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Physical Characterization for the Actor/Actress

„Whenever I create a character, I always try to think about them from top to toe. How she moves, how her eyes move, her mouth. And it’s the same with Saga, but then she was so different from me, so I had to think hard. I thought a lot about her hips. I tried to make her stand straight. And then I wanted her to be really intense and a bit too much. So she’s constantly going too close to people, going too far forward.“ – Sofia Helin – „The Bridge“ (Quelle: BBC Interview)

Animal Work in „The Graduate“ with Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman

Further Examples Animal Work: „Taxi Driver“ – Robert De Niro
Animal Work in Film/Theatre: Jerusalem (Mark Rylance), Pravda (Anthony Hopkins and in most of his roles), Dustin Hofmann (The Graduate, Death Of A Salesman), Anne Bancroft (The Graduate). Marlon Brando and Karl Malden (Streetcar Named Desire), all main characters (Ivan the Terrible) and many more.

‚Ace Ventura: Pet Detective‘ star Carrey said: „We were having dinner one night and he asked me what method I used for Ace Ventura. I said, ‚What I was trying to do was be a bird, a parakeet or a cockatiel – a fancy, cocky, male bird.‘ And Sir Anthony Hopkins said, ‚Oh my God, that’s what I did with Hannibal Lecter. I was a tarantula and a crocodile.“ – Inside the Actors Studio

The Master“…The key to Freddie is an animal, just pure id. For the scene where he’s arrested and put in jail and all that, I just watched videos of wild animals that get into suburbia. If you’ve seen video of a deer or a bear that finds its way into suburbia…“ – J. Phoenix – The Time

Heather Ledger – „The Joker“

„The place where you stand, how you use your space, is the number-one priority. How you stand in relation to other people in scenes, how you dance with them – that´s what it´s all about“ – Sean Connery (On Yat Malmgren´s – Character Analysis & Movement Psychology. Yat Malmgren teached Sean Connery how to move, how to position his body in space in such a way as to make for maximum dramatic impact in any given scene.)


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Tom Hardy – „Bronson“

„Yat took Laban’s notation into acting. We studied movement psychology and its notation. We didn’t use the notation particularly, but the notation is based on principles of putting psychological concepts into space, into action, into the physical world…“ – Colin Firth – (Quelle: Backstage West)

„Physicality in performance is always something that´s ´very important to me. It´s something I would certainly thinking about immediately. How the character moves…is the character weighty or is the character light on his feet and how you can tell an inner life story of the character through physicality. It´s very helpful. Sometimes you can express so much more through your body language and movement then a page of dialogue.“ – Michael Fassbender (Quelle: THE TIME)

Michael Fassbender – „Frank“

Emil Jannings – „Der letze Mann“

See also: The Influence of German Expressionism