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Method acting has become one of the most well-known techniques in the industry, thanks to its world-famous supporters, including Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro.

However, this form of acting has come under fire in the past, as some people think it could be potentially dangerous for the actor involved. 

Lee Strasberg developed The Method to help students prepare for roles. They have to “use their physical, mental and emotional self in the creation of a character”. 

Actors do this by embracing their character’s role wholeheartedly until they are no longer playing it. 

For instance, Daniel Day Lewis stayed in solitary confinement while shooting In The Name Of The Father. He also insisted on only using a wheelchair and being spoon-fed during the filming of My Left Foot. 

According to a 2019 literature review, getting so involved in the life of a character could potentially result in an alteration of personality for the actor. 

Cognitive neuroscientist at University College London Dwaynica Greaves said: “It has been reported in mainstream media that acting techniques such as method acting can have severe effects on an actor’s mental health.”

What’s more, research published by the Royal Society Open Science revealed actors’ ability to self-process lowered when responding in their character. 

Therefore, activity in their dorsomedial and ventromedial prefrontal cortex is suppressed so long as they are heavily committed to their acting. 

Ms Greaves stated that different acting techniques influence how close actors become to their character, adding: “This distance will then determine whether there are long- or short-term effects on the sense of self.”

Taking acting classes in Liverpool can teach different techniques, enabling you to discover which one works best for you. 

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