Why Andrew Garfield Is Bothered By Method Acting Being Called 'Bulls***'

When movie fans hear the phrase "method acting," they likely associate the phrase with the horror stories of actors like Jared Leto making the set of "Morbius" an absolute nightmare, or the continued trend of romanticizing the extreme lengths actors go to prepare for "Batman" films. The ethics of method acting has been highly debated for years, with actors like Jon Bernthal and Andrew McCarthy both speaking out against the abuse of the practice, and the public's misunderstandings about what method acting actually entails. Method acting is built upon the principles of Konstantin Stanislavski, with groundbreaking theater educators Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, and Sanford Meisner developing their own techniques to enhance "The Method."

The latest actor to throw in their two cents is Andrew Garfield, who recently expressed his feelings on method acting during an interview with Variety. "There [have] been a lot of misconceptions about what method acting is, I think," said Garfield. "People are still acting in that way, and it's not about being an a-hole to everyone on set, it's actually just about living truthfully under imagined circumstances, and being really nice to the crew simultaneously, and being a normal human being, and being able to drop it when you need to and staying in it when you want to stay in it." Obviously, I'm no Andrew Garfield, but his sentiments echo everything I was taught about method acting while earning my Bachelor's degree in theatre with an acting emphasis.

'I don't think you know what method acting is if you're calling it B.S.'

Garfield used a bevy of colorful language to express his frustrations, understandable when you consider how universally reviled "method" has become in recent years. "I'm kind of bothered by the misconception, I'm kind of bothered by this idea that 'method acting is f****** bulls***,'" Garfield exclaimed. "No, I don't think you know what method acting is if you're calling it bulls***, or you just worked with someone who claims to be a method actor who isn't actually acting the method at all," he continued.

Garfield also took umbrage with those actors who claim "method" as a way to excuse their poor practice on set. "It's also very private," he said. "I don't want people to see the f****** pipes of my toilet. I don't want them to see how I'm making the sausage." 

There are a number of ways to approach method acting, but none of them require forcing an entire crew to suffer in the name of an actor's process. Garfield is right to feel upset about the public's disparaging mindset about a truly beneficial resource in the actor's toolbox because a handful of jerks evoked its name to skirt accountability for their own bad on-set behavior.