I’ve heard of “method acting” which, if I understand correctly, is a style of acting where the actor tries to experience the emotions of the character, usually by actually experiencing some facets of the character’s life (such as by isolating themselves, or adopting an accent), and by staying in character throughout the filming.
So, what other “types” of acting are there? I’ve never heard of others. Is there a style that would be the opposite of method, some sort of “just deliver the lines” instruction? As a mere watcher of acting, I can’t really think of any other styles to even imagine.
With respect, I disagree with your explanation of method acting. Very, very few actors stay in character at all times, day and night. The fact that Val Kilmer remained in character as Jim Morrison throughout shooting (at least while on the set; I don’t know about off) and insisted on being addressed as “Jim” became well known precisely because it was unusual. (And, FWIW, many actors of my acquaintance thought it was ridiculous.)
My understanding of method acting — and I’m prepared to be corrected on this — is that you find some experience in your own life when your emotions paralleled the ones your character is feeling in the scene and draw on that.
For example, if your character has just learned that his wife has died, you remember how you felt when your dad died. You bring those emotions up and experience them again, this time as the character.
It’s my understanding that a lot of different techniques are lumped into “Method” that really aren’t. Or they are offshoots that evolved out of Method. Kind of like calling a therapist Freudian because you can draw a line ten steps back to Freud.
By no means a definitive explanation - but my own simplified description.
Method acting tries to get you to feel how the character feels. Non-method acting tries to get you to behave how the character behaves.
Another way of looking at it is Method works from the inside out, whereas non-Method works from the outside in.
For example, Olivier is said to notate his lines in a way not unlike musical scoring, to indicate raising and lowering inflection, volume, pacing, etc. That is the very definition of outside in. Whereas a Method actor would work on the emotional underpinning of the scene, and the lines would come out however they came out.
Daniel Day-Lewis is known for really, really getting into - and often staying in - character. When he was filming The Last of the Mohicans, the story goes, he carried his flintlock rifle around with him even after hours.