15. Against the Grain

15. Against the Grain
Against the Grain

Against the Grain

GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN

 “Actors often play ‘against the grain’ of a scene; that is, they approach the scene not from the obvious approach but from the unobvious approach. For example, they'll play an "angry" scene smiling softly, hiding their rage or anger beneath a façade of niceness. Brando was a master at this”(167 Field).

“When you're approaching a scene, look for a way that dramatizes the scene against the grain’ or a location that could make it visually interesting. In Silver Streak, Colin Higgins wrote a love scene between Jill Clayburgh and Gene Wilder in which they talk about flowers! It's beautiful. Orson Welles, in The Lady from Shanghai, plays a love scene with Rita Hayworth in an aquarium, in front of sharks and barracudas” (167-168 Field).

 

Knowing the story enables an actor to know what’s required of the performance in the scene. “An actor approaches a scene by finding out what he's doing there-his purpose-then where he's coming from, and then where he's going after the scene concludes. What is his/her purpose in the scene? Why is he/she there? To move the story forward or to reveal information about the character?” (167 Field).

Actors often approach a scence not from the obvious approach but from the unobvious approach T

It is a good idea for an actor to look for ways to dramatize a scene by going against the grain T

A writer can also go against the grain. For example, a serious scene can be written in an odd or even funny location T

An actor determines what is required in a scene by contemplating the purpose of his or her actions to the story T