If you’re taking acting classes in Manchester or elsewhere, you’d better make sure you learn your lines – or you might end up incurring the wrath of Bafta-winning actor Bill Nighy!
Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, the 67-year-old actor explained that it’s now become something of a trend for film and theatre thespians alike to refuse to learn their lines on purpose because they think – mistakenly – that it’ll improve their performance on the day.
Bill was quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying: “If you’re doing anything, whether it’s a play or a film, learn every single word that you have to say backwards forwards and sideways before you go into a rehearsal room and before you go on a film set.
“That might sound like an obvious thing, but it’s not currently: there is a fashion for not knowing your lines. It’s been invented by people who don’t want to do their homework, even as a creative choice.”
Learning lines can be difficult and it can be a chore, but it’s an absolutely vital skill if you’re going to make it as an actor. Read through them to yourself a few times but then start reading them aloud as this will really help them stick.
Reading them with a friend can also be helpful (and a lot of fun), since they’ll be able to correct mistakes, give you cues and help you with any tricky parts. Moving about while you read them out loud can also be beneficial as a memory aid – try to feel the emotions of the part you’re playing so you can gain a greater understanding of the meaning of the words.