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Acting Is A Very Rewardrobing Job

Updated on June 9, 2016

A Masterclass From The Worlds Greatest Actors And Actresses

This short, but indispensable article is for all the potential actors and actresses out there who would like a masterclass on how to perfect the craft.

Imagine going to the Oscars and being able to ask any film or TV star if they could offer you some advice. Well, you don't need to. I've only gone and done it for you. Based on interviews, here are 15 of the worlds greatest answering the question : "What advice would you give to a young actor or actress?"

Harrison Ford : Clip Thanks to

Starred in The Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Star Wars.

He says you need to figure out how to do it for yourself. Never be caught with the idea that you can imitate somebody else's success. No matter how much you admire what they do, find your own way. He tells you to find your own voice. That will give you a unique opportunity.

Helen Mirran

Starred in The Queen and Prime Suspect.

Helen's advice is short and sweet (or maybe not sweet). She advises don't be up your own bum.

Tom Hanks

Starred in Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan.

Tom's advice is to put in 60% instinct and 40% energy. Start examining the text. Learn to take your time and do the interior work yourself, which you can do alone. Plan a mode of attack.

This is from someone who has been an A-list actor for, possibly, his entire career.

Christopher Plummer

Starred in The Sound Of Music and The Insider

"I just say go do plays, go into the theatre where you can learn your craft. You'll learn how to act for the camera. To know the theatre gives you such confidence."

Jack Klugman


This reflects advice from Jack Klugman who says the theatre is where you can learn your craft. He advises to play it different every night. Angry one night, angrier the day after, not so angry after that. That's how you get to learn a multi-dimensional role.

Danny DeVito also recommends learning your craft at the theatre.

Judi Dench

Starred in Skyfall and Shakespeare in Love.

Dame Judi Dench says that one of the most important things is staying determined. It's best to watch actors you admire and, if possible, to get their opinions on your representation of characters.

Robert De Niro

Starred in Goodfellas and Taxi Driver

This advice comes from a man who has won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor awards at the Oscars as well as being a nominee multiple times.

"It's simpler than you think. Actors think you have to do more. You don't have to do anything. Just use the expression on your face that you have. Actors try to give it something, but you don't have to give it anything."

George Takai

Starred in Star Trek and Mulan.

He says you must be prepared for rejection. Rejection is the one thing that's guaranteed and you have to be strong enough and resilient enough to be able to bounce back after each rejection. Each time you are rejected have the same confidence and belief in your energy and enthusiasm. Very important to be dedicated and polish your craft.

Polishing your craft is a phrase you'll hear time and time again, whatever branch of expertise you are hoping to master.

Michael Caine

Starred in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Cider House Rules.

"Choose one eye. Don't go from eye to eye. You look at the person opposite with your left eye into their left eye, leaving your right eye in the camera or vice versa. Never swap eyes."

Kevin Spacey

Starred in The Usual Suspects and American Beauty.

"Experience of being an actor is one in which you are able to put yourself in someone else's shoes and try to plant seeds about what a writer's ideas are and what a writer is trying to say."

Andie McDowell

Starred in Groundhog Day and Four Weddings And A Funeral.

She would never tell anybody what to do. When she began being an actress, if she would have had to do nude scenes she probably wouldn't have done it. She thinks nudity is expected by the studios now and finds that appalling. Her advice is not to do nudity scenes if you want respect as an actress.

Cecil B. Demille

Directed Samson And Delilah and The Ten Commandments

As a director he'd tell you : You haven't got one chance in 10,000, but he'd also tell you to stick to your guns. To win, be true to your ideals. When your chance comes be sure you're ready for it. Work, learn a great art and how to express that fire within. You see you're ready when your chance comes.

Stuart Aitkins is present day casting director. He says that if he reads someone's resume and they haven't done a lot of work, but they've done a lot of training that's going to look better than someone who has done no training. Naturalism is not acting, it's not drama. Drama is reality with all the boring bits taken out. He wants to see you read text, but he wants the subtext too.

Robert Redford

Starred in Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and Brubaker

Robert's advice is to watch and observe people, observe human behaviour. Pay attention to life around you.

Michael York

Starred in Cabaret and The island Of Dr Moreau.

He says that you must believe in yourself and your ability to succeed, because you're going to enter a profession where lots of people are not going to believe in you. They are going to reject you. So, you have to have this firm core of belief that one day you're going to succeed.


Gary Oldman

Starred in True Romance and the Harry Potter Films.

His tip is short and yet just as relevant as any of the other advice given: Show up on time. It backs up Woody Allen's quote; "80% of success is showing up."

Denzil Washington

Starred in Malcolm X and Flight.

Denzil's guidance mirrors what many famous actors and actresses have acknowledged. That you have to learn how to act, dance, sing and move on stage. That is the only place you learn how to act.

Exit Stage Left

There you are. Fifteen of the worlds greatest actors and actresses giving you the help and inspiration to become a success. I wish you all the best of luck and hope to see you soon on the silver screen or, at least a bit-part in a soap. Everybodys got to start somewhere, just ask any of the above film stars.

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    • Li Perry profile image

      Li Perry 2 years ago

      This has really given me some food for thought, Thank you! Great post!

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