Actors that Made an Impact this Year
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On acting as a visual art form after starring in the silent film The Artist: If I could do another silent film, I would immediately, because it’s sort of the basis of acting. Even when you’re doing a talkie, you want to take out some of the lines you have. Sometimes, actually, words pollute the image, and when you don’t have the words, the camera seizes all of the emotion. So maybe there’s going to be another century of silent movies.
What he loves about being someone else for a while: I take a vacation from myself, which is really nice.
The moment he knew he had no choice but to be an actor: When I was 24, I realized I’d actually been an actor my whole life. I started really early on the playground when I was eight years old, and then I did standup in front of my friends and played characters. But it took me a while to actually make the decision, to say, “This is what I’m made to do. This is what I’m going to do.” I’m from a family that’s not at all an artistic community but more of an earthy family, so I didn’t even allow myself to think of that kind of thing as a possibility. I was always off dreaming, creating new characters, making up people to play.
On the films that continue to demonstrate the potential of cinema to him: In my work and preparation for The Artist, I watched The Crowd, and it just blew me away. It was hypnotic, the experience of watching that movie. And [recently] Like Crazy is something that really touched me. It talked about family, childhood, and it touched me in a way that went back to my own childhood.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PAT HANSEN/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES