AMM International correspondent, Nicholas Porcelli, reflects on an acting idol’s words of wisdom
We were at a reception sponsored by a production company that produced Robert Duvall’s movie The Judge. We got there early, before most of the other guests arrived, so we were just kind of standing at the bar alone. I introduced myself and we ended up talking for a good half hour.
Among the things we talked about was the acting process, which he said he usually doesn’t like to discuss at big parties but because I had studied for years with a teacher whom he had worked with back in the 60s and much admired, he didn’t mind addressing a few things about the process, and how it has changed for him over the years. I remember one thing he said in particular.
“Back in the day, early on when I started getting parts in movies I would always be very focused on preparing, emotionally and physically for my scene. I’d go over and over the lines. I wouldn’t talk to anyone. Then years later I found that if I prepared much earlier and if I had a good rehearsal, it didn’t matter what I was doing on set before the shoot. I could be drinking coffee and talking about yesterdays game, horses, or about the weather. When I got my queue I can step in front of the camera and I still get the same results as I did when I was starting out.”
Later I realized what I think he was saying is, “if you’ve got it, it’ll always be there.”
Nicholas Porcelli is an actor, writer, and director. Mr. Porcelli’s film, “Behaving Badly” was recently screened at the Capri International Film Festival.