The term “method acting” refers to techniques that actors use to position themselves within the thoughts and feelings of their respective characters, such that realistic, accurate, or effective performances are delivered and bolstered by such positioning. Conceivably, most actors are likely to engage in method acting to small or great extents, but usually, actors who engage in relatively extreme forms of method acting are likely to be frequently spoken about (e.g. Daniel Day Lewis confining himself to a wheelchair for My Left Foot 1989). However, engaging in method acting can be as simple and effective as placing a bottle cap into your shoe to remind you to limp.
Robin Lord Taylor, the actor who portrays Penguin on the Gotham TV show, has a nifty little trick that reminds him to limp properly for his role as the slightly crippled criminal. The trick was employed shortly after the actor realized that he forgot to limp during one of his scenes.
Referring to the scene, Taylor said:
“We did the whole thing, and we move along and then I go back to the holding area, and I’m like, ‘I forgot to limp!’ And I freaked out! I completely freaked out. I immediately had someone go over to the director and the continuity person, and they were like, ‘It’s okay, we’ll deal with it. It should be fine.’ But then I felt like such a dumb idiot.”
Soon after this, a wardrobe assistant suggested that Taylor place a bottle cap into his shoe to assist his waddling, and Taylor continued:
“Since then, it’s still in my shoe [under the right foot and near the heel]. It just brings that pain, and it’s a reminder.”
Jada Pinkett Smith, the actress who portrays Fish Mooney on Gotham, revealed that she strung along a man on a leash to the audition for the role. She met Danny Cannon for the audition, and was dressed in a long gown and a short black wig, tugging along a shirtless, leashed man who bore the word “liar” written in lipstick on his forehead.
“I said, ‘Forget it, instead of talking about who Fish Mooney is, let me just show you. I went Method.”
Inspect the pudding if you seek the proof! Gotham airs on Mondays at 8/7c. Enjoy.