I was always told that you couldn’t play mad, sad, bad or glad because they are not characters, they are states that people can be in from time to time.
If you play a character as sad it’s one-dimensional. That’s dull to watch – a bit like playing just one note on the piano when there are so many other interesting possibilities. I like it when characters have opposite traits in them, they suddenly become much more interesting – for instance very angry but also wanting to laugh. It sounds impossible but It becomes intriguing and much more like real life because we know people can be contradictory. It’s that quality that makes them interesting.
I’m totally hooked on a Netflix TV series called “Call My Agent.” It’s French with subtitles and very addictive because the characters are so endearing. They seem so real and believable and a big part of that is the not-knowing-what they will do next. As agents (and there are loads of famous French actors knocking around as well) they are expected to be a bit off the wall anyway – and the scrapes they get into can be laugh out loud serious or fingers in mouth funny.
All of human life is there – love, betrayal, complications, suspense and it sums well what I love about drama whether it’s in the theatre or on the screen. If it’s done well, I get carried away with it and excited by what is going to happen next. So much so that when the 4th and last series ends (I’m only two episodes away) I shall miss the characters as I miss some people – and they are not even speaking my language. That’s the power of great drama – it’s universal.
I’ll have to come back down to earth again. For me TV boxsets have been a godsend in the lockdown. I don’t binge watch. One episode a day is enough for me but you find yourself looking forward to it and wondering what will happen. Rationing it means I have so much choice when I move on.
I think the contribution to our collective lives by the dramas, soaps and mini-series are huge. They’ve played a big part in helping people carry on. Stories are important in our lives. I’ve always thought that’s why some people need gossip. It’s the story they want and sometimes we like to see people going through a bit of misery because it makes us feel better about ourselves?
You can’t play mad, sad, bad or glad but you could have a go at all of them at once.
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