actors of all Time

^ But as Clint Eastwood said in "Inside Actors Studio" about why he turned away from the camera in "The Bridges of Madison County", which everyone said would've been Oscar bait. Paraphrasing him, any actor can cry their eyes out and sob on camera. You just tell them to think of their family dog that died when they were six and they turn into a tear fountain. The skill is in knowing when not to cry, or when to hide it to shift the focus to someone else to add power to the scene.

The thing about sobbing is that it doesn't convey anything about the scene. It's so emotionally overwhelming that the only context it has is the context we can infer from knowledge of the situation that caused it. In that regard it's like uncontrollable vomiting. Give any actor a good whiff of the right odor and they'll bend over and vomit uncontrollably. You could replace them with anyone off the street and the vomiting would be the same. The acts feel emotionally powerful but the information content is scant except for saying "What just happened felt really emotionally powerful, and I'm puking now."

ETA: I guess I'm saying that a sobbing scene is a very poor way to judge an actor, because we can all do those with equal power and sincerity. Kind of like pooping a monster turd.
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