With Halloween around the corner, the spotlight is on horror films and the actors who bring terrifying creatures to life. Often Stunt Performers / Actors overlook the value of mastering their creature acting skills but consider how many times Zombies fall, hit or get killed ... its a whole genre and area of work that's perfect for Stunt People!
Creature acting is an art form that goes beyond regular acting, requiring a unique set of skills to portray non-human entities convincingly. This article delves into the world of creature acting, offering tips and insights from renowned creature actors.
The Legacy of Creature Acting
Creature acting has a rich history, dating back to the golden age of Hollywood. Films like "Creature from the Black Lagoon" set the stage for what would become a staple in horror cinema. Ben Chapman, the actor who played the creature, described the suit as a foam rubber costume that took 2-3 hours to get into and out of. The suit was like an outer layer of skin, making it easier to move as filming progressed.
The Art of Movement
Javier Botet, known for his roles in horror films throughout the 2000s, has mastered the art of capturing sinister bodily movements. His unique bodily proportions, a result of Marfan syndrome, give him a flexibility many other actors lack. Botet is a strong advocate for practical effects over CGI, emphasizing the importance of real, tangible performances.
Considering The Physical Demands
Creature acting is not for the faint-hearted. Bolaji Bodejo, who portrayed the xenomorph in Ridley Scott's "Alien," described the physical challenges of wearing the suit. The headpiece was so hot that he could only wear it for 15-20 minutes at a time. The suit also required copious amounts of K-Y Jelly to achieve the slimy effect.
The Emotional Toll
Doug Jones, famous for his roles in Guillermo del Toro's films, talks about the emotional and physical toll of creature acting. The complex suits often limit his senses, and the roles involve a significant amount of pain. Despite these challenges, Jones is highly regarded for his ability to bring emotional depth to his characters.
A Word From The Experts
An ISA 'Creature Feature' Special: Mastering the Art of Zombie Acting
Zombie acting has become a subgenre of creature acting, thanks to the popularity of films and TV shows like "The Walking Dead." While makeup and costumes are essential, the performance itself can make or break a zombie character.
Here are five things you can do to elevate your Zombie acting:
This blog os co-authored by The ISA Team