Doremus employs raw and organic acting
Posted October 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm in Lifestyle
For the majority of actors working in Hollywood, the process is familiar: Read the script, memorize it and act it out in front of the camera.
For the actors in Like Crazy, itâs a different story.
Hoping to capture the lust, pain and tender emotions of young love, director Drake Doremus allows his actors to use improvisation to create more organic performances.
âWhatâs exciting is when the actors listen to each other and let things happen organically â amazing, real, true moments will sort of happen,â Doremus said.
The two stars of the film, Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin, knew improvising wouldnât be easy. They managed, however, to harness that anxiety to create more realistic performances.
âI think it was a little bit nerve-wracking but that was kind of what was exciting,â Jones said. âItâs challenging with [something] neither one of us has ever done before.â
The roles, however, could not have been acted with spontaneity alone.
âPreparation is vital for something like this,â Jones said. âYou have to make sure you have a very clear understanding of who the character is and their journey.â
Yelchin believes the spontaneity allows for audiences to more powerfully connect with the film.
âWeâve been really moved because we made the movie in a bubble and we just did it as an experiment,â Yelchin said. âPeople can take away [a look] at their own lives and [a look] at their own sense of love.â
Though the filmâs writing credits list Doremus and Ben York Jones, it can be argued they acted as more of a guiding force than traditional writers do.
âThe writing process mostly entails trying to come up with scene objectives, emotional plot points, subtext, things like that â the dialogue comes later,â Doremus said. âWhatâs more important during the writing process is to outline the characters and define them and figure out what the story is.â
The filmâs production is not the only difference. Many films about long-distance relationships tend to put a more comedic spin on things, but Doremus wanted to portray a different side.
âThere are not a lot of movies that really explore [long-distance relationships] in an honest and raw way,â Doremus said.
Doremus found the actors performed more organically when a scene was thought to be finished.
âWhenever I think Iâd got it, Iâd still kind of let it roll for a few minutes just to see what might happen because you never know,â Doremus said. âItâs kind of amazing what happens to actors when theyâre dumbfounded and they donât know what to do.â
Like Crazy is only Doremusâ third feature, but it has garnered significant praise. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and Jones won the Special Grand Jury Prize for Acting.
âI think that [the awards and praise are] very exciting,â Jones said. âWe just wanted to make sure that we made a film that was as honest and as brave as possible.â
Yelchin, a veteran of indie flicks and big budget films such as Star Trek, The Smurfs and Fright Night, is happy a project he has so much passion for is receiving such high praise.
âYou know, this is a different experience,â Yelchin said. âItâs very intimate, and you sort of disappear into this magical cocoon of improvisation that you have so much freedom in.â
Though Doremus is thankful for the praise, the end goal was not awards or recognition. It was to show the importance of love in the most natural way possible.
âHopefully, [the film] feels like itâs almost a documented relationship that we stole and presented to you,â Doremus said.
Like Crazy hits theaters Friday.