g The Film Panel Notetaker: Actors' Workshop With Jeffrey Tambor, SXSW Film Festival, 3/9/08

Friday, March 21, 2008

Actors' Workshop With Jeffrey Tambor, SXSW Film Festival, 3/9/08

Featured Speaker: Jeffrey Tambor, Arrested Development, The Larry Sanders Show

Greta Gerwig
, Actress/Writer, Hannah Takes The Stairs, Nights & Weekends

Kent Osbourne, Actor/Writer, Hannah Takes The Stairs, Nights & Weekends, Spongebob Squarepants

I'm a fan of the TV Show Arrested Development, but I really didn't have much interest in attending this panel until I discovered that Tambor would be working with Greta Gerwig and Kent Osbourne.

The panel started off with Tambor asking Kent and Greta about their insecurities as actors. Kent replied, "I'm afraid of forgetting a line." Gerwig and Osbourne played out a scene from a play by John Patrick Shanley. Once the two were done, Tambor asked Greta how her character felt about her friend, Kent's character. In first person, Greta replied: "I love him, and I hate him."

Casually, he asked Greta, "Have you ever been in love?"
"Yes!" She replied.

Greta Gerwig and Kent Osbourne in Jeffrey Tambor's Acting Workshop

Tambor advised the actors in the audience that they should rehearse as the camera is being set up, and also to write arbitraries in the margins of your script. Tambor also suggested that instead of the actor try to act well, they should aim to act badly.

"People are Ridiculous!"

Gradually, Kent and Greta became less inhibited, to the point where they were chasing each other around the room. As Tambor gave the two more suggestions, Greta and Kent experimented with their parts.

Tambor also had advice for budding directors, telling them to follow the actors to craft services, get under their skin, and be personal with their subjects.

"The more personal you are, the more personal they are."

Toward the end of the program, Tambor asked Kent and Greta if they learned anything from the workshop. Greta realized that she was a better actress than she thought she was. Tambor also took questions from the audience. Here are a couple of these questions.

Q: Do you like watching dailies?
A: No, I don't like watching dailies.

Q: What is the greatest betrayal?
A: Piss on them, I don't know. I don't think you want to hurt someone. The more you live, the more people hurt you.

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