I was watching a clip from CNN of Lindsay Lohan being sentenced and I found it fascinating how she was able to hide behind her lawyer even as her lawyer shifted in her seat. Even in a serious, future changing court setting, while hearing the shocking news that she was really going to jail… she knew exactly where the lens was and she kept herself hidden from it. It was uncanny and really interesting to watch. There were times when she could be seen, but it wasn't long and she tucked herself back in quickly.
So, one has to surmise it's an instinct; Where is the lens and what do I want it to see? This isn't a testimony to her instincts as an actress nor what her life in front of the lens has wrought, it's about playing a character.
I found it fascinating to see how easy it was for her to have this devastated, sob filled, reaction to what her life just became and still have total awareness on the lens in order to keep hidden from the camera.
If you were playing this role, an actress could make the choice that this would be maybe the one moment in the life of the character when she really broke down and didn't care about the cameras because the news of jail just rocked her off all her normal instincts. Or an actress could play it like no matter what, a celeb is a celeb is a celeb and the lens is always primary, even when the news is tragic. That clip is proof, right?
In rehearsal actors have been known to react to direction with, "My character would never do that!" Seeing things like Ms. Lohan in court can open your eyes to subtleties that you hadn't considered before and make creating the character a lot more fun. Finding real life stuff that helps you better understand the many, many, wild variations on humanity always helps you make richer characters. Doing research is fun and should open your eyes to things you hadn't considered. You don't have to pull every idea out of thin air when creating a role to be considered a great talent. Using what the world gives you is also showing you have great talent.
Lindsay is 23, she'll survive 3 months in jail. So don't wear your "Free Lindsay!!" t-shirt while marching on the court or hope for her ruin, just thank her for showing you what it is to be her.
Thank everyone who shows you something you didn't know about humanity. It will make you a deeper artist.