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June 29th, 2012, 12:03
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
That may be your opinion, but it's not part of the definition of playing a role. It depends on the people involved. Some movie directors take full control and basically dictate exactly what the characters should do. Sure, the actors get to interpret the character within those parameters, but that's hardly the kind of choices you're looking for.
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A role can be dictated in such a way, that everything the character does is the opposite of what the actor would have wanted to do. Effectively, giving the actor no freedom to act or play the role. But he's still playing a role.
I think you may have misunderstood my previous comment. An actor does not need to rewrite a script, or ignore his director in order to play a role.

You play a role by considering your character and taking actions you think your character would take. In a film, you are going through this process, on camera, of choosing what your character would choose to do.

Your director might have a completely different interpretation of your character, in which case it is your job to respond to the director's notes and find a way to justify that choice and make it work.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Playing a role is - at the core - an extremely simple concept. It's about pretending to be someone else, or simply acting as if you were someone else. There is absolutely no implicit level of choice that's required for playing a role.
You are somewhat correct, in that it is a very simple concept, to act as if you were someone else. The way that you do this is through your actions. You do the actions you think your character would do, you say what you think your character would want to say, in the manner you think they would say it.

If you dress someone up in a costume and have them stand paralyzed in front of a camera without moving a muscle, thinking or doing anything at all, this is not playing a role, because they are not taking those actions their character would take.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
A role can be extremely simple or extremely complex - or anything in between. Some roles are basically "extras" that involve absolutely nothing except "being there" in a crowd.
You can sit in front of a camera in a costume and do nothing and you are not acting, you are not playing a role. You can even perform a lead role in a horrible film by not playing your role at all, but simply standing there reading lines.

On the other hand, I have friends who have appeared in films as extras and they had a concept of their character and took actions they thought that character would take, whether it's the tiniest gesture, or the thought process that go through as you silently mouth a conversation with the other extra in your scene, the only way to act is through taking actions you think your character would take.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Monster basher is a role, whether you like it or not. Also, in a typical RPG - it involves a lot of roleplaying choices - whether you like those choices or not.
"Someone who bashes monsters" is simply not a role, anymore than "someone who breathes," or "someone who sleeps," etc. On the other hand, you could be cast in a play, where there is a character named "Monster Basher #1," and if you really want to play this role and act the part, you must establish clear concept of your character and what this character wants in the scene you are playing. Once you have that, then you can play the role by taking actions you think that character would take.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Exactly and they're playing a role.
This is not acting. Simply reading lines on camera is not playing the role.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
But I fully understand that such a role isn't sufficient for you - and that you, personally, have some need to disqualify such a game from the RPG genre - as if it was an honor to be one. That's on you, though.
If we are talking about roleplaying, there are more complex, detailed character concepts, and much more simple concepts, but "someone who bashes monsters" is not even a concept for a character.

At a very minimum, you must be able to consider that character's perspective and what your character wants.

You could say, "well, my character wants to bash monsters." Already that is much closer to a concept for a character. "Someone who wants to bash monsters" is very different from "someone who bashes monsters," and almost a role you can play. Then you ask yourself, why does my character want to bash monsters? You develop a name, a history, why you think it is that they want to bash monsters, and now you actually have a character concept that you can role play. But you can't just go with "someone who bashes monsters" - this is simply impossible to role play because you don't know what this character wants, you don't have way to consider the perspective of the character and do things you think your character would want to do.

Now that you have a character concept, whether you can take it and play the role in a particular video game or not is another matter, which depends on the extent to which the game makes it possible to act upon what you think the character would choose to do.
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