Voices of exceptional experience on ‘Inside the Actors Studio’
Aspiring actors who caught writer-director James Cameron’s recent appearance on “Inside the Actors Studio” on My Movie Channel were sure glad they did, because they got a real earful of valuable tips from the ace filmmaker.
Cameron knows whereof he speaks because one of his films, “Titanic,” became the top-grossing movie of all time—until it was replaced by the new title-holder, “Avatar,”—which was also megged by him!
Highlights of Cameron’s exchange of recollections and opinions with host James Lipton: Candidly, he revealed that he got the money to produce “Titanic” when he pitched it as “Romeo and Juliet” on a cruise ship! —Come to think of it, that’s why the film became powerfully appealing and involving, right?
As for “Avatar,” Cameron used the film’s huge success as a teaching point for the future of cinema, which partly includes a new look at the acting process itself. He pointed out that the new technique of “motion capture,” which some people dismiss as inimical to good acting because it’s so artificial, can actually be a boon for actors, because it allows them to do many differing takes, review what they’ve done, choose the very best attempt—and immortalize that on the silver screen!
After “Avatar” set a new box-office record, producers wanted to duplicate and even triplicate its runaway success, so he dug into his feral, fertile store of possibilities—and, wonder of wonders, when he reemerged, he announced that he had enough material for four sequels!
Another recent “Inside the Actors Studio” telecast that viewers got a lot out of was Lipton’s session with Alec Baldwin. Most of the time, viewers regard him as a very entertaining performer, a good-looking comedic actor who’s starred in a number of hit TV series and films. However, Lipton’s interview revealed that Baldwin was much more than that—a popular star who sometimes eschews the perks of stardom to act in a challenging play that pays him very little money, just to keep stretching his thespic muscles—and wings!
It was a bracing surprise to get to know an actor who was so deep, versatile and intensely committed to his craft and art. After that telecast, we’ll be looking at Alec Baldwin’s portrayals with increased interest and respect.
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