×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell on Function of Acting: We’re Here to Entertain, Not for Awards

Should an actor take on roles that function as personally therapeutic and enriching experiences, or act solely to entertain the masses?

In a one-on-one interview for Variety‘s “Actors on Actors,” Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant contemplated this question, and discussed the ways in which a thesp should go about choosing a role. Grant, who recently starred alongside Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins,” posed alternatives to Farrell about what truly motivates an actor.

“Do you think acting is a kind of goal in itself, almost a quasi-religious experience, and it’s like therapy and you’re trying to please your fellow actors, or do you think it’s just a tool for entertaining people?” he asks.

Colin explained that although the actor and the audience experience different emotions through the film, these two experiences can balance each other out.

“I think all of the above,” Farrell explained. “I think it can be quite often a different thing for the actor than it is for the audience, but I think if there’s an experiential symbiosis between what the actor’s experiencing in their own lives and internally, and what the audience is experiencing in purveying the work that the actor presents, I think that’s a state of grace.”

Grant then posed a potential scenario.

“If you had two scripts on your desk, and one was almost certain to be a big smash hit because people would really be entertained by it, but the part’s kind of 8 out of 10, then you have one where, you know no one’s gonna see this outside the San Sebastian Film Festival, but the part is 10 out of 10, which do you choose?”

Farrell, who recently starred in the science-fiction drama “The Lobster,” explained that often times the characters in lower-budget films are able to display richer internal struggles than those in more expensive ones.

The interview will air on Variety’s “Actors on Actors,” presented by The Venetian Las Vegas, on PBS SoCal, which debuts its fifth season on Jan. 3.

More Film

  • Festival director Thierry Fremaux speaks to

    Cannes: Thierry Fremaux on the Lineup's Record Number of Female Directors, American Cinema and Political Films

    The Cannes Film Festival has unveiled a lineup for its 72nd edition that includes some high-profile Hollywood titles, genre movies and films from 13 female directors. The official selection has been applauded by many for mixing established auteurs like Pedro Almodovar (“Pain and Glory”), Terrence Malick (“A Hidden Life”) and Xavier Dolan (“Matthias and Maxime”) [...]

  • RUDOLF NUREYEV 1961

    Film Review: 'Nureyev'

    It would be absurd to say that Rudolf Nureyev lived, or danced, in anyone’s shadow. He was a man who leapt and twirled and flew onstage, all muscle but light as a feather, with a freedom and force that reconfigured the human spirit. There’s no denying, though, that over the last few decades, and especially [...]

  • Die Kinder Der Toten review

    Film Review: 'Die Kinder Der Toten'

    The hills are alive (or rather, undead), with the sound of music (also mastication and the moaning of zombies) in Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska’s experimental, dialogue-free, home-movie-style riff on Elfriede Jelinek’s “Die Kinder Der Toten” (The Children of the Dead). A seminal text in Jelinek’s native Austria, the 1995 book has never been translated [...]

  • Idol review

    Film Review: 'Idol'

    How many twists can a plot undergo before it snaps? This, more than any of the many political, moral and personal conundrums that snake through “Idol,” seems to be the question writer-director Lee Su-jin is most interested in posing with his extravagantly incomprehensible sophomore feature. A seedy political thriller by way of grisly revenge movie [...]

  • The Last to See Them review

    Film Review: 'The Last to See Them'

    Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” stretches long as a late-evening shadow over Italian director Sara Summa’s feature debut “The Last to See Them.” The Italian title, “Gli Ultimi Viderli Vivere” which translates literally to “The Last to See Them Alive,” is also the heading of the opening chapter of Capote’s book. The setting is, similarly, [...]

  • Kalank

    Film Review: ‘Kalank’

    Events leading to the 1947 Partition of India serve as the forebodingly serious backdrop for the exhaustingly overextended razzmatazz of “Kalank,” writer-director Abhishek Varman’s lavish but ponderous Bollywood extravaganza, which opened in the U.S. on more than 300 screens the same day as its Indian release. Despite the preponderance of sets and costumes spectacular enough [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92 Percent of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92 percent of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content