The kind of emotionally intense work actors do can impact their private lives as well.
And emotional and psychological issues in turn can impact how authentic and powerful your acting can be.
Kristen Bell noted years ago how much of an impact acting can have on an actor:
“It’s sort of a weird profession.. in that it manipulates your emotions.
“You’re not crying about anything you care about, but you still have the cry inside you, that feeling of sadness you had to go through to produce the tears.
“It affects your body and your emotions more than it does mentally.
“So you find that when you’re playing a really dark character, you come home with all this s—.
“You’re like, ‘Why am I edgy? Why am I needy?’
“It’s because you take it home. You don’t mean to, but… If you’re dedicated, you do end up taking some of that home.”
[tvguide.com May 2, 2006]
Nicole Kidman has commented about the kind of intense work she does in, for example, portraying Virginia Woolf:
“Unfortunately the thing that makes me want to be an actor, in terms of wanting to be consumed, is also what can destroy you because it becomes almost too hard.”
[Hollywood Reporter, Nov. 13, 2003]
Acclaimed for her immersion in roles, Jennifer Jason Leigh has admitted,
“I think I live in this mythical world where doing the parts I do is not going to hurt me, and telling people my age is not going to hurt me.
“And it actually does. It’s a bit sick-making but, you know, I can’t change who I am.” [imdb.com bio]
Cate Blanchett has said that leaving intense, dark characters like Veronica Guerin and going back to a more balanced real life is vital, and easier to do if you’re a mother of a young child:
“You have to switch off at the end of the day because there’s a little creature that needs you and I found that quite educational.”
But, she added, “I have a very healthy relationship to my work and I find that if a scene is working, no matter how intense it is, you have the catharsis on screen and you can let it go.
“I think it’s if at the end of the day you feel like you haven’t cracked it, that’s when you go home and it’s more difficult to switch off.” [darkhorizons.com interview Nov 25th, 2003]
Psychologist Mihaela Ivan Holtz works with creative people in TV/Film, performing and fine arts.
She writes on her site about the values of counseling for creative people:
“Creating or performing is what makes you feel alive, fulfilled, and in touch with who you really are. It gives your life meaning and purpose.
“You know from deep in your soul that you are talented and skilled.
“Yet, you find yourself feeling unhappy and stuck in issues that are not allowing you to be the true creative or performer that you are.”
See more in article Creative People and Counseling for More Emotional Health and Creativity.
See many more articles on Actors and Performers.
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