Writing and directing matter a lot when it comes to making a good movie. But bad acting can destroy even the best written scenes and the best directed picture. Thankfully, Hollywood has some incredible actors. 

Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Jeremy Pope (The Inspection), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All At Once), and Adam Sandler (Hustle) join The Hollywood Reporter for their Actors Roundtable.

They discuss a wide array of topics, from being forgotten to making bold choices, to just staying in Hollywood. 

Check it out below. 

What I love about this year's batch of actors is that it feels like they all challenged themselves to take on roles that stretched them and forced them to confront parts of them they were not expecting. Like Adam Sandler, who reflected on why he started acting. 

"It’s funny, the other night, my daughter, who’s 16, said, 'When you first started, why did you do it?' I guess I just wanted people to like me," Sandler said. "I started caring about opening up to other stuff the older I got. I started thinking about not just the opportunities, but making sure that every opportunity I got, I did the best work I could do — work that I could say, 'Oh, I didn’t know I could do that!' It’s exciting to do different types of things.

For Sandler, this moment didn't come to him until Punch Drunk Love, saying, "And that stuff didn’t open up in my brain until Paul Thomas Anderson wrote that movie for me. He saw it as just as 'an Adam Sandler movie,' but a dramatic version of it."

Similarly, Pope wanted to be someone different on screen than audiences had seen before. He said, "I didn’t see a lot of representation of Black, openly gay, queer individuals in media, so I didn’t know what my way in would be. When I graduated college, [I] went to art school, and everyone was about to audition, it was like, 'Don’t let people know you’re gay. You’ve got to be this version of a Black man to be successful as an actor.'"

"So I spent many years doing that, and abandoning my truth and trying to be what they wanted me to be in the room," Pope said. "It was the moment when I started to love on myself, and love the evolved version of who I am, and be around collaborators and creators that are doing that, when all these things started to happen."

The Hollywood Reporter Actors Roundtable'The Inspection'Credit: A24

Sometimes, you kind of just look like a person and hope you have the skill to embody that. Butler talked about his Elvis resemblance, and what led him to being cast for the movie.

"People always ask me, 'Had you for years thought you looked like Elvis?' And I’d say, 'I don’t really think I look that much like Elvis.' That never crossed my mind. But the month before I heard that Baz [Luhrmann] was making the movie, I was going to look at Christmas lights with a friend, and there was an Elvis Christmas song on the radio, and I was singing along, and my friend looked over at me and goes, 'You’ve got to play Elvis.' I said, 'Oh, that’s such a long shot.'"

Butler continued: "Then my agent called and said, 'So, Baz Luhrmann is making an Elvis film…' The hairs just stood up on my arms. It made me go, 'All right. It’s Everest. I don’t know if I’m good enough, but I’ve got to give it everything.' I hired a movement coach, a singing coach, and a dialect coach, and I just started working like I had the job. I met with Baz after about a month. And we spent five months trying things. And then eventually I had to do a screen test. I was like, 'Oh, I don’t have the job?'"

What were your favorite parts of the roundtable discussion?

Let us know in the comments.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter