So I know a little bit about acting. Not a lot. One of the things I know, though, is that the term itself can be a little bit of a misnomer. It’s not necessarily about ‘acting’ as in pretending to be sad or joyous or whatever, but about accessing a real feeling that you’ve had and calling back to it when you need it. Right?
The first time, I thought I saw tears. The more I look, though, the more it seems like a glower. (His wife, Pauletta, is definitely working a glower.) Which, yeah, no kidding. Regardless of everything else we may think about Casey Affleck, which is not insignificant, can we just examine his opening line in his speech?
“One of the first people who taught me how to act was Denzel Washington, and I just met him tonight for the first time.” Or, paraphrased, “You’ve been working your whole life to be excellent, dude, and so I just watched you and, huh, now I’m here, and I didn’t even need to talk to you about it! Neat, huh?”
Okay, I’m not saying that’s what Affleck is saying. But can you see how, after all this time, it might be exactly what Denzel would have heard? How do you smile and be gracious in that moment? Or do you?
Put it this way. They wouldn’t have a camera on everyone’s face if they didn’t get reactions that made it worth it.