How I Play a Love Scene

Valentino tells Movie Weekly magazine about his method acting approach to character and love scenes.

Having dived fairly deep in the fan mags for research into this star, I’m of the opinion that everything anyone ever told them was sheer ballyhoo and applesauce. What’s intriguing is that Valentino’s description of his method, which I sincerely doubt has anything to do with his actual approach, does closely align with what modern actors like to claim about their technique, and some of them really mean it.

As for living your role night and day, whatever works for you. I always suspected that if I were a crewmember on MY LEFT FOOT and Daniel Day-Lewis asked me to shove him about in his wheelchair, I might slightly baulk at this. “Not my department.” I refuse to believe that pretending you can’t walk is difficult and requires deep immersion. I myself frequently pretend I can’t walk, when required to, for instance, go out for milk. But I suppose I’d go along with his nonsense. Pushing an actor around is better than the reverse.

4 Responses to “How I Play a Love Scene”

  1. ehrenstein47 Says:

    Here’s how Valentino played a love scene in real life:

  2. H. L. Menken met Valentino at some point. His impression was of a normal and almost unremarkable young man, fuming about his “unmanly” public image.

    Perhaps the best moment in Gene Wilder’s wildly uneven “The World’s Greatest Lover” has the “real” Valentino — who never speaks — helping a drunken Wilder walk across a street. They slip into a tango.

  3. I just heard about the Mencken meeting via an old Alistair Cooke radio show. Apparently it happened shortly before RV’s death. But Cooke seemed to have A LOT of facts wrong in his broadcasts, so I’m not certain of that.

    Ah, I wish Gene Wilder’s movies as director were better!

  4. ehrenstein47 Says:

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