Some of you may realise where the title of this podcast comes from. If you’re a fan of James Lipton’s ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’ interviews, then you almost certainly will. In 2006 Lipton interviewed Dustin Hoffman and the conversation turned to Marathon Man and the time that Hoffman spent with Lawrence Olivier during the making of that film.
Olivier was not well at the time. In fact Illness had nearly prevented him doing the film at all. It seems that those around him in 1975 were fearful that he may not have long to live, Hoffman included. Although Olivier didn’t die until 1989, there was an air of valediction to Hoffman’s time with him and this comes across in his emotional remembrance of the time at the end of filming they went out to dinner together.
At some point in the evening Hoffman asked Olivier the question "why do we do it?". Hoffman says Olivier leant over and whispered in his ear: "Look at me, look at me, look at me, look at me".
Although the story certainly inspires the title of this episode, the episode is not about Olivier and what he might have meant.
However, if we, as actors admit to the resonance of those few words, then there is maybe something that we need to remind ourselves of as we navigate life and this thing called social media.
When we get a new script in the hand, it's all too easy to succumb to some less than helpful habits in our keenness to make our mark on the role. Inspired by a quote from a slightly surprising source, here's a thought about character development that may help shake out any old, stale habits you may have fallen into.
(Below is a YouTube upload of the interview that inspired the podcast. Given that the poster is probably breaching copyright, I cannot guarantee that it will always work).