SAG Actors Praise Fellow Actors

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt is able to skillfully balance joy and sadness with such delicacy. There is something about his smile, something light and deep, and, at the same time, there is also something about his eyes, sparkling and poetic. In the black-and-white sequence, his performance in “500 Days of Summer” is reminiscent of an old-fashioned movie star, but carried with notes of modernity. He’s an architect of intensity.

So says Marion Cotillard, the Oscar winning actress of such films as La Vie en Rose, Public Enemies, and the upcoming Nine. Variety has compiled a list of “Actors on Actors” in anticipation of the upcoming SAG Awards. There are a number of quotations from actors praising their fellow thespians in some quotations that are more eloquent than some of the most well-spoken critics. It’s always fascinating to hear filmmakers talk about other filmmakers and its no different with actors. Nobody knows the craft of acting like those who do it.

I have listed some of my favorites after the jump. View the full list of quotations here.

Tom Cruise on Peter Saarsgard:

Peter is a remarkable talent. The moment his David arrives on that rainy afternoon offering a ride to Jenny’s cello you get a chill down your spine that doesn’t subside until well after leaving the theater. He’s smooth charming and convincingly smitten with the young Jenny and like her parents you find yourself wanting to like this man whom you know you shouldn’t trust. You can’t help yourself being swayed despite that nagging feeling that the rug is about to be pulled out from under you. Peter skillfully pulls you along planting enough mystery with just the right balance of respect for Jenny that we are willing to take the ride with him and against our better judgment find ourselves succumbing to his charm.

Julianne Moore on Meryl Streep:

Meryl Streep as Julia Child was just wonderful. She made me cry. It’s that same thing of watching a real person. There’s something sometimes where we think people’s goals are unattainable and then you watch Meryl take this very real character who makes something of her life by cooking. When you watch Meryl express all that — the joy and love — I found that very moving. It was that expression of personal achievement and the joy it brought her and the love she brought to it.

Bradley Cooper on Sam Rockwell:

I really enjoyed Sam Rockwell in “Moon.” I love watching that guy act anyway and it was an inventive way to tell this story and to tell the story all by yourself with a camera. In “Moon” he plays a couple of different versions of himself. It was an example a lesson in behaving and just being and living in this spaceship and you wanted to be there with him. He wasn’t doing anything outrageous to get your attention. But it was wonderful to watch.

Jeff Goldblum on Michael Stuhlbarg:

Michael Stuhlbarg is wonderful and perfectly cast as Larry Gopnik in “A Serious Man” for countless reasons. To this incredibly complex character he brings his keenly intelligent sense of humor his soulful gentleness his deep kindness and sensitivity his touching inner-illuminated humanity his capacity for presence and love his brave/intuitive/poetical humility and his understanding of the character’s profound moral struggle. Michael’s Larry Gopnik is a reflection of his boundless work ethic and tremendous appetite for character investigation. Onscreen this translates into Gopnik exuding a mystical otherworldliness appearing seemingly passive but vigorously active and even in the most theatrical moments providing an anchor in reality and naturalism.

Martin Sheen on Hal Holbrook:

I had the privilege of playing Hal Holbrook’s gay lover in the landmark TV film “That Certain Summer.” His character was a divorced father with a teenage son, and in one powerful climactic scene, the boy rejects him when he discovers he’s gay. Hal sat down and simply wept uncontrollably in the scene, as his son walked away. It was a stunning and deeply moving performance, which he repeated several more times with equal success for the coverage. Afterwards, I told him how moved I was and how impressive it was to watch him reach such emotional depth so quickly and with such ease. He thanked me and casually said, “The older you get, the easier it is.”That was 37 years ago, and that remark was newly remembered as I watched his extraordinary performance in “That Evening Sun.” Acting is never that easy, no matter how young or old we who do it are. But the older Hal gets, the easier he makes it appear, and that is part of his genius. Like an extension of his character from “Into the Wild,” Abner, in “That Evening Sun,” brings Hal front and center and yields an unforgettable, subtle and deeply personal performance. If it gets easier the older he gets, I can’t wait to see Hal at age 90.

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