Thursday, September 18, 2008
In my experience there are three kinds of improvising actors: those that can, those can can't, and those that think they can but really shouldn't bother.
Ezra Miller belongs to none of the above categories. He belongs to one of the rarest of all actor categories: those that MUST improvise because their flow of creativity so surpasses whatever material they are working with that it would simply be irresponsible for a director to not encourage it. When I hired Ezra--who most of you don't yet know, but trust me you will soon--it wasn't because I knew he had this gift; rather it was because of his charm and natural humor that he displayed in his reading. And his confidence. Often, actors coming in to read for a part may not even be the best actor for the role--but if they give the director a sense of security, if they display a sense of self-sufficiency, that can go a long way to making a director feel...how to put it? More at ease. Like there's one less burden on my shoulders. In Ezra's case, he was so already cast in his head when he walked in, and so charming and funny and already "beyond" the process that we were asking him to participate in, that the decision was made the second he walked out of the room; I turned to my casting director Sheila Jaffe and said, "hire him". She wasn't surprised. She was thinking the same thing.
Then on the set I discovered that I'd not only hired a fine actor--but I'd tapped into an excellent writer as well. If you give Ezra the leash, he'll take you on a hell of a walk. His invention never lets up, his attention never flags, and he'll never stop making you laugh. There are things he's said that will never make it into the finished version of the movie--for whatever reason--that still wake me up in the middle of the night laughing. Enough. Below are two clips of somebody who has earned my utmost respect and from whom you'll be hearing in the near future....and he's not even eighteen frigging years old yet...
Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 5:51 AM