4 Subtle Differences Between Good Acting and Great Acting

Have you ever wondered why Nawazzudin Siddiqui is applauded by Critiques and Shah Rukh Khan On the other side, seems to only please the mass media?

While Siddiqui's role seems more realistic, shahrukh relies on his persona to impress the general public.

While acting in front of a camera is considered more difficult than acting in front of the audience, the trick to it all is to not act. Be.
While that is considered the right way of acting, in Bollywood giving out extreme expressions to oversell emotions is considered the right way that pleases the Indian audience.

Then what is the difference? Why the likes of Irfan Khan, Nawazzudin Siddiqui, Naseeruddin Shah are applauded by Critics instead of Shahrukh, Salman and Hritik.

1. Believability

Good actors try to do certain expression like stuttering while saying something emotional to sell the act of fear, or flaring nostrils to show anger as they want you to believe in what they are doing.

But great actors make you believe in the emotions they portray. They Do this by really understanding the character and fusing their own personality with the character, after a point of time they really believe they are the character. They need to believe it in order to really create those private moments in public.
They need to Really lose their mind, really break their heart If the character is made that way.

This Anupama Chopra interview of Nawazuddin Siddiqui showing how he gets into the character might explain a lot.  

2. Unpredictability

Great actors create a sense of mystery around the characters, so even when you know the character. You'll never know what the next step is going to be. We're humans and humans are unpredictable, performances of this sorts when a character does something nobody thought they would happen only when actors become vulnerable on the camera. Bad actors always keep an auro of their own eccentric personality to hide in it, they over act and show their own personality more than the characters traits like Ranveer Singh and Salman Khan, in every movie ever. We audience like it because it is familiar and safe. We're more happy to see familiar movies and producers are more willing to make them as its a safe investment and ROI is positive. Whereas Great actors put a different version of themselves in the character, they are mysterious, creative, risky and hence unpredictable.

3. Listening

In an interview when asked what was the most important thing an actor should possess screen legend Clint Eastwood responded immediately with “The ability to listen.”

An actor who hasn’t developed their listening skills is not engaged with the other actors and therefore is not effective on screen. Rather he just waits to say his own dialogue in a stylish way.

Rather, Great acting is really just great Re-acting.

Steve McQueen instinctively knew how he could use the camera. He gave away lines, preferring to listen and react instead. McQueen would tell the director: “I don’t need to say this. I can show it instead.” He knew that he looked far more effortless when he was doing something, as opposed to saying something. McQueen let his brooding blue eyes and his face do the work, and the camera sucked it up.

Alan Rickman talks about how important is listening in acting.

Perhaps what separates Great Actors From Average Actors is the art of listening and reacting.

 4. Using Entire Body

Good actors Say their lines in a stylistic manner, while great actors use their whole body to communicate. For them, saying the dialogue is just incidental.

Notice How Edward Norton is communicating what he means and Brad Pitt reacting to each and every word and giving out a different expression every single time, using his entire body to build a conversation. How they vary their voice for different yet single character "Tyler Durden"

Combine all of these factors and you get a performance that is legendary and builds an actors true legacy. So, next time when you see a performance, be it movie or tv show. Look out for these factors that makes an actor look believable, if you don't feel like a movie/character is like real life then its just failed acting attempt cuz the purpose of an actor is to make things believable.


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