Anyone who’s taken an introductory acting class has probably been engaged in a round of what is known as the Meisner technique. To sum it up reductively, this approach to acting involves saying the same word or line of dialogue over and over and over, each time with a different spin, to the end of emancipating yourself from whatever preconceived notions you attach to said set of words from the get-go. As I explain it, it may sound a bit dry and humdrum. So let me defer to the charm and expertise of two renowned actors, Tom Hanks and Tom Holland.
On a recent episode of The Graham Norton Show, Hanks took it upon himself to give fellow guest and (hopefully) his new protégée and showbiz squire Tom Holland a lesson in Meisner-ing the heck out of a simple line. The result was the always affable Hanks barking creative advice at Holland the way a loving father might, and a giddily befuddled Holland striving to impress his would-be father figure. Okay, maybe I’m projecting a little, but the scene in question is downright adorable and deserves a quick watch.
The Chrises of Hollywood stardom have had a good run, but perhaps it’s time they passed the spotlight to an even worthier cohort: the Toms. There may only be two of them at present, but between just the pair, they span an age-range of 40 years and represent cinematic triumphs from Big, Saving Private Ryan, and Catch Me If You Can to the Avengers and Spider-Man series and The Lost City of Z. Toss a Hardy or a Hiddleston or maybe a Berenger if you’re feeling feisty into the mix, and you’ve got yourself the next great collective of like-named thespians in the biz. Finally, Tom Holland will be able to take on his greatest nemesis.
Image: BBC/The Graham Norton Show