Is Hollywood Finally Over Method Acting?

Martin Freeman recently called out Jim Carrey for his "amateurish" method while shooting "Man on the Moon"

Jim Carrey at a screening of "Sonic The Hedgehog" in California
Jim Carrey attends a screening of "Sonic The Hedgehog" at Regency Village Theatre on February 12, 2020 in Westwood, California.
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Method acting has been a trendy technique among Serious Actor types for decades now. But while some see the act of remaining in character in-between takes as a sign of being devoted to one’s craft, others find it rather pretentious and annoying. The latter seems to be the prevailing feeling these days, if a new interview with The Hobbit actor Martin Freeman is any indication.

Freeman took issue with Jim Carrey’s infamous decision to go Method while filming the 1999 Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon. Carrey’s controversial approach — remaining in character and insisting on being called “Andy” while on set — was captured in the 2017 behind-the-scenes doc Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond.

“For me, and I’m genuinely sure Jim Carrey is a lovely and smart person, but it was the most self-aggrandizing, selfish, fucking narcissistic bollocks I have ever seen,” Freeman said in an episode of the podcast Off Menu. “The idea anything in our culture would celebrate that or support it is deranged, literally deranged.”

“I am a very lapsed Catholic but if you believe in transubstantiation, then you’re going somewhere along the line of ‘I became the character,’” he continued. “No, you didn’t, you’re not supposed to become the fucking character because you’re supposed to be open to stuff than happens in real life because someone at some stage is going to say ‘cut’ and there’s no point going ‘What does ‘cut’ mean because I’m Napoleon?’ Shut up.”

Freeman didn’t pull any punches, going on to imply that Method Acting is a crutch and that any decent actor should be able to get in and out of character with ease. “You need to keep grounded in reality, and that’s not to say you don’t lose yourself in between action and cut, but the rest of it is absolutely pretentious nonsense,” he said. “It’s highly amateurish; it’s essentially an amateurish notion because for me it’s not a professional attitude. Get the job done man, fucking do your work.”

Freeman also suggested that if Carrey weren’t a big celebrity, people would be a lot less likely to put up with his on-set shenanigans.

“He should have got fired,” he said. “Can you imagine if he had been anybody else? He would have been sectioned, let alone fired, he would have been got rid of. It’s the ridiculous leeway given to some people.”

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