Why Jon Voight is One of the Best American Actors!
Why Jon Voight is one of the best American actors? The Short answer. HE IS INTERESTING! See the Video Below! (I apologize if some are offended by the Twerking in this scene but I think the scene illustrates well what I mean.)
One of the reasons I absolutely adore Jon Voight as an actor is that he is ridiculously entertaining and fascinating to watch. On “Ray Donovan”, he dazzles as Mickey. Jon is a master of economy yet always succeeds in communicating what’s in his devious character’s little brain. He is just brilliant.
One of the things that I think actors tend to forget in this current age, when “naturalism” is all the rage, is what it means to be interesting.
Some actors speak their lines as if they want to get rid of them as easily as possible (they think this is more natural)… and likewise we as the audience want them to disappear as quickly as possible.
But IMHO, the best actors, like Jon Voight are SO irresistible that when they leave the screen, you feel abandoned. You can’t wait for them to come back! Why?
Jon is so crystal clear in his intentions as the character. Absolutely everything reads: His pride, his love of family, his viciousness, etc. He never judges his character, even when he does the most heinous things.
How can we improve on being interesting?
EVERY LINE AND MOMENT HAS MEANING!
In the scene, Mickey wants to get on the computer. So much so that he pays a student to give up his spot on the terminal. He doesn’t know ANYTHING about computers. He asks the student how to search for something. The kid tells him Google.
My favorite line: “Yeah Google.” His delivery tells you that he probably has NEVER HEARD of Google, and is embarrassed to reveal this. Then he apologetically explains to one student and immediately threatens another. Ha! Thirty nine seconds of greatness.
Many actors would have just thrown that line away. “Yeah Google”. Not Jon. Nothing is a throwaway. Great actors give you a steady stream of Great Moments.
Next time you prepare work, prepare carefully what your character wants with GREAT SPECIFICITY. Don’t let anything go to waste. Be Great! Be interesting!