“Another Round” and the Art of Acting Drunk on Film

It's more challenging than you might think

Acting drunk is a skill all its own.
Johann Trasch/Unsplash

Thomas Vinterberg’s film Another Round has earned plenty of acclaim since its domestic release earlier this year. Given that the film’s plot includes prodigious amounts of drinking, it left the cast with something of a dilemma: how do you act convincingly drunk on screen without actually getting drunk in the process?

Turns out that’s a specialty that actors must learn like anything else. A new article by Nicholas Barber at the BBC ventures into the world of acting drunk while being sober. Barber spoke with the cast and crew of Another Round to learn more about what they did, and from the outset, he was assured that the actors were, well, acting.

“If you do one or two scenes in a film when you are supposed to be very drunk, you might have a beer to get the feel of it, but we were doing this every day for 60 days, so that would be a no-go,” star Mads Mikkelsen told Barber.

The cast prepared for the film by being recorded while drinking, so that they could get a sense of how they behaved after varying amounts of drinks. Mikkelsen also relied on YouTube for his preparation — specifically, what appears to be a subculture of Russian men posting videos of themselves getting drunk. Some of the cast would also spin around, making themselves dizzy before the cameras started rolling.

It’s a fascinating look inside a surprisingly rigorous process, and it’s juxtaposed with accounts of shooting other booze-heavy films, such as Withnail & I. It’s also an intriguing exploration of drunkenness itself — how it feels, how it looks and the unexpected things that can bring it on.

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