Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tips from Russell Crowe

I've always been a fan of Russell Crowe. He's enormously talented and I love his movies. I happened to see a video on YouTube of him being interviewed for "Inside the Actor's Studio." This was done a few years ago, but something he said about character really struck me, and I realized that it can pertain to writers and our characters, as well.

Here's one nugget of gold: "Serve the character, not yourself." In other words, take yourself out of the equation. In your novel/short story/etc., have your character do what your character would do - not what YOU would do in that particular situation.

Here's another really good piece of advice:

"You fall in love with your character, you miss out on the opportunity of showing up their faults. Be objective about the character - it's those faults that make that person an individual...make he or she a human being."

Bingo. In acting as well as in writing, our characters need to be fully human. Don't fall in love with them and overlook their faults. Your character will come out as one-dimensional and unbelievable.

I love the parallels between creative worlds - acting, painting, writing, photography, etc. There's so much knowledge to be gained from taking a glimpse into a creative career that is not your own.


16 comments:

  1. Love this. This is why I've always said I've learned more about how to write from watching actors than from any classes, etc. I ever took on writing (and I majored in writing at college).

    Also a Russell Crowe fan! :-D

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    1. It's amazing how they sort of spill over into each other. I think that's why so many creative people dabble in different art forms instead of just exclusively doing one. They complement each other well.

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  2. I love Russel Crowe!!! Les Miserables wasn't my favorite but all his others, WHOW.

    I will definitely need to find this video on YouTube.

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    1. I haven't seen Les Mis yet, and don't know if I will. But he is such a terrific actor. I really liked Mystery, Alaska. Great, fun film.

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  3. Food for thought. I maintain a slight disdain for one of my characters --maybe that's not such a bad thing?! Also, possibly need to go back and look at whether or not I'm allowing all those likeable characters to really be themselves. Hmmm...

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    1. I don't think it's a bad thing at all. It's harder to do bad things to our characters - i.e. conflict - if we don't want to put them through misery. :)

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  4. Great points and very true!
    My dad also likes Russell Crowe and will quote Gladiator endlessly whether his "audience" wants to hear it or not.

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    1. It's such a good film. I can't watch it very often because I shamelessly weep at the end. :)

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  5. Very good tips, those. Thanks Melissa - will make a note of them!

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  6. Great post! It's too easy to sympathize with a character, then losing perspective. One never knows from where the nuggets will fall!

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    1. When I started watching the video, I had no idea that I'd get a great writing tip out of it. =D

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  7. Such good advice. I particularly like the one on not loving your characters. It's an easy trap to fall into, especially with main characters. I've struggled with this a lot.
    Thanks for sharing this, Melissa.

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  8. Great advice, I really need to follow this during my present edits.

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