Acting is serious business.
On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter debuted this year’s Actor Roundtable, featuring Nicolas Cage, Andrew Garfield, Simon Rex, Jonathan Majors and Peter Dinklage.
In the aftermath of the tragic “Rust” shooting, the role of guns on set is among the big conversations taking place in Hollywood.
“A movie star… you need to know how to ride a horse. You need to know how to fight. You need to know how to drive sports cars, and you do need to know how to use a gun. You do,” Cage says. “You need to take the time to know what the procedure is. Those are part of the job profiles.”
Dinklage adds of the shooting, “That should never happen again. Anything we can do to move away from that [guns on set], then we should. That’s our responsibility. But that also calls into question, are there too many guns in movies? We’ve all held guns in movies, probably. I always think about that, being anti-gun myself, but the character isn’t. So, it’s a very complicated thing. But that made it very clear that there has to be change now, 100 per cent.”
Talking about acting more generally, Garfield says, “Allowing oneself to fail in front of a bunch of people that you don’t want to fail in front of… that feels like it’s been my journey for the last 20 years.”
“With the risk of sounding like an arrogant you-know-what, I would say, you can’t be great unless you know you’re great,” Cage adds. “Whether they get it or not doesn’t matter. You’re precious. Go in and be great like you know you’re great because that’s what you are.”
Rex, meanwhile, says, “Being raised as men in the West, we sort of aren’t allowed to be vulnerable… All these roles that these guys did, and myself included, I think that’s what it was, being vulnerable as a man. I think that shows strength. That’s what’s interesting to watch.”
“I’m a Black man from Dallas, Texas,” Majors said. “I’m not supposed to sing. I’m not supposed to cry… For me, that’s the gift of being an artist. You try to find the things that are uncomfortable in a role in order to grow personally. Otherwise, you just hang it up.”
For Cage, acting is all about coming up with your own individual approach.
“There’s no real style of acting,” he says. “It’s almost like a mixed martial art. You can combine, you can create your Jeet Kune Do with acting. Don’t get trapped in a style.”
In “Tick, Tick… Boom!”, Garfield had to sing on-screen, of which he says, “I found it to be another chamber of myself that I didn’t know was there, that I was probably scared to know existed… I’m just fully sobbing because I’ve reached another octave or another note in my body, like there’s a part of my body that had been shut off… This is all therapy to me.”
Cage recalls, “For me, karaoke was like therapy until someone videotaped my punk rock version of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ and it went everywhere, and I said, ‘I’m not going to karaoke anymore.’ Karaoke’s supposed to be private. It’s like a prayer.”