February 2, 2010

Sir Ian McKellan explains what acting is.



A brilliant bit from the Ricky Gervais sitcom — not to be confused with a "shitcom" — "Extras," the first 2 seasons of which we've been watching/rewatching on HBO Video on Demand.

ADDED: The source for that coinage:
Darren: It’s shit. It’s a shit sitcom.
Andy: It’s a shitcom.

20 comments:

Leather Daddy said...

Once at the Hoist, Sir Ian told me he was only acting when the arm of the man standing at the other end of Sir Ian mysteriously disappeared up to the elbow.

Sir Ian, do holler when you're in the city again! We'd love to learn more of your acting tips!

Chris said...

This is pretty much the same as the apocryphal story about Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man living on the street for 3 days to prepare for his role and Laurence Olivier saying wouldn't it be easier to just act.

traditionalguy said...

Does this post attack Obama's Presidential acting skill? So what he reads his words off teleprompters? It is a hard enough job to act like an American President when you are carefully working to make a ruin out of the place. Memorising his script should be optional. Don't you want him to succeed?

Rick Lee said...

I'm not sure how many episodes of Extras I saw. I need to get that DVD. I'm curious... did any of the famous guest stars NOT play the fool?

rhhardin said...

But they're not pretending.

Just as puppets aren't pretending in a puppet show.

MadisonMan said...

This is hilarious! I love the people in the background listening raptly like Sir Ian is dropping pearls of wisdom or something.

Thanks for the day's guffaw.

ricpic said...

Spoken with a posh enough Brit accent any banality sounds deep man, deep.

Sheepman said...

That was one of the funnier epoisodes. My favorite was the one with Kate Winslett playing a nun. She correctly predicted that being in a holacoust film would win her an Oscar.

bagoh20 said...

I knew it!

kynefski said...

My favorite was the one with Kate Winslett playing a nun. She correctly predicted that being in a holacoust film would win her an Oscar.

short clip

Freeman Hunt said...

Oh, what a great show. That was one of the funniest bits.

This may be the funniest bit I've ever seen in a television show. (Better in the context of the episode.)

Chris said...

David Bowie. Where is the modern David Bowie. Am I just old? And fat. And pugnosed.

The Crack Emcee said...

I am the modern David Bowie - minus the flirtation with fascism, of course.

I could easily go there if it helps, though,...

chuck b. said...

You should find little YouTube snippets of House. The commenters would go fucking nuts. 200 comments for sure.

Mark in Spokane said...

Well, Sir Ian has been a consistent critic of "method" acting for decades. This was a pretty funny way for him to get his basic concept of the acting process across.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark in Spokane said...

I found two things particularly funny:

1) He kept referring to himself as "Sir Ian."

2) He wipes away a tear after he finishes up his description of the acting process as an "illusion."

locomotivebreath1901 said...

Ian McKellan explains what acting is? That performance was pretty pedestrian. Real life is much more educational.

To whit: Ian McKellan pretending to be a respectable adult when he's merely a petulant homosexual who rips up hotel Bibles in a cathartic attempt to assuage his troubled mind.

Now that's entertainment!

JC said...

I think it was Max Beerbohm who said "I pretend, madam, I pretend"

luagha said...

My personal favorite was when Michael Caine was being interviewed and asked a similar question about acting. He said,

"The key.
To great acting.
Is to never.
Say any more.
Than three words.
At one time."

Now whenever I see him doing it in a movie I can't stop laughing.