The performances we enjoy on-screen, the ones we cry with the characters, smile with them and fear every once in a while, we rarely know how those moments are achieved. It's tough to make one person feel something, how do you get a whole cinema hall, sometimes a country to feel what a character feels?
Method acting may sound woke when you look at it from the outside, you may also say all actors should adopt it. Still, it's not everybody's cup of tea, you don't just wear the skin of the character, you must become the character. Aesthetics are something we know apply here, but method acting is more than that. Only a few know what it means, even fewer actors achieve it.
5 actors who pushed the lid on their performances with method acting
Bollywood has its fair share of fine actors. That's for sure. But, there are those few performances that make an impact on your heart, not just a stamp on your memory. These performances are hidden amidst the cliche "popular" and we come across them from time to time, yet we rarely acknowledge them. Have you ever said, "I cannot imagine anyone else playing this character," after watching a performance? If you have, then think of those performances.
Of course, while compiling this list, we are only mentioning 5 amongst the many actors who've used method acting. Of course, from time to time all actors might have to dip their toes in method acting for certain roles. That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about those actors who weren't afraid to get into the minds of the characters, even if the characters were complex, sometimes as dark as dark can be.
1. Aamir Khan
We know we're treading difficult water here because Aamir Khan explicitly doesn't call himself a method actor. Instead, he said in an interview that he has his own method. Still, his performances say differently, just take Dangal (2016) for example. Nobody can deny you could see he became the character, not just physically but every little movement or action and emotion. His transformation has also been stark for Laal Singh Chaddha which we will no doubt be ready for when he hits us with it.
2. Irrfan Khan
Irrfan Khan can become any character you give him. Perhaps, the one movie where this becomes absolutely undeniable is Paan Singh Tomar (2012) where the transformation was physical as much as it was mental. He himself called the film the most 'physically and mentally draining' film of his career.
3. Farhan Akhtar
Farhan Akhtar showed us in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) what method acting can produce. The actor had changed his lifestyle as much as he changed his physical appearance, everything included, and his training lasted 18 months. Every detail in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was on point. Now, Farhan Akhtar will be seen playing a boxer in Toofan (2020).
4. Ranveer Singh
Ranveer Singh played Alauddin Khilji in Padmaavat (2018) and when he appeared on screen, and the finesse with which he played that role, is one for the history books. Singh has himself discussed how the role affected his mental health and sent him to a dark place and he was happy to let the character go after the shoot. In fact, the actor isolated himself for 21 days to get into the headspace of the character. Well, the magic is visible on the screen and that's when you know you can't just wake up one day and decide to play a character.
5. Rajkummar Rao
Rajkummar Rao to has proved he's a method actor delving into the characters he plays. He's clearly shown us what acting is, often breathing life into the most unlikely characters. He can make you love them, he can make you hate them. It's almost as if we're left at his behest as an audience. He once spoke about how the prep for Omerta got to him, he had spent a lot of time watching disturbing content and videos to get into the skin of Omar Sheikh, a terrorist, to get a better idea of who he was and becoming like him in the process.
A lot of actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Boman Irani have really set precedence when it comes to method acting. Actresses like Priyanka Chopra have also pushed the boundaries to really bring depth to their performances. This list looks at only 5 actors who toppled the metaphoric box but we're sure there are more. Yet method actors don't call what they do 'method acting' to them it's just acting. And that's something us non-actors will never understand, testimony to our ignorance.