Cover image for In the company of actors : reflections on the craft of acting
Title:
In the company of actors : reflections on the craft of acting
Author:
Zucker, Carole, 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, New York : Routledge/Theatre Arts Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
xi, 228 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 23 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
Eileen Atkins -- Alan Bates -- Simon Callow -- Judi Dench -- Brenda Fricker -- Nigel Hawthorne -- Jane Lapotaire -- Janet McTeer -- Stephen Rea -- Ian Richardson -- Miranda Richardson -- Fiona Shaw -- Antony Sher -- David Suchet -- Janet Suzman -- Penelope Wilton.
ISBN:
9780878301096

9780415925457
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

In the Company of Actors is a wonderful ensemble of entertaining and illuminating discussions with sixteen of the most celebrated and prestigious actors in contemporary theatre, film and television: Eileen Atkins, Alan Bates, Simon Callow, Judi Dench, Brenda Fricker, Nigel Hawthorne, Jane Lapotaire, Janet McTeer, Ian Richardson, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw, Antony Sher, Janet Suzman, David Suchet, and Penelope Wilton. The book provides a lively dialogue among the very different personalities of the participants. The actors are vital characters -- by turns witty, analytical and intuitive, and all offer frank and telling anecdotes about their life and work. Carole Zucker covers a wide range of topics including the actors' main childhood influences, their actor training, early acting experience, preparation for roles and sound advice for coping with actors' problems such as creative differences with other actors or directors. Each actor also talks about the current state of theatre and film as well as their often appalling but amusing experiences working in Hollywood. With 48 black and white photographs of theatre and film productions illuminating the text, Zucker provides an invaluable insight into the profession.


Summary

In the Company of Actorsis a wonderful ensemble of entertaining and illuminating discussions with sixteen of the most celebrated and prestigious actors in contemporary theatre, film and television. The impressive list of actors includes: Eileen Atkins, Alan Bates, Simon Callow, Judi Dench, Brenda Fricker, Nigel Hawthorne, Jane Lapotaire, Janet McTeer, Ian Richardson, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw, Anthony Sher, Janet Suzman, David Suchet, and Penelope Wilton. Carole Zucker covers a wide range of topics including the actors' main childhood influences, their actor training, early acting experience, preparation for roles and sound advice for coping with actors' problems such as creative differences with other actors or directors.


Author Notes

Carole Zuckeris Professor of Film Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. Her previous books include TheIdea of the Image: Josef von Sternberg's Dietrich Films, Making Visible the Invisible: An Anthology of OriginalEssays on Film Actingand Figures of Light: Actors andDirectors Illuminate the Art of Film Acting. She teaches private acting workshops in Montreal.


Reviews 6

Booklist Review

Interviewing 16 Irish and British actors, Zucker doesn't waste a word on anything as silly as one's love life or as ephemeral as one's next movie, play, or TV special. That is impressive, given that her interlocutors include Alan Bates, Simon Callow, Judi Dench, and Nigel Hawthorne. Zucker instead focuses on the vocation of acting. She emphasizes how one trains for the profession and prepares for a role, and she illuminates the differences between acting onstage and acting onscreen. We learn that some, such as Janet McTeer and Eileen Atkins, found their vocation quickly, thanks to guiding parents or observant teachers; that others, like Hawthorne, came to acting after false starts in other fields; and that some cannot stand acting for the camera, while others easily flit from medium to medium. We learn how many do in-depth research before taking on a character and how many subscribe to "the method" style of acting. Yet these are never academic discussions. Each interview is also a portrait of a person at a specific time and place in her or his career. --Jack Helbig


Library Journal Review

Zucker (film studies, Concordia Univ., Montreal) has fashioned a sweet valentine to her love of theater by assembling 16 interviews with prominent British actors--including Judi Dench, Nigel Hawthorne, Ian Richardson, Miranda Richardson, and Fiona Shaw--who will for the most part be familiar to anyone with even a passing acquaintance with theater and film. Following Zucker's brief career-synopsis introduction, each actor discusses his or her family background, training, preparation, approach to creative problems, work in different media, national identity, and technique. A testament to her prowess as an editor and researcher, Zucker is equally present and absent in the text, letting each actor take center stage in a smooth narrative undisrupted by questions. It's an unmitigated delight to read the insights, rants, and kvetchings of some of the brightest stars in the English-speaking theatrical firmament. For all libraries.--Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Comprising interviews with 16 major actors, most of them British (Janet Suzman and Anthony Sher are from South Africa; Brenda Fricker, Fiona Shaw, and Stephen Rea are from Ireland), this book is a remarkable achievement. An interview can only be as good as the interviewer, and Zucker (Concordia Univ., Canada) is excellent. Although she does print them in the volume, her questions elicit interesting, conversational responses touching on the art and craft of acting on stage and screen. In his generous foreword, Sir Richard Eyre notes that "acting is a mystery" and that "actors have more in common with spiritualist mediums than with dons." Zucker's interrogations plumb that mystery, demonstrating that talented actors have much to teach the uninitiated, both laypeople and academics. Although the book is necessarily selective (among the famous actors excluded are Vanessa Redgrave and Diana Rigg), Zucker includes talent aplenty--Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Ian Richardson, and Simon Callow, among others--and all of them are worth listening to. Substantial enough to serve as framework for a seminar in acting and perceptive and readable in a way that academic books often are not, this volume belongs in all college and university library collections, where it will serve both undergraduate and graduate students. A splendid accomplishment; highly recommended. J. M. Welsh; Salisbury State University


Booklist Review

Interviewing 16 Irish and British actors, Zucker doesn't waste a word on anything as silly as one's love life or as ephemeral as one's next movie, play, or TV special. That is impressive, given that her interlocutors include Alan Bates, Simon Callow, Judi Dench, and Nigel Hawthorne. Zucker instead focuses on the vocation of acting. She emphasizes how one trains for the profession and prepares for a role, and she illuminates the differences between acting onstage and acting onscreen. We learn that some, such as Janet McTeer and Eileen Atkins, found their vocation quickly, thanks to guiding parents or observant teachers; that others, like Hawthorne, came to acting after false starts in other fields; and that some cannot stand acting for the camera, while others easily flit from medium to medium. We learn how many do in-depth research before taking on a character and how many subscribe to "the method" style of acting. Yet these are never academic discussions. Each interview is also a portrait of a person at a specific time and place in her or his career. --Jack Helbig


Library Journal Review

Zucker (film studies, Concordia Univ., Montreal) has fashioned a sweet valentine to her love of theater by assembling 16 interviews with prominent British actors--including Judi Dench, Nigel Hawthorne, Ian Richardson, Miranda Richardson, and Fiona Shaw--who will for the most part be familiar to anyone with even a passing acquaintance with theater and film. Following Zucker's brief career-synopsis introduction, each actor discusses his or her family background, training, preparation, approach to creative problems, work in different media, national identity, and technique. A testament to her prowess as an editor and researcher, Zucker is equally present and absent in the text, letting each actor take center stage in a smooth narrative undisrupted by questions. It's an unmitigated delight to read the insights, rants, and kvetchings of some of the brightest stars in the English-speaking theatrical firmament. For all libraries.--Barry X. Miller, Austin P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Comprising interviews with 16 major actors, most of them British (Janet Suzman and Anthony Sher are from South Africa; Brenda Fricker, Fiona Shaw, and Stephen Rea are from Ireland), this book is a remarkable achievement. An interview can only be as good as the interviewer, and Zucker (Concordia Univ., Canada) is excellent. Although she does print them in the volume, her questions elicit interesting, conversational responses touching on the art and craft of acting on stage and screen. In his generous foreword, Sir Richard Eyre notes that "acting is a mystery" and that "actors have more in common with spiritualist mediums than with dons." Zucker's interrogations plumb that mystery, demonstrating that talented actors have much to teach the uninitiated, both laypeople and academics. Although the book is necessarily selective (among the famous actors excluded are Vanessa Redgrave and Diana Rigg), Zucker includes talent aplenty--Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Ian Richardson, and Simon Callow, among others--and all of them are worth listening to. Substantial enough to serve as framework for a seminar in acting and perceptive and readable in a way that academic books often are not, this volume belongs in all college and university library collections, where it will serve both undergraduate and graduate students. A splendid accomplishment; highly recommended. J. M. Welsh; Salisbury State University


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Foreward
IntroductionEileen Atkins and Alan Bates and Simon Callow and Judi Dench and Brenda and Fricker Nigel and Hawthorne Jane and Lapotaire and Janet McTeer and Stephen Rea and Ian Richardson and Miranda and Richardson Fiona and Shaw Anthony and Sher and David Suchet and Janet Suzman and Penelope Wilton
Copywrite Holders
Index
Acknowledgements
Foreward
IntroductionEileen Atkins and Alan Bates and Simon Callow and Judi Dench and Brenda and Fricker Nigel and Hawthorne Jane and Lapotaire and Janet McTeer and Stephen Rea and Ian Richardson and Miranda and Richardson Fiona and Shaw Anthony and Sher and David Suchet and Janet Suzman and Penelope Wilton
Copywrite Holders
Index