How To Create A More Truthful Character On Camera

There are things we dislike about anyone in our lives we know well. It doesn’t mean we dislike the person. It means things the person does or says, such as habits the person has, preferences, beliefs, tastes, or qualities, we don’t like. When we meet someone for the first time, we often walk away thinking how nice and likable the person is. The better we know someone, the more we see a person’s flaws, and the more that person sees ours. If an actor doesn’t dislike anything about the character, one could argue the actor doesn’t know the character very well.

Actors who want audiences to like their characters and who take care of their characters misunderstand the film camera. The film camera doesn’t take human beings at face value. It doesn’t give the benefit of the doubt to what human beings say. It sees human beings for what they are, a collection of complex contradictions. Actors who create characters with an agenda for making audiences like their characters run the high risk of alienating those audiences. They should want instead for audiences to empathize with their characters.

The same goes for actors who are playing characters written as saying bad things and doing bad things and treating others badly. Actors who play these characters can easily fall into the trap of using those characters to preach to an audience how not to be. If actors want audiences to empathize with their characters, they shouldn’t create characters as they see them. They should create characters as the characters see themselves. When it comes to creating human beings in the stories we film, the film camera doesn’t embrace artistic agendas. The film camera embraces truth, and the truth is always chaotic.