Movie directors often tell their actors to act small — you’re not in a theater, and the last row in the balcony doesn’t need to hear you.
British director Danny Boyle doesn’t follow that script. Only with slightly larger-than-life performances as a foundation, he says, can you start adding strange stuff on top.
“Actors will often do nothing,” Boyle said last Saturday at an early screening of his art heist thriller “Trance,” hosted by Hero Complex at WonderCon in Anaheim. “It’s safer to do very, very little. You know that kind of muttering acting.”
Boyle said he encourages his cast to ramp it up a bit, because that allows the filmmaker to add bizarre elements to what otherwise would be a realistic story.
“You can get the surreal in — because the bed that you’re on is not absolutely bedded realism — it’s slightly heightened. That allows you then to let a man disappear down a toilet [in ‘Trainspotting’] or half a man’s head start talking [in ‘Trance’] and things like that.”
Toward the end of the conversation, Boyle was asked if he’d ever return to science fiction, and the filmmaker said that his experiences in the space story “Sunshine” were so grim he would never travel into the galaxies again.
The reason? Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” taught moviegoers that people in zero gravity move so slowly that you have to follow that glacial pace or be laughed out of the multiplex.
“I would never go back into space,” Boyle said. “It’s Stanley Kubrick’s fault.”
“Trance,” which stars James McAvoy and Rosario Dawson, opens in theaters Friday.
– John Horn
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