“You know, it’s not imperative that you get along with your co-stars; it’s like your in-laws — it just makes things easier” – Bryan Cranston
The old saying goes, “No man is an island.” Actors are certainly no exception. Even in one-person shows or films with small casts, an actor needs to work with others to do his or her job correctly. During The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual actor’s roundtable, Bryan Cranston, Robert Pattinson, and Armie Hammer all spoke about working with directors and co-stars on projects and explain why it isn’t always a smooth process.
In terms of working with directors, Pattinson explains, “It’s a weird thing because as soon as you have to be asserting yourself to a director, it kind of breaks the fourth wall. It’s not supposed to be you when you walk on to set. So I always try and avoid [conflict], and hopefully they’ll just see what they’re doing is wrong. (Pauses.) It never, ever, ever works. (Laughter.) It just gets worse and worse. But it completely throws me off if I have to say, ‘Hey, this is my process.’ It’s like, I don’t know what my process is, there just needs to be some kind of understanding that you’re trying to do something good, you’re not just messing around.”
Cranston adds that it’s not necessary to be chummy with your co-stars… though it does help the process. He points out, “You know, it’s not imperative that you get along with your co-stars; it’s like your in-laws — it just makes things easier. And so you make an effort to get to know them and to know how they work, because every actor works differently.”
Touching on both topics, Hammer reveals that he has learned that making a project isn’t only about your own process — it’s fitting that process in with everyone else’s individual processes. He says, “The longer I do this, the more I find that’s just as pivotal a part of doing your job as having your lines down, knowing your character. Because you can have your process, but if you can’t fit your process into the organic process that is the project, then it doesn’t do you any good. You have to figure out how to do what you want to do while also not fucking up somebody else’s process.”