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Old August 28 2013, 11:26 PM   #9
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Re: Patrick Stewart as Shinzon

Makarov wrote: View Post
The father/son angle is definitely there, but with the "I'm a mirror for you" stuff I think them being the same age would be cool too.
That's there in the rhetoric, sure, but if you look beyond the words to the underlying emotions and motivations, it's very, very much a story of a wayward son resenting his father. At least that's the way it played out with Hardy in the role. If they had gone with Stewart in a dual role, it would presumably have altered the script accordingly. But I don't think that would've been nearly as interesting. Maybe for a younger Stewart/Picard it would've worked, but this movie showed Picard at a point in his life where he'd been forced to confront his mortality and the prospect of dying without an heir (Generations), so presenting him with what's effectively a long-lost son has a much deeper emotional impact at that stage in his life than a "twin brother" would.

There's a couple moments the movie I think would work better. For instance when Shinzon is revealed the characters are shocked, but the audience isn't really because he doesn't look like Patrick Stewart.
That's just a matter of suspension of disbelief. Lots of actors cast as parents and children don't resemble each other, but we're supposed to pretend. I once saw a stage production of Hamlet where Hamlet was white and Claudius was black, and this was never acknowledged or addressed in any way. We accepted that they were actors playing roles and let the script and performances define their relationship rather than dwelling on their appearance.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Actors do better when they have other actors to respond to, when they can have a real dialogue rather than just talking to an tennis ball on a stick where a special effect will be stuck in later.
I used to agree with this until I saw Sam Rockwell's recent performance in Moon. I don't know if it's just that the splitscreen technology has improved since then. Also half of Star Trek seems to be actors having dialogues with viewscreens that aren't there, I think they would be more prepared for it than any other actors.
I'm not talking about talent or skill. There's no question that Stewart's technical skill is masterful enough to handle anything. I'm talking about the energy and vitality that comes when performers are able to play off each other, react to each other, give each other inspiration through their performances. It can generate a feedback, a synergy that's greater than the sum of its parts. This is why animation voice directors like Andrea Romano prefer to have their voice casts perform together rather than separately as is the norm in animation, and why the casts of The Simpsons and Futurama usually record together. This is why so many actors enjoy performing before a live audience, and why so many comedies use them. Because performance is intrinsically an interactive, communicative process. It works best when a performer can play off others directly and respond to their energy, whether other performers or a live audience. There's something extra there that just isn't there if the performer is working alone. Countless actors and directors have talked about it over the years.
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