Should We Stop Method Acting?
February 26, 2020
(The Channel Awesome logo and NC title sequence play)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. They're easy to admire and easy to make fun of. Let's talk about method actors. (nods)
(A shot of a man holding up a mask is shown)
NC (vo): One of two scenarios usually pops in a person's head when method acting is heard...
(Cut to a shot of the movie There Will Be Blood with Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview)
NC (vo): A groundbreaking genius who artfully sacrificed so much for their art...
(Cut to a clip of Tropic Thunder, showing Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller) and Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey, Jr.) arguing with each other)
NC (vo): ...or a pretentious narcissist trying to get even more attention due to their insecurities.
Lazarus: I'm a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude!
Kevin Sandusky (Jay Baruchel): What?
(A montage of news articles on method actors is shown)
NC (vo): There's so many articles and videos about actors who have lost themselves in the performance and did crazy things torturing themselves and even others to get the best performance possible.
NC: (crosses arms) And I'm here to ask, is it really goddamn worth it?
(Cut to a clip of the movie Kramer vs. Kramer where Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) sits at a table and points at Joanna (Meryl Streep) sitting opposite him)
NC (vo): Let's back up and clarify exactly what method acting is.
(More movie clips are shown: Taxi Driver, where Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) dramatically pulls a gun on someone, and My Left Foot, where Christy Brown (Daniel Day-Lewis) plays a rough sports game with others)
NC (vo): It's said to be a technique of acting, in which an actor aspires to complete, emotional identification with a part. That is to say, in order to get the most authentic performance, an actor will take part in psychological and/or physical exercises to be more convincing.
NC: It doesn't sound too bad, but Hollywood has a unique way of going batshit insane.
(Another clip is shown of Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, where Jim Carrey is presumably getting a haircut)
NC (vo): So often we hear of actors making everybody's life a living hell just for a role...
(Cut to a clip of Suicide Squad, showing Jared Leto as the Joker, and another of one of the documentaries for Apocalypse Now with Marlon Brando)
NC (vo): ...whether it's having everybody address them by their character name, being emotionally abusive to costars, or stopping the production because it's what their (mockingly) "character would do".
NC: And let's be honest, it's usually allowed because the method actor is a big star.
(More footage of method acting in movies is shown, such as Jim Carrey in a making-of featurette of Man on the Moon, Marlon Brando in The Godfather, Dustin Hoffman in Kramer vs. Kramer, and Jared Leto in Suicide Squad)
NC (vo): If a newcomer tried half the things that Marlon Brando, Dustin Hoffman or Jared Leto tried, they'd be fired on day one. But because these were big celebrities with big draws, they were seemingly allowed to do whatever they wanted on set, no matter how much it interfered with the production.
NC: These made for great stories and great clickbait, but it doesn't make for great acting.
(Cut to another clip of Day-Lewis, this one of him as Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York)
NC (vo): Well, maybe the first question to be answered is, why would anyone method act to begin with?
(Another clip of a movie called I Am Sam)
NC (vo): It would seem like such an obvious ploy for actors to get attention...
(Cut to another clip of Jim Carrey's haircut in Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond)
NC (vo): ...and it just seems to slow things down and stress out an already stressed-out crew.
NC: Well, (the articles on method actors is shown in the corner again) for these over-the-top stories, sure, but there are several times that actors have used method acting techniques that seem perfectly reasonable.
(Cut to a clip of an episode of The Simpsons)
NC (vo): Remember in The Simpsons when Marge was going to play Blanche in a musical version of Streetcar Named Desire?
Marge: (handing Homer a salt shaker at the dinner, speaking in southern accent) Here you are, Homer.
Homer: (taking the shaker) Why are you talking like that?
Marge: The play's tomorrow night. I've got to stay in character.
NC (vo): This is technically a form of method acting, but nobody sees her as crazy for it. She's doing it so she can get the accent down, as it's a voice she's not used to having, and it might be distracting if her usual accent shines through. It makes sense, and it sucks the people around her into it as well.
Lisa: (speaking in southern accent) Hey, Mom, would it help if I talked like this, too?
Marge: (in accent) It might.
NC: On the set of The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep announced...
(Cut to shots of Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady)
NC (vo): ...as Margaret Thatcher, that she was going to continue to do her British accent off-set, because if she didn't she'd lose the voice and she's not skilled enough to turn it off and on so easily. The crew laughed and understood. If anything, she was making it clear she wasn't going to be the headache that many other method actors could be.
NC: Comedy, surprisingly, is a treasure trove of physical method acting.
(Footage of Fawlty Towers is shown)
NC (vo): John Cleese on Fawlty Towers would talk about how the audience wouldn't give as big a laugh if the violence didn't look painful and admitted that he and some of the other actors suffered some scrapes and bruises, even though they technically could have just done it lighter.
(Now cut to a montage of clips of films featuring the Three Stooges and the physical violence they are known for)
NC (vo): The Three Stooges had to be sent to the hospital several times so that the pain in the scene looked the most convincing and got the biggest laugh.
NC: But more often than not, it's less for laughs and more for authenticity.
(Cut to footage of Saving Private Ryan)
NC (vo): Surely the actors in Saving Private Ryan could have just been told how to carry guns, salute and so forth. But they all went to boot camp because they knew many people would be able to tell if something was off. It's not like a space movie, where only a handful have been astronauts; there's a lot of people who have served in the military, and plenty more related to them. So, in a film like this, trying to be as realistic as possible, it makes sense to have all the movements, commands and lingo embedded into your memory.
NC: Even crying, for a lot of people, is a form of method acting.
(A montage of movie clips involving characters shedding tears is shown)
NC (vo): Yeah, you can do eye drops, but most of us can tell when fake tears are being produced and when real tears are being produced. Some people can turn it off and on like a faucet, but others understandably have to think of something that left an emotional impact on them to produce the tears. Trying to manipulate your emotions for a role, many say, is at the heart of method acting, and that's precisely what this is, so again, it's not really met with any disapproving thoughts.
NC: A lot of times, method acting seems to work best when it's done for practical reasons.
(A clip of Taxi Driver is shown, showing Robert DeNiro as Travis Bickle)
NC (vo): Robert DeNiro is one of the most famous method actors, turning in great performances while mostly keeping to himself, yet staying in character as well.
(Now cut to footage of Brazil, emphasizing Harry Tuttle, DeNiro's character in that movie)
NC (vo): One of the smaller, but still interesting instances is on the movie, Brazil, when he had to be an illegal heating engineer. It's a long story. He would stay in costume and carry around his tools wherever he went, even if the camera wasn't on.
(Cut to a shot of the movie's director, Terry Gilliam)
NC (vo): At first, director Terry Gilliam didn't understand.
(Cut back to Tuttle in Brazil)
NC (vo): But then he tried on the outfit and discovered how the many layers made it incredibly difficult to move smoothly in. He then realized, since DeNiro's character was supposed to be sneaky and fast, it made sense to become comfortable with the suit and tools. And look at him! He moves comfortably like he's been doing it for years. You never assume any of that was a pain to work with.
(Cut to footage of Brandon Teena (Hilary Swank) in Boys Don't Cry)
NC (vo): Hilary Swank in her breakout role, Boys Don't Cry, knew she had to be convincing as a boy, as the people in the movie were supposed to believe she was one. So she spent a month walking around in public pretending to be male, and when someone didn't believe it, she would take notes and try to figure out what to fix. She did it so well...
(Cut to a shot of Chris Kattan as Swank on a Celebrity Jeopardy sketch on Saturday Night Live, accompanied by the message "I'M A GIRL, YOU KNOW")
NC (vo): ...that when people would play her on TV, it was usually a guy in the role.
NC: A strange compliment, to say the least. (nods)
(Now we have footage of movies featuring Daniel Day-Lewis)
NC (vo): And of course, arguably the most famous currently working is Daniel Day-Lewis. In terms of modern-day method acting, this is usually the guy people point to as the crowning achievement, getting tons of praise as seemingly a completely different person every time he's on screen. None of these characters seem to have anything in common.
NC: You know, apart from...screaming.
(As the montage continues, we have Day-Lewis' characters screaming their lines)
John Proctor (in The Crucible): GOD IS DEAD!
Henderson Dores (in Stars and Bars): IT'S BURNED!
Dr. Fergus O'Connell (in Eversmile, New Jersey): LEAVE THE GIRL ALONE!
Daniel Plainview (in There Will Be Blood): I'VE ABANDONED MY CHILD!
NC: (nodding) Lots of screaming.
Dr. Fergus O'Connell: NO MORE DECAY!
John Proctor: BECAUSE IT IS MY NAME!
(As the montage, we treated to just rapid-fire shots of Day-Lewis' characters screaming)
NC: Hence, the nickname...
(A shot of a YouTube video showing clips of Day-Lewis' screaming is shown, along with the title, which NC reads...)
NC (vo): ..."Dan 'Yell' Day-Lewis".
(We are treated to one more clip of Day-Lewis' character, Guido Contini in Nine, screaming in anguish)
NC (vo): With performances this big and...yelly, it'd be easy to throw him in the same camp of people method acting just for attention.
NC: (crosses arms) But the more I looked into this guy, the more his reasons did mostly make sense.
(Footage of Day-Lewis' performance in My Left Foot is shown)
NC (vo): In My Left Foot, he stayed in a wheelchair and had people carry him around. That sounds douchey, but because he could walk fine and didn't know how a person with cerebral palsy would move or act, it does kind of add up why he would do this for a performance. He isn't just paralyzed for a few scenes, it's the entire movie, and it's based on a real guy. So it makes sense to represent a drastically different way of living and moving that you're not familiar with as best as possible.
(Cut to alternating snippets of Day-Lewis' performances in both The Crucible and Last of the Mohicans)
NC (vo): In films like The Crucible and Last of the Mohicans, he tried living months like his characters would in that time period, which does seem like a little much, but it appears he's doing it on his own and it's to be as authentic as possible. The way he moves and acts feels like a guy who lives in that time period.
(Cut to yet another Day-Lewis' performance, this one as the title character in Lincoln)
NC (vo): Even in Lincoln, I always thought it was lame that he told everyone to address him as "Mr. President". But Lincoln was supposed to be a humble person, and getting used to that authority and how to react to it, I can sort of understand.
NC: (crosses arms) But what I find the most interesting about him is when he was asked why he does method acting.
NC (vo): His answer was, what would drain me much more, in my case, is jumping in and out of character.
NC: I weirdly respect that because honestly, he's kind of admitting that he's doing it because it's easier.
NC (vo): If he was doing it for the attention, he would say how hard and difficult it is, but he says the other way just takes a lot more out of him. There are some actors that can go in and out of character in a millisecond, he's just not one of them, and clearly wants to give the best performance he can. It's odd, but there is a level of relatability I think a lot of people can sympathize with.
NC: (waves dismissively) But, ah to the ethical people! What about the assholes?
(A clip of Suicide Squad is shown, displaying Jared Leto as the Joker)
NC (vo): The ones we absolutely love to mock and satirize?
NC: We'll talk about them right after I get into character. (starts massaging his temples; whispering) You're a dick. You're a dick. You're a dick.
(On that note, we go to a commercial break. Upon return...)
NC: So now it's that part of the video that, let's be honest, (nods and smiles) is the reason you clicked on it: the douchebag method actors!
(Footage of Marlon Brando is shown)
NC (vo): These, in my opinion, are when actors seem to be method acting more for attention than practicality. Notably, the most infamous in that he was the most famous star in the world and, for the most part, turned in some damn great performances was Marlon Brando.
(Footage of Brando's role as Vito Corleone in The Godfather)
NC (vo): In The Godfather, he believed in the spontaneity of the performance, so he would have his lines hidden onset so that he could read them, sometimes even on people's faces.
(Cut to Brando's role as Max in The Score)
NC (vo): On the set of The Score, director (Image of...) Frank Oz reminded Brando too much of Miss Piggy, one of the characters he played, which threw off his performance. So, throughout the entire film, Oz had to give him direction from another room, not even able to look at him face to face.
(Cut to a third movie with Brando, Apocalypse Now, where he plays Colonel Kurtz)
NC (vo): In Apocalypse Now, he put on a ton of weight, which the character was not described as being heavy, improvised most of his lines, and would just walk off when he felt his character was done, even there was an entire crew ready to shoot more.
Brando: (walking off) I can't think of any more dialogue today.
NC (vo): People are still split whether this is a masterpiece or a failed experiment, and a lot of that is on Brando, who was built up for two-thirds of the film. Some say he delivered; others say...
NC: (whispering) ..."The horror!"
NC (vo): But to Brando's credit, he has turned in groundbreaking performances that arguably changed the art of movie acting.
NC: Others, though...
(Cut to a clip of Suicide Squad, showing Jared Leto as the Joker)
Joker: You helped me by erasing my mind.
NC (vo): Yeah, Jared Leto is quickly going down as one of the worst Jokers ever filmed, and you can't deny part of that is from the stories about his behavior on set. Not only did he stay in character, verbally abusing his costars, but he also mailed dead rats and even used condoms to them, because... (pauses awkwardly) art.
(Cut to a clip Batman)
Alexander Knox (Robert Wuhl): What a dick!
NC: The funny thing is, two other actors who would play the Joker got Academy Awards, and they used method acting. (pauses awkwardly again) But they were using it for themselves.
(Footage of the Joker in other movies is shown, starting with Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight)
NC (vo): They weren't bringing others into their homework, they were doing it on their own, like they should have been. Heath Ledger said he locked himself in a room and tried to figure out the right voice, knowing his performance had to be different from the others and match the even darker tone of an already dark character. The result was a terrifying performance nobody thought could be topped.
(Next, we cut to another Joker character, this one as played by Joaquin Phoenix)
NC (vo): That is, until Joaquin Phoenix, who, while difficult at interviews...
(A clip of one such interview for the Associated Press with Phoenix is shown, where he is asked about his performance voicing Kenai in Brother Bear)
Interviewer: Such a heartwarmer. I cried three times.
Phoenix: I don't believe you've ever cried in your life.
Interviewer: What did you learn about yourself and your voice?
Phoenix: Absolutely nothing.
Interviewer: What do you hope that people will glean from it when they walk out of the cinema?
Phoenix: We're done.
(Suddenly, the title Brother Bear is displayed)
NC (vo; announcer voice): See Brother Bear!
(Cut back to Joker)
NC (vo): ...seemed keep his method acting on the page – literally. The director gave him the Joker's journal so he could write some crazy stuff in his handwriting for when he had to be shown writing in it, but still not having the character down, Phoenix kept writing and writing, practicing his laugh until something finally felt unique, matching the script, but also giving a different performance from the other Jokers that have been done before.
(Comparisons between Phoenix's and Ledger's Jokers are shown, before delving in Jared Leto's Joker)
NC (vo): Again, while odd, both his [Phoenix's] and Ledger's approaches seem to make sense in creating a character and bringing it to the big screen. Leto's seemed like he just wanted people to say, "Wow, you became an asshole for a role! How brave." He thrusted his method on everyone else seemingly for no reason, as the role wasn't even that good.
(Cut to two shots of actors, one slightly plump: Sylvester Stallone as Sheriff Freddy Heflin in Cop Land while the other is much thinner: Anne Hathaway as Fantine in Les Misérables)
NC (vo): While many performers have either put on weight or lost weight for a role to look more the part...
(Now we look to Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs in, well, Jobs)
NC (vo): ...some changed their diets in a way that clearly wouldn't affect their performance. Ashton Kutcher said he went on an all-fruit diet for the movie Jobs because...he heard that's what Steve Jobs did. The diet put Kutcher in the hospital for two days before shooting.
NC: But even if it didn't, what was that supposed to do?
(Cut to two photos of Christian Bale in roles, one as Vice-President Dick Cheney in Vice; the other as Trevor Reznik in The Machinist)
NC (vo): Losing or gaining weight, you can visibly tell the difference...
(Cut back to another clip of Kutcher as Jobs)
NC (vo): ...but who the hell knows you're eating nothing but fruit?? That kind of sacrifice doesn't make to me.
NC: (crosses arms) Now let's talk about the actor I both love and kind of hate to discuss, Jim Carrey.
(Two clips of Carrey's roles are shown: Stanley Ipkiss in The Mask and Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber)
NC (vo): I love to discuss him because he's one of my childhood heroes. I argue that he changed a whole generation's look at comedy, and maybe in the future, I'll do a video just on that.
NC: But despite him being what looks like a really nice guy, he is one of the prime examples of method acting for what looks like...
(Now we have footage of Carrey as Andy Kafuman in Man on the Moon)
NC (vo): ...no practical reason, causing far more trouble than what it's worth.
(We then cut to a list of videos explaining how pretentious and narcissistic Carrey can be, including NC's own video on Man on the Moon)
NC (vo): I, as well as several others, have talked about the insufferable way he acted on Man on the Moon...
(More footage of the movie follows)
NC (vo): ...holding up production, making people uncomfortable, getting in fights, destroying property, all because Andy Kaufman possessed Jim and was trolling the production. Yeah, on the one hand, I'm a fan of good trolling, like a lot of people are, but part of the fun of trolling, including Kaufman's is that it was done for the sake of the joke. Kaufman would torture his audience, making them hate him, not realizing their hatred was the punchline.
NC: It was selfish, but it was pretty damn funny.
NC (vo): Carrey gave the impression he was doing this not to make the film better or to troll people, but so that he can be seen as one of those "mad geniuses" parading his insecurities so people can see him as deep and/or troubled.
(An interview with Carrey is shown)
Carrey: I didn't know what was real and not real.
(A clip of the movie is now shown)
Man: (to Kaufman) I'm not angry 'cause I want to try to not give you support.
Kaufman: Too late! Too late!
NC (vo): I totally believe that he believes he's going through a spiritual experience. But where does that leave the rest of the people trying to do their job? And this isn't the only time he's done this.
(Cut to footage of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
NC (vo): I mean, in Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, he apparently tried staying so much in character he would throw the tape recorder just for rehearsals.
(In the movie, Carrey as Joel Barish throws a tape recorder aside)
Carrey: Oh, shit.
(Then Kate Winslet as Clementine Kruczynski hugs him)
Winslet: (over her shoulder to someone filming) He's broken the tape recorder.
Cameraman: I know.
NC (vo): Look at Kate Winslet's face. She's like, "Uh, okay, you get something out of this."
NC: Now, definitely keep in mind, for years early on, Jim Carrey was only seen as a fad.
(Shots of Carrey's earlier performances are shown, including the title character in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Truman Burbank in The Truman Show)
NC (vo): A lot of people didn't take him seriously, and Carrey clearly wanted to be taken seriously, both as a comedian and as a dramatic actor. To me, it comes across that Carrey does this kind of method acting so that others can see him as a complex person.
NC: But the funny thing is, he's talented enough, I really don't think he needs to do it.
(Another clip of Eternal Sunshine is shown)
NC (vo): I like Carrey fine, both comedically and dramatically, but more often than not, it feels like a performance. I'm not seeing a shy man who just got his heart broken; I'm seeing Jim Carrey play a shy man who just got his heart broken. It's not bad, it just doesn't seem worth all the method acting headaches.
NC: Funny enough, my favorite performances from him are the ones where he just seemed to focus on what was best for the movie.
(Cut to a clip of Carrey as Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber)
NC (vo): In Dumb and Dumber, he apparently really teared up when he said he was sick of his life being in a rut. He said it reminded him of his own life before all the success and that definitely comes through.
Lloyd: I'm sick and tired of having nobody.
NC (vo): Now, did he have to pretend to be a limo driver for weeks and weeks, living in a shitty apartment to recreate that? No. It was something he understood so he could convince us very easily.
(Cut to a shot of Carrey as the Hermit in The Bad Batch)
NC (vo): I really like him in The Bad Batch, where he plays a homeless man in the apocalypse. He has no lines, but you really get the idea of what this guy is about, and he plays to his strengths as a physical performer. As far as I know, he did not go homeless to play this part.
NC: And honestly, I know it's gonna sound strange, but my favorite performance of his is The Mask.
(Footage of The Mask is shown)
NC (vo): Not as the crazy green guy, but as Stanley Ipkiss. Sure, he's a little odd and over-the-top, but I feel like I'm watching Jim Carrey at his most honest. He said his channeled his father a lot for the role and admitted he didn't want people rolling their eyes, saying, "Get to the mask already!" Because of this, he weirdly comes across as very genuine. I buy him as an awkward, goofy, but still lovable dork who has an over-the-top way of expressing himself. He took what he knew and created a really charming character that I 100% believe in the context of the film.
NC: Probably the best method acting I've gotten from him – and hear me out on this one – is The Grinch.
(Footage of the live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas is shown, emphasizing Jim Carrey as the Grinch)
NC (vo): Yeah, I pick on this movie a lot, and I'll admit I'm not a fan of the performance personally, but that's because I don't think anyone got what the Grinch was really about in this movie. With that said, though, Jim Carrey was hired to give a Jim Carrey performance: big, loud and silly. And he gave the crowd exactly what they wanted, despite a ton working against him. This makeup looks like the worst thing anyone could be in, covered head to toe to eyes. Carrey said, though, that he trained with a specialist to center himself and be calm, even though he was freaking out at the uncomfortable nature of the costume. He said you could hit him with a bat and he would still be in a peaceful place, ready to perform.
NC: And you know what? For what was asked of him, it really worked.
NC (vo): Whatever you think of this role, I never thought he looked uncomfortable or in pain. He moved like any other Jim Carrey performance, which is already very physically demanding.
NC: Want proof? Watch Mike Meyers in...
(Cut to footage of Myers as the title character in...)
NC (vo): ...The Cat in the Hat. From shot one, he looks miserable, trying to act as best he can, but he clearly doesn't have the physical range that Carrey does.
(Cut back to Carrey as the Grinch)
NC (vo): This is an example of method acting really working to Carrey's benefit. And in terms of box office and a lot of people's reactions, it paid off big time. So it seems like method acting can work to his benefit as long as he's using it to the film's benefit.
(More footage of method acting in movies is shown)
NC (vo): But here's the thing: for every time over-the-top method acting gets a good performance, there's plenty of actors who can give a good performance without it.
(Another clip of The Score is shown)
NC (vo): Earlier, we talked about The Score, with the over-the-top method actor Marlon Brando, somewhere-in-the-middle method actor Robert DeNiro, and basically-no-method-acting-at-all Edward Norton.
(Cut to a clip of I Am Sam)
NC (vo): At the time, method actor Sean Penn came out with a movie called I Am Sam, the obvious Oscar bait film which was later mocked in films like (Poster for the fake movie Simple Jack is superimposed, as seen in...) Tropic Thunder.
NC: As well as, let's be honest, The Score.
(Another clip of I Am Sam is shown)
NC (vo): You see, Penn would go on and on about the importance of method acting and all the preparation getting into character...
(Cut to a clip of Jack Teller and Nick Wells, played by Edward Norton and Robert DeNiro respectively, in The Score)
NC (vo): ...when, right in front of you, within a second, Edward Norton could produce the exact same thing.
Jack: Okay, thank you.
Jack: Thank you, Nick.
Jack: I'm Max's guy in the customs house. We should talk.
(Cut to two alternating shots, one of Dustin Hoffman and the other of Laurence Olivier, who performed together in Marathon Man)
NC (vo): There's a famous story about Dustin Hoffman working with Laurence Olivier. Hoffman said his character was awake for three days, so he stayed up for three days, in which Olivier replied, "Have you thought about acting, dear boy?"
(Cut to an article where Hoffman had slapped Meryl Streep during the making of Kramer vs. Kramer, where it was alleged she would inform the Screen Actors Guild on Hoffman, but instead, she just acted the scene)
NC (vo): I guess he [Hoffman] did have to verbally and physically assault Meryl Streep on Kramer vs. Kramer. Oh, yeah, that's a thing!
(A clip of Sir Anthony Hopkins is shown, before we are shown another news article, this one on him complaining about method actors)
NC (vo): Anthony Hopkins, one of the great actors, goes on and on how much he hates actors who need to spend hours to get into character, wasting a production's time.
(Cut to a clip of an interview with Hopkins)
Hopkins: It's all easy, it's dead easy. All that stuff and crap that's put into acting and mystery, it's all rubbish.
NC: Even in the film An Officer and a Gentleman, said to be one of the great romances...
(A shot of that movie is shown, with its two leading actors...)
NC (vo): Richard Gere and Debra Winger apparently hated each other, but they bucked up, did what the role asked for, and went on to the next job, not needing to do acting tricks in order to fool people that their characters were in love.
(Cut to a shot of the famous Hollywood sign)
NC (vo): So, okay, we've seen method acting work, we've seen it not work, we've seen it done in small doses, we've seen it done over the top. Sometimes, more prep was needed; sometimes, more simplicity was needed.
NC: What are we supposed to take away from this? Well, in my opinion, method acting can be effective, but it's not required.
(Clips of Hopkins' interview and Jared Leto as the Joker are shown again)
NC (vo): Honestly, if it was a competition between Anthony Hopkins, who doesn't use method acting, and Jared Leto, who does, I'd pick Anthony Hopkins any day.
(More footage of method actors from all over the video is shown)
NC (vo): But with that said, we can't act like it hasn't given us some wonderful performances. Great skill is great skill, no matter how you create it. Some people can turn great acting on and off; others need a lot of prep and research. There's no wrong way, as long as the final result is something convincing.
NC: Am I against method acting in a movie? I guess not. Am I against it getting in the way of other people's work? Absolutely.
NC (vo): To me, it's the same as showing up late on set or not knowing your lines; it's an unnecessary roadblock that slows everything down and puts people in a bad mood. So, will there still be jokes about method acting driving people crazy? Well, as long there are still actors that drive people crazy, sure. But will there also be great performances that come from it? I think you can definitely count on that, too. After all, it is still a form of preparation. (A shot of two doctors about to perform a surgery is superimposed) It's like if two doctors walked in, performing heart surgery: one can do it with ease, but the other needs more time to prepare. Neither is wrong as long as the results are the same and nothing is harmed in the process.
(A shot of a man wearing a mask and stage makeup for a stage performance is shown)
NC (vo): But, if the question is, when is method acting needed and when is it not, that's an answer only the performer...
(Cut to a shot of an audience in a movie theater)
NC (vo): ...and the audience can answer.
NC: I'm the Nostalgia Critic and... (A thought comes to him) Hey. Next month is March. (becomes excited) You know what that means! SPIDER-MONTH!!!
(As techno music plays, he dances and grooves in his seat, then gets up and leaves, still dancing and grooving. Then we cut to black)
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire): (audio from Spider-Man) I hunch.
(The Channel Awesome logo is shown before the credits roll)