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Joy Saha

Portman on Method acting double standard

Method acting may be seen as controversial, but accordingly to Natalie Portman, it's not available to adopt for some actors.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Portman suggested that the strict technique is only  limited to people whose job as an actor is seen as more important than the other roles they hold in life (i.e. men).  “I’ve gotten very into roles, but I think it’s honestly a luxury that women can’t afford," she said. "I don’t think that children or partners would be very understanding of, you know, me making everyone call me ‘Jackie Kennedy’ all the time,” she said, referring to her Oscar-nominated role in the 2016 biopic “Jackie.”

Portman spoke about her latest role in Todd Haynes’ drama film “May December,” in which she plays Elizabeth Berry, an actress who closely studies the life of a controversial woman named Gracie Atherton-Yoo in preparation for playing her in a film. As time passes, Elizabeth finds herself almost becoming Gracie as she delves deeper and deeper into her home life and marriage.

Method acting, a technique developed by Russian theater practitioner Konstantin Stanislavski, encourages actors to use their “physical, mental and emotional self” to fully immerse themselves into the life and mind of their characters. Jeremy Strong, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jared Leto and Robert De Niro have committed to Method acting throughout their career.

On Sunday's Golden Globes, Leto even joked about his reputation for extreme Method acting as he presented an award. "I have been in presenter mode for weeks now,” he said. “I’ve been doing research developing my character . . . I’ve also learned the art of holding an envelope."

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