General Question

ththththth's avatar

How do I appear to be a broken 40year old man when I am only 28?

Asked by ththththth (241points) June 8th, 2009

I am an actor playing the biggest role of my life so far. . . I am playing the role of Winston Smith in an adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984 (** ****)”. I am already a fairly lazy person ‘I think’. I no longer actively practice or have actively practiced martial arts in years (excluding warm-ups pre-show for my last production) but feel as though forms from ti ji, wu gong, ti kwon do and many others throughout my life are so ingrained that it feels unhealthy for me to just jump or rather slow quickly into doing ‘LESS’. I just want to be able to achieve an empathectic appearance of a 40 to even late forties insecure male, if possible. Keeping in mind that I need to make this transition in the duration of one torture scene.

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14 Answers

mammal's avatar

tough one, is that the scene with the rats, room 101 and stuff?

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

Lack of sleep will help significantly.

It never hurts to actually BE “broken.” Maybe try something and fail at it?

gailcalled's avatar

Aren’t you describing what acting is? If you broke something and stopped sleeping in order to do the scene, perhaps you need to rethink your profession.

Great actors usually keep very fit; it doesn’t detract from their acting skills.

chyna's avatar

Have you ever watched the tv show 24? Keiffer Sutherland gets tortured about every 3rd show and he’s pretty good at it. I think he is in his 40’s.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Are you able to identify somehow with a strung out 30yr old? If so then there’s no difference in the look. The Winston character is worn but also tightly bound bitterness, his movements are pretended laxness, a way of trying to accept even in his body a feeling of being complacent and beaten.

Blondesjon's avatar

@chyna . . .He just drinks a lot. He’s actually 23 years old.

Jeruba's avatar

Try carrying some weight inside your jacket. Something like one of those lead shields you wear when you get an X-ray at the dentist. Something to make every step feel like a struggle and make gravity your foe.

He does have to stay attractive enough to appeal to Julia (Julia?).

But the main thing I would do in your place is start paying a lot of attention to the posture, movement, and mannerisms of people who look like your idea of Winston Smith. Then internalize the feeling and imitate them. That’s what makes acting something not just anyone can do, isn’t it?

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Go out and hit on a girl that’s WAAAAAYYYY out of your league… that should definitely lower your confidence levels…

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

For starters, talk to your parents.

Think about the inevitable conclusion that you are going to die someday.
Think about whether or not you’re going to have enough money to retire when you’re 65.
Think about what you’re going to do when more and more of your hair starts turning gray.
Think about what you would do if your best friend died.
Think about the personal sacrifices to your social life that you need to make for your children.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’m no expert on acting and it’s been a while since I’ve read 1984 but it seems like maybe you are asking the wrong question. Winston Smith seems, most certainly, a character that you would play from the inside out, not the outside in. The question, I don’t think, should be about the physical aspects of the role, how does a 28 year old play a 40 year old, but how do you play someone who has been broken down by a totalitarian society, who has been denied love, who has been strong enough to try to fight it but weak enough to betray the one he loves, under torture, of course, but still….

AstroChuck's avatar

Start some serious chain smoking. That’ll hag you out.

Dog's avatar

This is easy- just hang out with our twins.

In one hour you will be broken and feel like you are ready for social security.

I do not know exactly how they do it but they seem to be able to literally take energy out of those around them and wire themselves up with it. (I should try to get grant money to study the phenomenon)

ththththth's avatar

lol thank you all this is a lot to work with. will be busy busy busy questioning is on hold for me till this production is done i think :-)

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