February 25, 2019

Ryan Reynolds Lampoons Acting and the Meisner Technique by “Becoming Pikachu”

Becoming Pikachu
Serious acting be damned, Ryan Reynolds parodies everything we love about immersive character actors in new featurette.

To be fair, Ryan Reynolds has never been known as a serious classically trained actor to begin with. Best known for his self-aware snark as Deadpool, Reynold’s originally rose to fame as in the National Lampoon college romp Van Wilder in the early 2000s.

He’s since rose to a surprising level of stardom - mostly coincided with Deadpool’s massive popularity - and has landed the dream role of a lifetime - Pikachu, in the upcoming Pokemon movie Detective Pikachu.

In a sardonic anecdote of every Daniel Day-Lewis performance ever, as well as a tongue-in-cheek sendup on every Meisner technique classical actor who immerses themselves into their role, we get Reynolds delivering gems like this…

“Bringing Detective Pikachu to the big screen is a privilege that I don’t take lightly. Every second of my energy is spent making this character come alive with the same exacting standards that the most discerning fans would come to expect…”

And it gets worse from there. Check it out yourself.

The Pokemon Detective Pikachu movie also stars Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton and Ken Watanabe and comes out May 10, 2019. And you can watch the actual non-parody trailer below.

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That's not the Meisner technique. The Meisner technique involves exercises that are "rooted in repetition so that the words are deemed insignificant compared to the underlying emotion", such as the popular exercise where two people have a conversation using one word said in different ways.

What the video is lampooning (and article is referencing) is method acting, where an actor's goal is to "experience" a role as opposed to "representing" it, famously seen used by actors like Daniel Day Lewis and Jared Leto, who often go to the lengths of "becoming" their characters throughout the length of the shoot, trying to achieve greater authenticity.

For an actual example of the Meisner technique in action, you can refer to this scene from The Wire, where two detectives investigating a crime scene communicate entirely through physical actions and different inflections on the word "fuck": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdfwFDZGnUk

This article should probably be edited for accuracy.

February 26, 2019 at 4:34PM

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Jacob Floyd
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