The Actor’s Roundtable
What do you get when you place several A-list actors in an actor’s roundtable and ask them a question about acting and life? You get some amazing advice and insight sprinkled with humor and drama. The Hollywood Reporter roundtable conducted an interview with Tom Hanks (Big, Toy Story), Adam Driver (‘Marriage Story”), Shia LaBeouf (‘Honey Boy‘), Robert De Niro (‘The Irishman‘), Jamie Foxx (‘Just Mercy‘), and Adam Sandler (‘Uncut Gems).
Collectively this group represents hundreds of blockbuster movies and billions of dollars made at the box office. This group includes both comedians and more dramatic actors. Many of these actors have done both types of movies.
It’s a real treat to be able to experience a candid look at actors talking about their craft and make what they do relatable. Being able to hear what they are thinking as they approach various roles is really fun. It sort of feels like we were able to sneak into an exclusive poker game that’s celebrity invite-only or that we are hanging out behind the curtains of a play.
Challenges as an Actor
Adam Sandler reveals in the actor’s roundtable one of the most difficult things for him to do as an actor is to laugh on cue. He would rather do anything else than that. The response from the interviewer was what about crying on cue? Sandler chuckled and said, “Ok, maybe that one is difficult for me too.”
Adam Driver’s stance on it is you can’t push for emotion. You either have it or you don’t. Driver went on to emphasize the importance of a good script. If the language is descriptive enough and it’s written well enough, then you can begin to feel those emotions. When you are thinking about the character and the character’s history, you begin to better understand how they would react at that moment.
Shia LaBeouf explains how Honey Boy was a make or break movie role for him. It was a do or die moment. He had been in and out of a mental institution to deal with trauma from his past. The film is based on his own experience as a child actor. Many of you will recall his upbringing in Disney shows like Even Stevens.
LaBeouf wrote the script himself and had largely been shunned by Hollywood without any new projects available. The success of Honey Boy was the boost He needed to reboot his movie career.
LaBeouf recalls how convinced his father to let him make the movie. In order to get permission to make the movie, LaBeouf told his dad that he would get Mel Gibson to portray him in the movie. Tom Hanks responded by saying, “Who wouldn’t want to be played by Mel Gibson?”
The Perfect Advice given at the Actor’s Roundtable
In the midst of the interview, the actors were asked, “ What advice would you give to your younger selves?” Tom Hanks might have given the perfect advice for a world dealing with the Coronavirus. Tom Hanks’ advice to his younger self was,” This too shall pass.” You have fame and fortune right now….this too shall pass. You had a bad day or bad reviews, this too shall pass.
Many of the others at the actor’s roundtable nodded their heads and agreed with the advice. This wasn’t the only advice given.
Jaime Foxx talks about giving advice to Eddie Murphy on getting back into comedy. He said, “ First you need to fix your house….I keep stuff at my house that doesn’t work so that I stay funny.” It’s true there is a lot of humor that comes from bad things happening to you. It’s a much more difficult task to be funny if everything in life is going well.
They continued on to talk about politics and roles they have recently portrayed including Tom Hanks portrayal of Mr. Rogers in ‘A beautiful day in the neighborhood.’ This turned out to be a fun interview with laughs and even clinical breakdowns of various elements of acting. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in character development, storytelling or screenwriting. Honestly, even if you’re just a fan of movies this is a great interview to watch.