Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just Have A Back-Up Profession...

by carol
Was Alex O’Loughlin born to be an actor? Was it his destiny?  And how did he know?

Alex’s grandmother told him that when he was about 2 or 3, he said to her, “Gran, I want to be an actor when I grow up.  I did my first play when I was about 9, and to this day, I remember the feeling of first walking out on stage and feeling the lights and the presence of the audience. I remember being in this comedy play, and I had some spectacles on and two fish sticks coming out of my nose, and everyone was rolling around with laughter."

Being in a school play is certainly not uncommon for a child.  I wondered about other actors.  Was there a magic moment or unique experience in their childhoods that sparked the magic of acting in them?  What happened that led them to their acting destinies in theater, film or television? 

Robin Williams says when he told his father he wanted to be an actor, he said, 'Wonderful, just have a back-up profession like welding.' Robin revealed he was a very overweight child. As a result, nobody would play with him and he started talking in different voices to entertain himself.
At a barber shop with his mother when he was very young, Denzel Washington says a nice old lady sitting in the corner asked his mother to write his full name down. When his mother asked why she said ‘Because he's going to entertain millions one day.’ It wasn't until later that they found out she was rumored to be some kind of local fortune teller.
Hugo Weaving shares that one of the first things that made him want to be an actor was listening to Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. “I was intensely moved by it. I think I was about nine - I went to see the ballet. That's what made me interested in Shakespeare.”
Ryan Gosling says that he always wanted to entertain. “When I was 6, a scrawny, scrawny kid, I'd get in my red speedo and do muscle moves. I actually thought I was muscular. I didn't know everyone was laughing at me.”

As an 8-year-old in a play, Edward Norton remembers asking a surprised director, ‘What is my objective here?’  Needless to say, the director was startled by this precocious child.
When Clive Owen was 10 or 11, he played the Artful Dodger in a school production of 'Oliver.' From that point forward, he said he wanted to be an actor. “Nobody in my family took it seriously, but I saw no other path. I was a cocky little kid. This one teacher said: 'You're a working-class kid from Coventry. What do you know?'”
Growing up John Cusack and his siblings often put on plays at their home. He has mentioned that his older sister Ann once staged a production of Cinderella in their living room in which she played Cinderella, sister Joan played the Ugly Stepsister, brother Bill played Prince Charming and John played the dog.
Daniel Day-Lewis admits he was always quiet and introverted. He says he was not popular in school and was mocked as an outsider while growing up in England. The upside was that, instead of socializing, he developed a rich fantasy life that later helped him to delve so deeply into his characters.

So, no bolts of lightning, no great epiphanies. For some of these kids, it was a way to connect with people. For others, it was the best way to express their feelings. Perhaps destiny is simply feeling deep inside yourself that acting is what you were meant to do, it is knowing where you belong.

1 comment:

  1. I think we all want to be an actor at some stage or another but there is only a few that can really step into another characters life and portray it well. Lucky for us Alex is one of them!