Eric Kim / Staff reporter
On July 1, 2004, Marlon Brando, known for method acting in films such as The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, died from lung failure. While he may have been The Godfather in Francis Ford Coppola’s film of the same name, it was his acting method that has continued to be used by actors such Daniel Day-Lewis, Shia LaBeouf, Joaquin Phoenix.
Brando was a “rebellious prodigy who electrified a generation transformed the art of screen acting” said Rick Lyman, general assignments reporter. He was one of the original method actors and pioneered method acting into what it is today. At the time, method acting was a relatively obscure technique only heard in acting schools.
Method actors such as LaBeouf, Phoenix and Lewis took it to greater extents demonstrating greater results than classical acting.
LaBeouf was immersed, in his movie “Fury”. ”I spent a month living on a forward operating base. Then I linked up with my cast and went to Fort Irwin. I pulled my tooth out, knifed my face up and spent days watching horses die, I didn’t bathe for four months,” said LaBeouf.
LaBeouf’s attempt at making trench life realistic caused separation from the rest of the cast despite the warnings that the cast gave him. LaBeouf’s take on the film is an example of how Brando’s Method acting legacy came to be.
Another example would be Daniel Day-Lewis’ role in the movie “Lincoln”. Day-Lewis is portrayed as Abraham Lincoln and “insisted on being addressed on set as ‘Mr. President”. “Lewis studied Alexander Gardner’s American Civil War era photos” to adapt to Lincoln’s mannerisms. He also wrote letters and notes to co-workers and sign them off as ‘Abe’ to immerse himself more in the role. With Day-Lewis soon retiring from acting, his generation of method acting will also be remembered.