Working Title: You Are Wrong! This is Way Harder…

That’s what she said…just kidding.This week Will Leschber re-poses an old acting discussion: Which is more difficult…

So I’m in the middle of my Arizona Baby Shower (the wife is from Connecticut and I hail from Arizona, so obviously we had to have two parties to celebrate the impending arrival of our little one). The Seahawks have just clinched the NFC West division title and underneath this oversized, wall-mounted television, I’m much more interested in bouncing a conversation off two old friends. The topic of Oscar nominations came up, which then breached into which was a harder acting feat: Portraying a real person or creating an original character? This is something that actors across the stage and screen deal with uniformly.

One fell into the camp stating, creating an entirely new person without reference point to another is much greater acting challenge. The optional choices are vast, the canvas is wide and narrowing down a unique yet compelling performance is formidable! He felt that award season much more regularly congratulates actors who play real life counter parts and this is a shame. (Often those parts entail someone with a disability or a physical ailment or a larger than life historical figure…but as Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder will tell you…

RDJ pic

The other friend vehemently disagreed… there’s a reason people often win an award portraying real life individuals; because playing a real person allows a one to one mirror comparison to occur for an easier evaluation. When they get it wrong, you can see immediately! Not only do they have to recreate this persons voice and movement to a ‘T’, but they also have to create a living breathing person within the mimicry. Much more to master and much more room for error when playing a real person. Hands down this was harder, he argued.

I, being the well balanced Libra that I am, think they are both right and equally wrong. Ultimately I think this discussion is more productive when whittled down to specific performances (say, Eddie Redmayne portraying Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything vs Michael Keaton playing a fictional actor in Birdman) BUT I find the discussion on a broad scale endlessly interesting.

As we embark on award seasons this is a fun thing that is sure to get kicked around… I’m more interested in what you guys think. As long as there are opinions to be had and preferences to play into, this discussion will unfold to no end. SO tell me what you think!

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