Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and method acting

You would need to be living in a remote area of the Amazon not to have heard about this ongoing trial.

I saw a segment of it the other day, which interested me from an acting point of view.

Johnny Depp was asked how he first met her and told the story.

It turns out he first came into contact with her because he auditioned her for a film he would appear in, The Rum Diary.

Depp was also a producer on the film and wanted to ensure that she was the right fit. In particular, he said that he needed to feel that she would be capable of killing his character. Within the first few minutes of meeting her, he thought that she was suitable, but there was an issue when she acted in the audition scenes.

She wouldn’t keep still.

Depp said, “There was something very important that she had to learn about stillness as opposed to…acting a little too much.”

Yip, and there is the age-old problem that even pro actors appearing in Hollywood films have to deal with, which is overacting.

Depp is, without doubt, one of the most talented actors to work on screen, and yes, he is a method actor.

He knows that “acting” in the traditional sense is death to a performance. It needs to be much deeper than just trying to play the role by indicating through gestures and grimaces to the audience.

He also previously gave this advice about acting:

“The most difficult part about acting is just to be—to be in a state of being.”

Ah, there we are. The truth about how great acting is achieved is told in that one sentence.

The actor needs to be.

How do you achieve that?

By being completely still and present.

For many an actor, this seems like a fate worse than death. They don’t believe that you can achieve anything by being still and present, so continue to gesticulate and pretend.

The best actors in the world know different and so do I.

As you probably know, my Timoney Method® Acting Cycle involves Presence, Perception and Impulse.

It’s the key to delivering deep and authentic work.