As an actor, I got into this business because I love the craft and, even more so, I love the attention I get for being “method.” Specifically, my method is making life an absolute living hell for the film’s cast and crew for two months, and then getting showered in awards and praise for it.
For those who aren’t familiar or have never heard anybody talk about playing roles like the Joker, method acting is when you completely embody the character you’re playing on and off camera, becoming that person. This is more impressive than the people who just show up and can do their jobs without making a scene — otherwise known as actresses. Unlike them, I’m so committed to my art that I’ll let the darkest of characters occupy every crevice of my mind for months. But only if I’m playing an asshole. If I’m playing a humanitarian you won’t hear a peep, but when I’m playing a sick villain I’ll carry on like you won’t believe.
And because of this deep commitment, if something goes wrong on set, I will lose my goddamn shit on the first grip who drops a roll of tape. I will curse out underpaid union workers to no end for letting the boom slip into the shot. I will throw a salad in the face of a PA, no matter whose nephew they are. I will follow a lighting technician home and slash the tires of their Kia Sorento. And when the tape leaks to TMZ, which I’ll say is a violation of our creative safe space, everybody will commend me for my deep commitment to the artistic process.
When I’m that deep in character there’s no telling what I’ll do, but it’ll for sure be bad. Not even my fellow actors are safe, and when asked about the experience, they’ll say things like they technically never met me, just the character. That’s why I can get away with sending Viola Davis a bloodied pig’s head as a wrap gift, or setting Bob Balaban’s car on fire (and I’ve never even been in a movie with him!). Because they know that I’m in character, which is more important than “professionalism” or their safety. And though they might not say it, I know they respect me all the more for it.
It’s something I learned while sleeping through the NYU acting classes I enrolled in, as an already established actor, for attention. People love hearing about the emotional and physical toll that I went through for a role. Best-case scenario, I injure myself, and even better if that footage makes it into the actual movie. It gives film students trivia to tell girls on dates.
It’s the same reason my weight drastically fluctuates, despite my doctor’s warnings. Yes, I could use special effects and fake jowls rather than drink five pints of melted Ben & Jerry’s a day, but then the makeup artist gets the attention rather than me, and that’s unacceptable. That’s why, when I must rely on makeup, I talk about sitting in the makeup chair like I was withstanding military-grade torture. It’s like when I endured hours and hours of sitting still doing nothing to play a killer alien, which was nearly as long as it took my female co-star to get into makeup to play the woman I was attacking.
At the end of the day, I’m a professional who will stop at nothing for my art, even if it means behaving like a deranged psychopath to my coworkers and then bragging about it. Please give me an Oscar for it. It’s only right.