Jon Bernthal on Method Acting: ‘I Don’t See Any Benefit in That’

Posted 2022/04/22 13 0

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We Own This City star Jon Bernthal understands the need to stay close with one’s character, but method acting isn’t for him.

There has been a lot of discussion about method acting in recent months, and now Jon Bernthal has shared his opinion on the subject. In a nutshell, going “method” describes actors who take their roles so seriously that they insist upon remaining in character 24/7, even when cameras are not rolling. Many method actors will be so dedicated that they’ll refuse to respond to anyone who doesn’t address them by their character’s name.

That all seems a bit much for Bernthal, who previously made a name for himself with The Walking Dead and The Punisher and can next be seen in the new series We Own This City. To promote the new series, Bernthal spoke with The Hollywood Reporter, with the discussion turning to method acting at one point. While Bernthal says he can understand to an extent the need for actors to stay in close proximity with their characters, some actors take it a bit too far.

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Here’s what Bernthal said when asked if method acting has been “abused” by other actors.

“Absolutely. And that’s why these conversations are difficult for me, honestly, because every actor has a process. Having studied in Moscow at the Moscow Art Theater, I guarantee you that making everybody call you by your character name and not showering for eight months was not what Stanislavski had in mind with the Method. But at the end of the day, these sacred seconds between action and cut, that’s all we got. So that means that I got to stay in proximity to that role, close to those sacred seconds, that I’m not on a cellphone or eating Chinese food or making plans for the evening. But if I’m talking like Wayne and I’m acting like Wayne, because it’s going to help those seconds, I think you got to do that. And sometimes that’s a day, sometimes it’s a week, sometimes it’s five minutes. But I think this idea of Method acting where George was only allowed to call me Wayne, I don’t roll like that. I don’t see any benefit in that.”

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Mads Mikkelsen and Will Poulter Aren’t Big Fans of Method Acting, Either

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore star Mads Mikkelsen is not impressed with method acting. He recently spoke about how he feels method acting is pretentious. Mikkelsen also says he’d have some fun working with a famous method actor like Daniel Day-Lewis, as he would spend all day on set trying to get the method actor to break character.

Actor Will Poulter also recently said he is not a fan of the style. As Poulter recently explained:

“When it comes to an actor’s process, whatever that is, so long as it doesn’t infringe on other people’s and you’re being considerate, then fine. But if your process creates an inhospitable environment, then to me you’ve lost sight of what’s important. Method acting shouldn’t be used as an excuse for inappropriate behavior – and it definitely has.”

We Own This City premieres on April 25, 2022, on HBO.


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