I was always fascinated by the stark contrast between the character played by Brad Pitt in True Romance (small role) and the character Rusty in Ocean's Eleven. Same person, completely different persona. Gary Oldman is another one that is so chamaeleon like, it is often difficult to recognize him in character (nevermind the makeup and costume).

I am curious to know if the techniques associated with method acting, attempting to live in the shoes of a desired character, have any basis for helping a normal person become the type of person they desire to be (behavior and persoanlity). I am not sure if method actors ever actually 'become' the character they are portraying, but from outward appearances it would be difficult to tell. They may very well easily discard their character once finished. However, I have heard that DiCaprio suffered from some residual effects of portraying Howard Hughes in The Aviator. This type of behavioral modification is similar to "fake it until you make it", or simply performing a repetitive action until it becomes natural. Nothing new. But I am wondering if method acting (and its associated techniques) could contribute something new to this process affecting our natural selves. Does this take advantage of our neural plasticity?

If the answer is yes, how long would one have to perform these techniques before any noticeable chamge would occur? This, I supose, would help to compare its efficacy against other techniques.

*Also, I'm not sure if this would be any easier or more productive than other CBT techniques, since if anyone could portray personas well, everyone would work in Hollywood.

  • $\begingroup$ Like a self-fulfilling prophecy? $\endgroup$ – queenslug Sep 29 '16 at 8:52
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure if your comment is rhetorical or not, but yes, that would be an end product. However, my question is in regards to the efficacy of the technique itself in reshaping lifestyle behavior. $\endgroup$ – user58446 Sep 30 '16 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ Noy rhetorical was asking for clarity $\endgroup$ – queenslug Oct 4 '16 at 11:53

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