Acting Styles

In The Godfather Marlon Brando uses the “method” acting style. Brando transformed himself to become Vito Corleone. It was said that Brando would turn his back on the camera during filming, gather his thought, compose his emotions and BOOM Vito Corleone was born. In order for Brando to transform into Vito he had placed cotton between his gums and cheeks. It states in The Godfather WiKi, Brando had a significant impact on film acting. He was the foremost example of the “method” acting style, and became notorious for his “mumbling” diction, but his mercurial performances were highly regarded and he is now considered one of the greatest American film actors of the twentieth century (The Godfather Wiki, 2014). In the scene after the assassination of Sonny and Vito is at the morgue, in the middle of shooting Brando stop, puts his head down and takes a breath. This is an example of an actor transforming into the character they are trying to portray.

Al Pacino uses the Realism style of acting when portraying Michael Corleone. The character of Michael is more naturalistic. By looking at his work throughout his acting career you can point out that Pacino utilizes more of a naturalistic form of acting. From watching the making of The Godfather you can see that Pacino and Michael are similar to one another as far as their demeanor and mannerism. The character of Michael seems to be a normal person and not an actor. Pacino naturally connects with the character of Michael. In the scene when Michael plots the assassination on Sollozzo and sits in the chair in his father’s office talking to sonny. Pacino transforms into Micheal effortlessly. It states in Film: From Watching to Seeing, realism, as opposed to stylized acting, can also be thought of as naturalistic. This is acting that doesn’t draw attention to itself but instead gives the impression of genuine human action and reaction. What is considered realistic and natural, however, can change over the years and in particular situations (Goodykoontz & Jacobs 2014).

James Caan’s uses stylized acting in his role as Sonny Corleone. In this film you can get the sense that Caan is acting and the character of Sonny doesn’t come natural. Caan performance as Sonny was superb. Stylized acting is more of a non-naturalistic form of acting. For instance in the scene when Sonny is having dinner with the members of the Corleone family. The way Sonny talks and his demeanor is unnatural. The character of Sonny looks unreal, and there is a clear indication that Caan is acting. It states in Film: From Watching to Seeing, Stylized acting is used when actors and directors want to call attention to the fact that the actor is, indeed, acting. While this is generally not desirable, sometimes it is (Goodykoontz & Jacobs 2014).

Marlon Brando was an actor that always transformed himself into a character. His talented for acting is one that is not seen today. Brando popularized the Method style of performing during s acting career. Method acting was a popular form of acting during Brando’s early years. It was a form of acting that stuck with him throughout his acting career. According to The Associated Press it states, The two-time Oscar winner, who died at age 80, popularized the Method style of performing, which stripped away grandiose theatricality in favor of a deeper psychological approach to inhabiting a character (Press, 2004). Brando will always be known for his Method style performance. An actor using the method style of acting can pretty much fit into many diverse roles. Actors being able to take life experiences and apply them to a certain character makes the method style of acting flexible.

Here is Marlon Brando playing the character of Terry Malloy in the 1954 film “On the Waterfront”.
Look at his facial expressions. And the way he looks over at Charley (Rod Steiger). Brando did an outstanding job playing the character of Terry.


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