Alec Guinness: Acting as Salvation

Interview with Alec Guinness
Conducted by James Grissom
Via Telephone

I don't speak of acting as if it were a profession, which I know sounds perverse, if not militantly ignorant: Acting for me was a salvation into which I fell, a piece of the family puzzle that was given to me, and I snapped it in place, and there was now a whole image, a fuller person, something where previously there had been nothing.

When I act, I am joining a family, and I accept and love them fully, as I do with those who are bound to me by love and blood. I am not a curious person in the sense of reading many things on acting--the history and the techniques and the application--but I am very curious about people, and acting affords me the luxury of metaphysical time travel and the voyeuristic joy of living within someone else's skin, and seeing things through their eyes. Acting is the only way I know of in which we can live the fantasy of being invisible. Living in the mist, on the margins.

But it begins with love--love of the work, the words, the act of rehearsing, the bonding that must take place among the company. I am a man sitting on a vast mountain of family members and friends and memories.

Acting came to me as a salvation, and it is now my profession, but I'm holding on to my immature concept of it.

©  2018  James Grissom


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