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In the Company of Actors: Reflections on the Craft of Acting
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2000
Carole Zucker has just given us the finest book ever written on British actors.'In the Company of Actors...' is an entertaining, informative and thorough investigation into the lives and craft of some of Britain and Ireland's most popular and accomplished thespians. This particular book is so far away from the standard "actor's biography" that it would be futile to compare it to any other publication around today. It simply stands apart on all level. It is most certainly destined to become a classic. Meeting with such famous figures as Eileen Atkins, Alan Bates, Nigel Hawthorne, Stephen Rea and Miranda Richardson (among others), the author is cleverly dissolving herself into the background of the interviewing process, thus allowing the actors to really open up and to freely speak about what constitutes acting for theatre, film and television. Zucker succeeds in creating a climate of intimacy never before reached (in any given interview), and her book will make you feel like a privileged reader with a direct access into the minds of these extremely talented people. There are even moments of self-revelation which makes 'In the Company of Actors..' a brillant excercise in deep social interaction. It is an impressive display of professional savoir-faire on the part of Mrs. Zucker and a major contribution to acting studies as a whole. For the aspiring actor, the book also offers a lot of insights into the business. Whether it be Stephen Rea explaining the differences between the Irish, British and American film industries, or Academy Award nominee Janet McTeer discussing the difficulty of being a woman actor (in a male-dominated world), the book covers all bases from all angles, and no stones are left unturned. Subtely broaching theoretical and practical concerns about acting, 'In the Company of Actors...' is accessible to both, the neophyte and the acting student. If you are interested in knowing more about this wonderful and crazy profession, do yourself a favor and go buy this amazing book now!
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on March 6, 2000
Carole Zucker has just given us the finest book ever written on British actors.'In the Company of Actors...' is an entertaining, informative and thorough investigation into the lives and craft of some of Britain and Ireland's most popular and accomplished thespians. This particular book is so far away from the standard "actor's biography" that it would be futile to compare it to any other publication around today. It simply stands apart on all level. It is most certainly destined to become a classic. Meeting with such famous figures as Eileen Atkins, Alan Bates, Nigel Hawthorne, Stephen Rea and Miranda Richardson (among others), the author is cleverly dissolving herself into the background of the interviewing process, thus allowing the actors to really open up and to freely speak about what constitutes acting for theatre, film and television. Zucker succeeds in creating a climate of intimacy never before reached (in any given interview), and her book will make you feel like a privileged reader with a direct access into the minds of these extremely talented people. There are even moments of self-revelation which makes 'In the Company of Actors..' a brillant excercise in deep social interaction. It is an impressive display of professional savoir-faire on the part of Mrs. Zucker and a major contribution to acting studies as a whole. For the aspiring actor, the book also offers a lot of insights into the business. Whether it be Stephen Rea explaining the differences between the Irish, British and American film industries, or Academy Award nominee Janet McTeer discussing the difficulty of being a woman actor (in a male-dominated world), the book covers all bases from all angles, and no stones are left unturned. Subtely broaching theoretical and practical concerns about acting, 'In the Company of Actors...' is accessible to both, the neophyte and the acting student. If you are interested in knowing more about this wonderful and crazy profession, do yourself a favor and go buy this amazing book now!
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on August 1, 2000
Don't let the "reflections" of the title throw you: this is no drowsy academic tome. This is a fascinating read for anyone interested in actors and acting. Many of the subjects are relatively unknown on this side of the Atlantic, but if you care about the process of real acting, this book will take you in, chapter by chapter. Critic Kenneth Tynan said "The study of actors should be a full-time task, worthy of the same passionate scholarship which lepidopterists devote to butterflies." What we have here is that passion's result, and Carole Zucker has given voice to the butterflies.
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