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Method to the madness

NEETI SARKAR
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Chat Hollywood's acting guru Rob Reece will now teach Indian students a thing or two about method acting

All about acting Rob Reece
All about acting Rob Reece

H e's proved his mettle as an actor as well as a director in films, television and theatre, for nearly four decades, has worked with industry stalwarts such as Jonathan Demme, Martin Landeau, Eric Morris, Sydney Pollack, Lee Strasberg, John Sturgess, Michael Caine, and Clint Eastwood, and is a life-time member of the U.S.-based The Actors Studio and the Screen Actors Guild.

Often referred to as Hollywood's acting guru, Rob Reece recently donned a new responsibility of moulding potential actors in India — he's joined as HoD, Actors' Studio, at Whistling Woods International (WWI).

Says an excited Rob: “Working with Indian students from different walks of life and from various parts of the country, unified by the sole objective of being trained professionally as actors, is a new and enriching experience.”

Since establishing his workshop and production company in 1980, Rob Reece has been a leading proponent of Method Acting derived from Constantin Stanislavski, Lee Strasberg, Tibetan Zen, Depth Psychology, Theory of Holes and Actors Studio. He has introduced this to students at WWI through a series of intensive classes and workshops. Rob's teaching includes exposure to a variety of specific craft tools and his highly-charged style encourages the open expression of the actor's deepest emotions.

“While most people think acting has very little to do with portraying who one really is, a good actor is someone who can be real, who can dig into himself, his script and his character and portray that on screen. Some people are born actors; others are made with the passing of time. The important thing is to realise that no actor has it all or knows it all. One needs to practise his craft regularly.”

His take on Bollywood? “The fact that it has a huge fan following shows that people appreciate the dance sequences and played-up acrobatics which differentiate the Indian film industry from Hollywood. Plus, there's immense talent here. Directors and actors are making their mark with topical films that are given varied yet skilled treatment. Indian actors have become more visible abroad too.”

On the flipside, Rob thinks that “there is a tendency to veer away from realism”. Rob knows what he's talking about, having watched a whole lot of Bollywood flicks, across genres. “I still have a long way to go, but I've watched ‘Iqbal', ‘My Name is Khan', ‘Black', ‘Rajneeti', ‘Peepli Live' and many of Dilip Kumar's movies. I thoroughly enjoy watching movies made in India. I'm still working on pronouncing them correctly, though!” he laughs.

NEETI SARKAR

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