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Old 11-05-2019, 08:51 PM
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Do actors usually get to view their film, in its entirety, before it's actually released?


For a long time, I had assumed that the answer to this question would be, "Yes, of course - actors get to see the entire movie, that they just acted in, with all the editing and modifications all completed, before the movie hits the screen for public consumption." But then I read of accounts of actors who acted in a movie, and then were stunned (usually in a bad way) at how different the movie, and their roles/character, ended up, differently than what they had expected they would be seeing.


Do movie directors usually bring all the crew, cast, etc. together and have them watch the movie and get final feedback from everyone involved before the premiere/release?
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:02 PM
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The basic answer is "it depends".

I would guess that if not a final version, many actors get a chance to see the movie in some format before release. I'm not sure how many want to or choose to, but I would not be surprised if some do.

Then again, I know Jack Whitehall voiced a Troll(?) in Frozen. He got an invite to the premiere and realized in theater that his troll did not speak. He asked them about it and was told his role was reduced to "a non-speaking part"....in an animated movie.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:04 PM
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The basic answer is "it depends".

I would guess that if not a final version, many actors get a chance to see the movie in some format before release. I'm not sure how many want to or choose to, but I would not be surprised if some do.

Then again, I know Jack Whitehall voiced a Troll(?) in Frozen. He got an invite to the premiere and realized in theater that his troll did not speak. He asked them about it and was told his role was reduced to "a non-speaking part"....in an animated movie.
I had read of a movie (can't recall which) in which Adrian Brody had been led all along to believe he was THE main character, and he had acted as such, and the director led him to believe as such, and Brody invited family and friends to the premiere........in which Brody discovered he had been reduced to an utterly minor character, with no prior notification, due to wholesale post-shoot editing. Brody was furious.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:08 PM
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I don't have a definitive answer, but the impression I get is that actors don't get to see the finished movie until the premiere.

I speculate the reasoning is that the producers/director feel that once the actors are done acting the movie is someone else's problem and having the actors watch the non-finished film could cause needless hassle.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:10 PM
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The actors usually attend the movie premier. It's a red carpet event and they see the movie then.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:10 PM
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I had read of a movie (can't recall which) in which Adrian Brody had been led all along to believe he was THE main character, and he had acted as such, and the director led him to believe as such, and Brody invited family and friends to the premiere........in which Brody discovered he had been reduced to an utterly minor character, with no prior notification, due to wholesale post-shoot editing. Brody was furious.
That was on The Thin Red Line. Because that's how Terrence Malick rolls.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:28 PM
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I had read of a movie (can't recall which) in which Adrian Brody had been led all along to believe he was THE main character, and he had acted as such, and the director led him to believe as such, and Brody invited family and friends to the premiere........in which Brody discovered he had been reduced to an utterly minor character, with no prior notification, due to wholesale post-shoot editing. Brody was furious.
Yes, but Terrance Mallick is famous for changing movies massively in editing. I think it is a jerk move to edit people way out of movies, but this is probably the most famous example of someone being stunned at the premiere.

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The actors usually attend the movie premier. It's a red carpet event and they see the movie then.
They can actually go in and then leave. Johnny Depp was on Letterman and told him that he has only seen a few of his movies. He saw Pirates 1 because it premiered at Disney World and they wanted him to stay. Other than that, he leaves after the red carpet and has often never seen his movies.

I doubt any actors in the Force Awakens or Last Jedi saw the final movie until the premiere. They were there making it, but only on set for their scenes.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:40 PM
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Some actors don't even know what movies they are in.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:18 PM
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Do movie directors usually bring all the crew, cast, etc. together and have them watch the movie and get final feedback from everyone involved before the premiere/release?
Whether or not the cast and crew get to see the finished film, I really doubt that the director wants their feedback.

And in the case of movies like some of the Marvel films where the ending is a closely guarded secret, the cast and crew might not have seen the finished film (just to avoid spoilers).
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:22 PM
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Not movies but TV, but on some of the commentary tracks on episodes of TV shows like The Sopranos I've been amazed to hear some of the actors reveal this is the first time they're watching an episode they're doing commentary on.

Last edited by Colibri; 11-05-2019 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:27 PM
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IMHO in general the actors are hired guns, so they don't have any real ownership of the finished product. In addition, they might have worked on the shoot for a week or six, and then moved on with life. It might be a year until they see the finished product. By then, they are on to whatever was next, and whatever was after that.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:35 PM
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Post production editing can go on for a long time. Nobody can be sure when it's completed so they're not going to screen every edited version for the actors just in case it's the last one.

As mentioned a couple of times already, the producers don't care about the actors opinion unless the actor is a producer also. And the actors may not care anyway.
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:02 PM
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I had read of a movie (can't recall which) in which Adrian Brody had been led all along to believe he was THE main character, and he had acted as such, and the director led him to believe as such, and Brody invited family and friends to the premiere........in which Brody discovered he had been reduced to an utterly minor character, with no prior notification, due to wholesale post-shoot editing. Brody was furious.
Consider poor Kevin Costner, who thought he was an equal member of the ensemble cast of The Big Chill, only to discover that his part had been cut entirely. (Seriously, the only shot of Costner in the film is the opening scene, where the mortician is carefully concealing his slashed wrists. His face was never seen.)

Anecdotally, the final cut of 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture was completed so late that the studio had to overnight the single existing copy of the film to New York for its premiere. Literally NO ONE knew exactly what was going to be on the screen.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:53 AM
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I think the answer is "in most cases, no". I've heard too many stories of actors who never saw their film until it was in the theaters, or who still[ haven't seen their film.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:15 AM
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They do get to see the houses the film bought for them, though.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:31 AM
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Whether or not the cast and crew get to see the finished film, I really doubt that the director wants their feedback.

And in the case of movies like some of the Marvel films where the ending is a closely guarded secret, the cast and crew might not have seen the finished film (just to avoid spoilers).
Gwyneth Paltrow didnít even know she was in Spider-Man: Far From Home. She thought the scene she filmed was for Endgame.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:48 AM
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They can actually go in and then leave. Johnny Depp was on Letterman and told him that he has only seen a few of his movies. He saw Pirates 1 because it premiered at Disney World and they wanted him to stay. Other than that, he leaves after the red carpet and has often never seen his movies.
Well, that helps explain his utter lack of self-awareness.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:57 AM
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These days an actor can do major scenes with a co-star and never be on the set at the same time. Especially if said co-star is going to be heavily CGIed.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:34 AM
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Gwyneth Paltrow didnít even know she was in Spider-Man: Far From Home. She thought the scene she filmed was for Endgame.
A lot of people cite this, and while I'm no Paltrow fan I'd like to provide a bit of context (without spoilers): The scene is very short and she's never on screen at the same time as Tom Holland. Also, the backgrounds are green screen, further removing context.

In general, I'll second what others have said in this thread: Unless the actor is also a producer or director, it's unlikely that they'll see any version of the complete film before it hits the theaters. Why would they? Editing, especially on a special-effects heavy film, can take months, and by then the actors have scattered to the four winds working on other projects. If retakes happen late in the process, the actor will still only be coming in for a limited time and filming individual scenes. They won't be treated to a viewing of the film as made so far.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:35 AM
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Well, that helps explain his utter lack of self-awareness.
I can understand, though. Many people hate to see themselves in footage, and cringe at it - I believe Jennifer Lawrence (at least, in her early days of Hunger Games,) could not stand watching herself for some time, if I'm not mistaken. I sure wouldn't want to see a movie of myself.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:53 AM
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Nowadays, with "premieres" happening around the world in quick succession, the few stars who actually want to see their movie right away will only see one of them and skip the playing of the film for the rest. So a lot of times the actors show up, do the red carpet thing and go hang out in a lounge for a while. Fly on to the next city.

This has resulted in some cases the playing of the movie being skipped entirely. So you have red carpet photocalls. The people show up, walk the carpet, get their picture taken, and leave. Yet another step down the road of Hollywood even being more fake.

Note that with very small budget films which might debut at a film festival, flying actors in for the showing can be real money. So sometimes the actors have to pay their own way to the festival.

Now with films debuting on streaming services, I guess they first watch it when it hits Netflix, Amazon or whatever. Sending out courtesy discs is so 1990s.

Last edited by ftg; 11-06-2019 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:54 AM
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Gwyneth Paltrow didnít even know she was in Spider-Man: Far From Home. She thought the scene she filmed was for Endgame.
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A lot of people cite this, and while I'm no Paltrow fan I'd like to provide a bit of context (without spoilers): The scene is very short and she's never on screen at the same time as Tom Holland. Also, the backgrounds are green screen, further removing context.
What? I don't remember Paltrow in "Far From Home". Are you sure you're not referring to "Homecoming" ? Googling doesn't return any indication she was in FFH either.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:47 PM
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Not movies but TV, but on some of the commentary tracks on episodes of TV shows like The Sopranos I've been amazed to hear some of the actors reveal this is the first time they're watching an episode they're doing commentary on.
Why is that surprising? It's not like they don't know how it turns out. I suspect if they did watch half the time they'd be seeing how they messed up or how they could do better. When my daughter's episodes aired we were a lot more interested in seeing them than she was.

As for movies, often the actor will be busy, and often the editing won't be done until just before release. Getting the actors together would be a pain, and unless they were also producing it is not like the director would listen to them.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:21 PM
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What? I don't remember Paltrow in "Far From Home". Are you sure you're not referring to "Homecoming" ? Googling doesn't return any indication she was in FFH either.
Yeah, she was in Homecoming and that's the one she forgot. Which is pretty understandable because it was a short scene with just RDJ and Jon Favreau. It could easily have been a scene in an Iron Man or Avengers movie.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:21 PM
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What? I don't remember Paltrow in "Far From Home". Are you sure you're not referring to "Homecoming" ? Googling doesn't return any indication she was in FFH either.
Sorry, you're right, it's Homecoming. She's in it near the end, checking in with Tony.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:22 PM
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I think I read the quote on this site recently about Michael Caine being asked if he had seen one particular movie that he had been in. His response was, "No, I have not. But I've seen the house that it bought."
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:10 PM
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I often wonder this when I see actors promoting films just before their release.
I see someone like Brad Pitt promoting Once A time In Hollywood which he probably finished acting in a long time ago, doesn't remember much of it since he made a couple other movies since then that haven't been released yet, may or may not have seen the final cut of the film, and is now fulfilling the back end of his contract by doing the promotion circuit.
It'd be like asking a chef about the meal they prepared. But not the one from last night, the one from several weeks ago.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:11 PM
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Wasn't there a problem with major stars in "Caligula" not knowing about the added x-rated scenes until the movie premiere?
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:47 PM
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George C. Scott was furious that Kubrick used the "hey, why don't you loosen up by doing Buck Turgison completely over the top in this rehearsal before you do the real scene" footage in Strangelove - and I think he found out at the premiere.
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:15 PM
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I think I read the quote on this site recently about Michael Caine being asked if he had seen one particular movie that he had been in. His response was, "No, I have not. But I've seen the house that it bought."
Said film was Jaws: The Revenge, and the quote was: ""I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific."
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:28 PM
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George C. Scott was furious that Kubrick used the "hey, why don't you loosen up by doing Buck Turgison completely over the top in this rehearsal before you do the real scene" footage in Strangelove - and I think he found out at the premiere.
Which scene? The entire performance?

I know his tripping while running around the big board area was an accident and they kept it in.
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:31 PM
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Gabriel Byrne didn't learn he wasn't Keyser Soze until he saw The Usual Suspects after it was complete. Evidently, director Bryan Singer convinced all the actors that they were Soze, but Byrne's reaction was the most pronounced -- he walked out of the theater and argued with Singer about it.
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:42 PM
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Harrison Ford didn't know the big secret in "The Empire Strikes Back" until the screening; presumably on opening night.
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:08 PM
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When my daughter's episodes aired we were a lot more interested in seeing them than she was.
Yeah ... I think you're going to have to expand on this a bit. At the very least: What show?
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:12 PM
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As someone who edits video, unless the participants are my clients, I never show them anything but the final edit. If I did, I know there would be dozens of changes requested -- most minor -- and the time it would take to fix them would be prohibitive.

If they are my clients, I'll show them anything they want, and change anything they want, but it's on an hourly basis. That usually shuts them up.

However, we're talking about small-time productions here, not Hollywood blockbusters.
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:12 PM
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Letting the the actors preview the final cut is a unworkable idea.
They would drive the director nuts wanting changes
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:28 PM
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Which scene? The entire performance?

I know his tripping while running around the big board area was an accident and they kept it in.
Maybe not all of the scenes, but quite a few of them.

Per this account by James Earl Jones https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB110055719231074627

"George C. Scott had some really difficult experiences with the director. George was headstrong by nature. It is what fueled his particular talent. Stanley was very much the same kind of man. The irresistible force met the immovable object when Stanley asked George to do over-the-top performances of his lines. He said it would help George to warm up for his satiric takes. George hated this idea. He said it was unprofessional and made him feel silly. George eventually agreed to do his scenes over-the-top when Stanley promised that his performance would never be seen by anyone but himself and the cast and crew. But Kubrick ultimately used many of these "warm-ups" in the final cut. George felt used and manipulated by Stanley and swore he would never work with him again."
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:29 PM
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Said film was Jaws: The Revenge, and the quote was: ""I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific."
Thank you. I thought it was a sequel of some sort. I read his autobiography some time ago and he indicated he wasn't too discriminating in many of the roles he took as long as the paycheck was decent.
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:29 PM
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Thank you. I thought it was a sequel of some sort. I read his autobiography some time ago and he indicated he wasn't too discriminating in many of the roles he took as long as the paycheck was decent.
He still isn't. His philosophy was to always keep acting and that means just saying "yes" a lot of times to crap. Some other actors also have that philosphy but don't have such a great record of doing good stuff decades later. E.g., Edward James Olmos hurt his status doing this and the real champion Eric Roberts who never really had much status to begin with.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:15 PM
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He still isn't. His philosophy was to always keep acting and that means just saying "yes" a lot of times to crap. Some other actors also have that philosphy but don't have such a great record of doing good stuff decades later. E.g., Edward James Olmos hurt his status doing this and the real champion Eric Roberts who never really had much status to begin with.
Sean Connery talked to Christopher Reeve not long after Superman was big and Reeve asked him how did he break out of "just being James Bond forever". Connery told him to take every single movie they offer you. Good, bad, does not matter. If you make enough movies, people begin to associate you as a person in the movies, not just the one role you became famous with.

I saw Sean Connery talk about this and he added that Reeve did not take his advice and remained somewhat choosy, believing himself to be a great actor. He kind of remained typecast as Superman to almost everyone.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:03 AM
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I have known film and TV actors, and studio musicians, who did not see or hear the finished products they worked on, and who didn't care. Play the scene or score; get paid; go on to the next job. William Conrad famously refused to memorize throwaway CANNON scripts, merely reading lines from a prompter. I can't imagine him reviewing his episodes.

I think John Carradine and Klaus Kinski are the exemplars of screen actors taking any role, no matter how bad.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:05 AM
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Yeah ... I think you're going to have to expand on this a bit. At the very least: What show?
The Adventures of Pete & Pete.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:06 AM
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He still isn't. His philosophy was to always keep acting and that means just saying "yes" a lot of times to crap. Some other actors also have that philosphy but don't have such a great record of doing good stuff decades later. E.g., Edward James Olmos hurt his status doing this and the real champion Eric Roberts who never really had much status to begin with.
Notice that Eric Roberts has 558 acting credits, an Oscar nomination, and 3 Golden Globe nominations. By a lot of measures, he's been unbelievably successful, crap or not.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:16 AM
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Why is that surprising? It's not like they don't know how it turns out.
Actually, if they're not a major character, they may not know how it turns out. I'm not sure if all actors are necessarily present at table reads, and sometimes actors are only sent scripts for the scenes they're in. They may have done dozens of takes of their scenes, even with different outcomes, and won't know which, if any, made it into the final cut. Personally, I'd be curious not merely about my own performance, but also the performances of my colleagues and friends among the cast.

But I think it's not merely surprising but incredibly lazy for an actor to agree to do commentary on an episode, and then not bother to at least do a run-through beforehand to plan what they are going to say, rather than doing it ad hoc.

I enjoy watching the commentaries on TV shows and movies on DVDs. However, the worst commentary is usually by actors, who may have no idea what's going on in the rest of the plot besides the scenes they're in. The best commentary is usually by the writers, directors, and producers who have an overview of what the show is all about.

One of the worst commentaries I've seen was by Drea de Matteo, Adrianna on The Sopranos. She gave the sole commentary on a crucial episode concerning her character, and it was incredibly shallow (which I suppose is apt for her character). (Other bad ones were by the three child actors on Game of Thrones, Sophie Tucker, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright. It was basically a lot of middle-school giggling about what other actors they thought were cute, with almost no reference to what was going on in the plot.) The best commentaries I've seen were on Breaking Bad, which often included Vince Gilligan and a half dozen others, including the main actors, producers, etc.)

Last edited by Colibri; 11-07-2019 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:35 AM
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Actually, if they're not a major character, they may not know how it turns out. I'm not sure if all actors are necessarily present at table reads, and sometimes actors are only sent scripts for the scenes they're in. They may have done dozens of takes of their scenes, even with different outcomes, and won't know which, if any, made it into the final cut. Personally, I'd be curious not merely about my own performance, but also the performances of my colleagues and friends among the cast.

But I think it's not merely surprising but incredibly lazy for an actor to agree to do commentary on an episode, and then not bother to at least do a run-through beforehand to plan what they are going to say, rather than doing it ad hoc.

I enjoy watching the commentaries on TV shows and movies on DVDs. However, the worst commentary is usually by actors, who may have no idea what's going on in the rest of the plot besides the scenes they're in. The best commentary is usually by the writers, directors, and producers who have an overview of what the show is all about.

One of the worst commentaries I've seen was by Drea de Matteo, Adrianna on The Sopranos. She gave the sole commentary on a crucial episode concerning her character, and it was incredibly shallow (which I suppose is apt for her character). (Other bad ones were by the three child actors on Game of Thrones, Sophie Tucker, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright. It was basically a lot of middle-school giggling about what other actors they thought were cute, with almost no reference to what was going on in the plot.) The best commentaries I've seen were on Breaking Bad, which often included Vince Gilligan and a half dozen others, including the main actors, producers, etc.)
I watched FIGHT CLUB with actor commentary, and figured the guy who could get by on movie-star good looks would prove less interesting than the noted perfectionist who has to work harder at being a method actor, because, hey, itís not like heís recording this in between a couple of his Sexiest Man Alive wins, yíknow?

As I recall, I was wrong: Brad Pitt had plenty of interesting things to say about the movie; but Edward Norton, not really, no.
  #46  
Old 11-07-2019, 11:44 AM
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Letting the the actors preview the final cut is a unworkable idea.
They would drive the director nuts wanting changes
Not really, because they don't have any say in the matter. It's none of their business, and they know that.

Do you call back the delivery driver to get his opinion on how you arranged the furniture he brought to your house?
  #47  
Old 11-07-2019, 07:32 PM
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Actually, if they're not a major character, they may not know how it turns out. I'm not sure if all actors are necessarily present at table reads, and sometimes actors are only sent scripts for the scenes they're in. They may have done dozens of takes of their scenes, even with different outcomes, and won't know which, if any, made it into the final cut. Personally, I'd be curious not merely about my own performance, but also the performances of my colleagues and friends among the cast.
I saw the kids in the show watch video of older shows. It was mostly "I can't believe I looked so nerdy." It's done, there is nothing you can do about it, and you have moved on to worrying about the next role. Not to mention the experience of shooting out of sequence makes watching the finished product nothing like acting in it.
Quote:
But I think it's not merely surprising but incredibly lazy for an actor to agree to do commentary on an episode, and then not bother to at least do a run-through beforehand to plan what they are going to say, rather than doing it ad hoc.

I enjoy watching the commentaries on TV shows and movies on DVDs. However, the worst commentary is usually by actors, who may have no idea what's going on in the rest of the plot besides the scenes they're in. The best commentary is usually by the writers, directors, and producers who have an overview of what the show is all about.
The only actor commentary I've heard was by Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood for 2001. Awful. The commentary was edited to make it sound like they were together but it was clear they weren't, and though they'd seen the movie they had no idea of what Kubrick was doing, and it showed. So in my limited experience I agree with you about actors. You'd at best get what was going on around the set, because actors spend a lot more time in the dressing room than on stage.
However, the commentary by Zucker and Abraham for Airplane was almost as bad. They did talk about casting, but most of it made you feel like an idiot for laughing at the jokes which they seemed to consider uniformly awful.
The best commentary I've heard is for older movies and is done by film historians and critics, who give the context and tell you lots of interesting background.

Quote:
One of the worst commentaries I've seen was by Drea de Matteo, Adrianna on The Sopranos. She gave the sole commentary on a crucial episode concerning her character, and it was incredibly shallow (which I suppose is apt for her character). (Other bad ones were by the three child actors on Game of Thrones, Sophie Tucker, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright. It was basically a lot of middle-school giggling about what other actors they thought were cute, with almost no reference to what was going on in the plot.) The best commentaries I've seen were on Breaking Bad, which often included Vince Gilligan and a half dozen others, including the main actors, producers, etc.)
That was exactly the experience the kids had in doing the shoot. The kids no doubt played together, did their homework, and sat in the dressing room waiting for the production crew to get ready (and learning their lines, which was no problem since they were professionals.) Then they'd go on set, read the lines a couple of times, then back to their dressing rooms for some more hours of waiting. Why would they care about the plot? Their job was to read their lines, not worry about the big picture.
  #48  
Old 11-07-2019, 09:14 PM
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She gets way too much shit for that, unless they are a main character some scenes could be in any damn movie. The kid who played young Antman in Endgame also had no idea what movie they had put him in, he said he watched infinity war and antman and the wasp and when he never showed up he thought he'd been cut completely.
  #49  
Old 11-07-2019, 10:48 PM
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Not movies but TV, but on some of the commentary tracks on episodes of TV shows like The Sopranos I've been amazed to hear some of the actors reveal this is the first time they're watching an episode they're doing commentary on.
When we filmed the pilot for my reality show I thought the plot of the show was one thing. When I saw the trailer I was surprised how much I was in it. Once the episode aired I was cut down to 10 min of the show and the plot had little to do with what I thought the plot was while filming.

During season 1 I watched every episode and live tweeted them and again it was interesting to see how much the plot we filmed had to do or not with the aired episode. I think with reality tv instead of scripted its easier to watch the episodes, I know our star watched every episode if for no other reason then to follow what the show was doing with him.
  #50  
Old 11-08-2019, 12:27 AM
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I think it's unfair to actors to judge all of them by the standard of how clueless Gwyneth Paltrow is.
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