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Method acting has been used by some of the best actors and actresses for decades, who believe adopting the habits and personalities of their character is the best way to give a first class performance. However, some stars have now spoken out against Method acting, making trainee actors and actresses question the tried and tested technique.

Dustin Hoffman famously refused to sleep for three days when filming Marathon Man, so he could play his character, who was sleep-deprived, as authentically as he could.

However, in response to this, British stage and movie actor Laurence Olivier said: “My dear boy, why don’t you just try acting?”

Charlize Theron, who won an Oscar for her role in Monster, for which she did Method acting, has also criticised the technique.

Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, she said she found it exhausting and did not enable her to delve into the roles properly. Instead, by having a break from her characters when not filming she is now “living and breathing in the moment” when she portrays them in front of the camera.

English actor Martin Freeman, who has starred in a huge variety of productions, including The Hobbit, Love Actually, The Office, and Sherlock, is also a critique.

He told audiences of the Off Menu podcast that using Method is more “academic”, saying Method performances are “aggrandising, selfish [and] narcissistic”.

Despite their criticisms of the art, there are plenty of global actors and actresses who favour the technique. These include Robert De Niro, who worked as a cabbie for Taxi Driver and fought in boxing matches before shooting Raging Bull.

Christian Bale lived off just an apple and a can of tuna per day when filming The Machinist, while Forest Whitaker learnt Swahili, only ate bananas and beans, and remained in character during the entire production of The Last King of Scotland.

Brush up on your skills by enrolling in acting schools in Liverpool.

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