The Olivier Reaction

I don’t remember if I saw this on Inside The Actor’s Studio or made it up or made up the existence of Inside The Actor’s Studio, but the story was this. Someone, and the story’s better if it’s Christopher Walken so now it’s Christopher Walken, was telling a story about Sir Lawrence Olivier. A story about a story about a story that probably I made up. That’s stories for you.

Sir Oliver, famously disdainful of The Method, nevertheless described his approach to acting: the opposite and wrong reaction. If a character was supposed to feel afraid, he would find a way to laugh, if angry, he would approach it as if he had lost his best friend. To be wrong and yet congruent – this is the Olivier Reaction.