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Pachy's avatar

Do your favorite actors do this? (read below)

Asked by Pachy (12916 points ) January 16th, 2013

In “The Devil Wears Prada,” Meryl Streep several times does a little double-clearing of her throat when she was sits down at her desk. It’s a small thing and easily missed, but it seems very real to me, right in keeping with her character, and is used at just the right times. But now I’ve discovered she uses that same identical vocal tic in a more recent movie, “Iron Lady,” and now I find it annoying, both because Streep’s used in the previous movie (and maybe other movies, too) and because its timing in this movie always feels somehow wrong. It seems to have turned into simply an affectation. Have you noticed that a favorite actor repeatedly uses his or her own little mannerisms? I ask because I’ve always been interested in acting and love studying professionals’ techniques.

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20 Answers

Shippy's avatar

Gosh you are observant? I can’t say I have noticed. Maybe simple things like a female moving a lock of hair from her face, that to me is highly annoying. You know, if your hair falls in a strange way enough to cause and issue cut it off I say. (The lock not the hair, or maybe both).

Seek's avatar

Perhaps that’s just one of her tics. She might not even really be aware that she’s doing it.

Pachy's avatar

Good thought, @Seek_Kolinahr, but it’s definitely an actor’s trick. Of that I’m positive.

linguaphile's avatar

Johnny Depp purses his lips in a very idiosyncratic way in almost all the characters he’s done that I’ve seen. I’d call him wildly versatile, if it weren’t for that lip-pursing.

I love his acting, but unfortunately, I do look for his lip-purse in every movie because it’s just something he does. The lip-pursing is the one thing that makes it impossible for me to forget it’s Johnny Depp, and not be able to fully believe he’s ____ (insert character’s name here).

Some other actors use the same facial expression or mannerisms in many of their movies—Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise and Liam Neeson for example.

Pachy's avatar

@linguaphile, yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Sunny2's avatar

When you notice these kinds of mannerisms in actors, it does become annoying. It may be a fluttering of hands, an um thrown in here and there, a simper. It’s true that characters may have similar characteristics in different plays or movies, but if you notice repetitions in different performances, it doesn’t seem sincere. It gets so you wait to see that particular gesture and can say, “Yep. There she goes.”

linguaphile's avatar

@Sunny2 Exactly. The WORST ONE OF ALL is….. Horatio Caine. I stopped watching CSI:Miami because of him. It got to where I’d cringe in horror every time he did that sunglasses thing.

CWOTUS's avatar

Is this related to how Kevin Costner always had that vertical smile on his ass at some point in every movie he used to make when younger, and he’d lose his pants for some reason?

Having not seen the Streep movies in question, now I’ll have to be sure to do that.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Kristen Stewart chews on her bottom lip in all of her movies. I think that’s more of just a nervous tic, though.

Pachy's avatar

Speaking of mannerisms, has anyone else noticed that President Obama has adopted Bill Clinton’s annoying way of pursing his lips like THIS ?

It always struck me as a defensive, hanging-tough facial mannerism with Clinton, and now the same for Obama—and I say that with respect, not derision.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

He’s probably my least favorite actor, and I avoid all his films, but I need to mention thatTom Cruise has gotten by, for years, by switching between a boyish grin and an intense, concerned stare. That’s about his entire range.

Pachy's avatar

@PaulSadieMartin, Your comment reminds me of writer Dorothy Parker’s famous line about Katherine Hepburn: “She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.”

ucme's avatar

Yeah, quite a few actors have their own little mannerisms, Clint Eastwood has his squint, every single role he’s ever played he does this with his eyes, menacing bad mo-fo.
Also Jeff Goldblum always inserts…unnecessary…err..umm…pauses…into…umm…err..his…dialogue.
I reckon it must just be part of themselves that can’t be masked under the cloak of acting.

ccrow's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room it looks like Biden is working on the same expression in the background.

livelaughlove21's avatar

My favorite actor’s trademark is a raised eyebrow, which he does beautifully. He also sucks both of his lips between his teeth fairly often.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room When I was writing my message, I was reminded of the same Dorothy Parker quote and tempted to use it! You and I must think alike.

gailcalled's avatar

Streep is one of the most scrupulous and attentive actors alive today. I cannot believe that she would have any unplanned gesures or movements of any kind in any scenes.

Other actors of lesser caliber, perhaps. Jack Nicholson’s eyebrows deserve their own dressing room.

Ditto about the Dorothy Parker quote.

ucme's avatar

The “king” of the raised eyebrow has to be Roger Moore.

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