From the celebrated film critic and author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, a fascinating look at some of the cinema’s finest actors and how they approach their craft
“Open to any page and you’ll become enthralled by the…tales of forgotten film lore, childhood memories, sexy gossip.”—Philip Kaufman, director
Meryl Streep, Marlon Brando, Anthony Hopkins, Carey Mulligan. When we watch these remarkable actors in a performance, we see only Sophie, Stanley Kowalski, Hannibal Lecter, or Cassie from Promising Young Woman. How are they able to transform our world in this way? How and why do they do what they do?
In Acting Naturally, David Thomson sheds light on the actors who have shaped the film industry. He shrewdly analyzes these stars—among them, James Dean, Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington, Louise Brooks, Riz Ahmed, Sir Laurence Olivier, Viola Davis, and Jean Seberg—revealing how a sly smile, an extra-long pause, even a small gesture of the hand can draw in an audience. And he takes us behind the scenes to examine casting and all the other moments leading up to “Action!”
Through intimate anecdote, humor, and the insight born of a lifetime watching and analyzing film, Thomson explores the real reasons why we go to the movies and looks at how they influence our lives. This book is not only necessary reading for an insider’s view of the industry but also a surprising investigation of the relationship between acting and living.