Movie Monologue Monday – Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

This week’s Movie Monologue Monday features something quite different from our normal offerings. This week we’re looking at a stunning performance by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

There’s a spoken monologue delivered by George Peppard, who does a fine job, by the way. But the stellar part of this scene is Hepburn’s inner monologue.

What’s an inner monologue? Glad you asked!

You know when you’re standing in line at the grocery store checkout and a string of random thoughts run through your head?

  • This cashier is slooooow!
  • Did I remember milk? (checks cart) Oh, yes I did.
  • (looking at a magazine cover) Paris Hilton did what?
  • Did my phone just buzz?
  • That Amazon order never showed up, did it?
  • Oh – gum! Do I need gum?
  • I should call Mom when I get home.
  • (looking at the person in front) All you’re buying is a case of Pespi and 20 frozen pizzas? What’s wrong with you?

That’s your inner monologue. It’s what goes on inside your head when you’re not speaking.

A great way to bring a character to life (ensemble members – I’m lookin’ at you!) is to write an inner monologue for your character.

  • Are they agreeing with what’s happening?
  • What do they want to do later?
  • What do they really want to say right now?
  • What’s stopping them from saying it?
  • What distractions do they have? (character distractions, not actor distractions)

This is the very foundation of the oft-repeated phrase “acting is reacting.”

On to Audrey. I really don’t have much to say about her performance other than her inner monologue is 100% visible. We know exactly what’s going through her head and she doesn’t say a single word.

Class Exercise

  • Watch the video.
  • Discuss: What types of things are going through her head when he gets out of the car? When he says “You just end up running into yourself?” When he throws the ring at her? When she tries the ring on?
  • Advanced: Write out her entire inner monologue from beginning to end.
  • Bonus Question: Why is it raining outside?

About the author

Craig Mason

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