Iconic face of the sitcom Willy, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (here we tell you 10 reasons why ahead of thirty years, thirty years ago), over the years Will Smith has been featured in a number of films, including Men in Black (1997), The pursuit of happiness (2006), I’m legend (2007) and more recent Aladdin (2019) e A Winning Family – King Richard (2021).
The actor revealed that he tried method acting until he decided to abandon this type of very extreme approach because, getting too deep into his character, he really fell in love with a colleague.
Method acting led Will Smith to fall in love with Stockard Channing during the film 6 degrees of separation
Il method acting it’s a acting method immersive: the actor or actress immerses himself in the role of the character even when he is not actually acting on the set, both from a physical point of view and from an emotional and psychic point of life. The character you play becomes almost an extension/variant of your own personality.
Many players in the past and present film scene have put this method into practice; among these we mention Christian Bale, Joaquin Phoenix and Daniel-Day Lewis. Other interpreters, on the other hand, do not believe in this method (including these 12 actors who expressly opposed method acting); for example Brian Cox criticized his colleague Jeremy Strong in Succession for his immersive method acting.
During an interview with Esquire, Will Smith he talked about the emotionality of acting and confessed that he has tried method acting oncebut the intense acting technique had a problematic repercussion.
In the movie 6 degrees of separationreleased in 1993, Smith plays Paul, a boy who falls in love with Ouisa Kittredge, a character played by Stockard Channing, an actress who we all remember as Rizzo’s interpreter in Grease. Smith reveals that the character’s feelings for him became his.
Interviewer: You talked about acting as a challenge. But I’ve never heard you talk about the emotionality of acting.
Will Smith: Con 6 degrees of separation, I got a first taste of the dangers of overplaying a character. My character was in love with Stockard Channing’s character. And I actually fell in love with Stockard Channing.
I: Did human Will Smith fall in love?
W.S.: Yes, just Will Smith. So the movie finished and I went home, and I couldn’t wait to see Stockard. I was like, “Oh no! What have I done?” That was my last experience with Method acting, where you kind of rewire your mind. You are actually playing with your psychology. You teach yourself to love some things and hate other things. It’s really dangerous when you get good. But once I had that experience, I thought, no more method acting. For that film, I wanted to play so well that I spent six, seven and eight days in character before shooting, and you have to be careful.
In short, for Will Smith method acting has gone a little too far, and in fact the risk of this method is to end up superimposing person and character. What do you think?