On Method Acting
"Acting and living, and everything else, for that matter, is compassion.
What Lee and Stella [Adler] and Mira [Rostova] and Herbert [Berghof] were all espousing was compassion, an amplification of humanity, which is all that will save a scene or a play or a relationship or the world.
The world is so inordinately tiny, not geographically but spiritually. We shuffle along, happy to do the least amount of work and exploration, perhaps because we feel we don't deserve all the riches that surround us.
Movies, plays, art, music, and interaction with other people who sought compassion and understanding saved me, and they will keep us all. What is at the heart of The Method is compassion and empathy.
Go into your private moments and private spaces and realise all you've felt and all that has been given to you and taken away. We will never murder; we might never give birth; we were not Napoleon. But within us are similar emotions, drives, feelings that can place us within an adjoining heart of a murderer, of Napoleon. Of anyone.
What the teachers were telling us, what Lee was telling his students, was to empathise with your own history and to merge with the histories of others.
Art means nothing if it does not connect with an audience, even if it might be an audience of one. Honesty with our emotions will connect with the honesty of someone else with their own feelings. Otherwise, it is performing, which is not confused with acting.
Call it Method, call it acting, call it art; it is the painful, glorious compassion that joins us all, shared in one space at one time."