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Acting: Playing the Opposite

Sometimes when beginning actors approach difficult text, they play exactly what’s on the page. If it’s a sad monologue - they play the whole thing sad from start to finish. If they think the character is mad, they’ll yell all their dialogue. There is a time and place to play a moment as written. But more often than not the most powerful option is to play the opposite. A great example of this is Robert Shaw’s USS Indianapolis speech from Jaws.

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