Nicholas Nesbitt & Gentlemen


Hi! We've teamed up with Johannesburg based creative Nicholas Nesbitt to bring you a few articles about the process of filmmaking. In this article we share some of our thoughts on the illusive art of acting. Enjoy :)

1. Everyone is an actor

Every night a new movie is screened in our dreams. We play all the parts, our unconscious not only manifests characters but also props and locations.

We form characters to navigate our days; we all have roles we play out in the world. This is learnt behaviour from childhood. If you’re having a bad day, you take on a different persona in order to make it through.

We act to survive.

2. Be the vessel


Great acting is not acting at all. Some actors overcompensate by trying show you every emotion, but realness is doing less.

In cinema, everything within the frame has a part to play in telling the story, the responsibility doesn’t rest squarely on the actor.

3. Going places


Actors have a very important job in society. They express the innate truths that we may be afraid to share. They transort us to wondrous, frightening, awkward and unexpected places. Luckily for us, we can travel to these place from the safety of the cinema.

We see ourselves in them and maybe learn a little bit about ourselves.

4. Just say the line

Casting is important and a good director needs to go with their gut. Directors can take credit for casting, but not for the actor’s performance. Actors so often want to show you the character, instead of just being the character.

Each actor has an essence and physicality that a director uses to tell their story. The actor now just has to say the lines, as they are already that character in the mind of the viewer.

5. A director is the conductor, actors are the musicians

While the director’s job is to conduct the entire filmmaking process, the actor’s role is very similar to that of a musician.

Subtle nuances like how a musician plays a note, is similar to the way an actor plays a character.

The director lays down the structure of the film but it’s the actor that interprets their role.