What actor wouldn’t want to take a class with Jodie Foster? Though in the last decade Foster has increasingly dedicated her time to directing and producing, Foster is one of only 14 women to win more than one Academy Award for Best Actress, and she won both of her Oscars before she even turned 30 years old — and she was a teenager when she received her first acting nomination, for 1976’s Taxi Driver. Suffice to say, Foster knows more than a thing or two about performing in front of a camera.
Foster is one of the many actors who has shared knowledge about her craft with the MasterClass and one of her lessons focus on her eight tips for actors, drawing from her knowledge from both sides of the camera.
Here are some excerpts from her acting tips:
Break down the process: There are three layers to the acting process: what the character is communicating/showing, what the character is hiding, and the part of the character that’s unconscious, that they don’t know is a part of their story. Actors can work with these layers one at a time or all three things at once. Study other actors and see how they convey each of these layers.”
Use body language: Hone your skills delivering dialogue, but be sure to incorporate gestures, facial expressions, and vocal choices to convey a character. Most great actors research their roles, so do some searching of your own to see what kind of quirks or mannerisms you can bring to a specific kind of character.
Read: An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski (1936) is a standard known by most trained actors.
Take risks: During the audition process, make bold and smart choices that work for and serve the story properly.
Show, don’t tell: There’s nothing worse on screen than people saying, ‘This is how I feel.’ You want to see, and you want to show—not hear somebody talk about it. Good actors know how to show without telling.