Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sergio Leone on actors

Sergio Leone: For me, actors are extraterrestrial creatures. I love them greatly and forgive them everything. How can you be mean with an actor, when so often he's a little boy without a personality of his own - every time assumes a different personality, does what the role imposes on him, carries that personality home with him for the entire length of filming; is so massively professional. How can you be mean to beings like these? One needs to insinuate your ideas into him. You know, they aren't creatures with the nicest of lives. When they finish one film they must continue playing the character for the benefit of a batch of people; the journalists, the reviewers, the public. And then when they're finally freed from one character, they have to throw themselves into the character for the next film, and so their true personalities may not surface, or rarely, for very long periods, and who knows if they can ever really become themselves again after ten years of a career. The actor who can is generally an actor disenchanted with acting, and so not really an actor at all.

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