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Is it easy to play a person whose mannerisms are well known?

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Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth
Elizabeth: Alex Bailey

Is it easy to play a person whose mannerisms are well known?

Do you think it’s easier for an actor to play a famous person whose mannerisms are well known, or does this make the job more difficult? — Catherine Vodrey
Oh, much more difficult, especially when playing FPs from the modern age of media coverage. Jamie Foxx famously taped his eyes shut to ”become” Ray Charles, and gets props for an uncanny transformation. But just look at the flak Cate Blanchett took in some quarters for ”imitating” Katharine Hepburn’s mannerisms rather than becoming Kate — as if there’s only one right way to portray an FP. The choice to play an intriguingly oversize Hepburn was just what the oversize Aviator needed. Fortunately, there are no eyewitnesses left to quibble with Blanchett’s great perf as the Virgin Queen in Elizabeth.

(Got a movie-related question for Lisa or Owen? Post it here.)

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