The Three Differences Between Theatre and Film Acting


A lot of famous big-screen actors started their career by performing in theater. Actors is a actors regardless if they act in front of camera or on the stage, and many of them say that the filing is the same, the part is a part. We were exploring and we have concluded that there are some differences. In theater, the audience sits at a clown distance and can hear their laugh, to feel their breath or even the silence, it’s necessary to act with less subtlety, to be loud, and to get everything right at once at that place and that moment. Because of the fundamental differences between the two types of acting, many actors show much greater ability at one type than the other, but rare are those actors that in same way and with same skill approach to the stage and in front of  the camera.

The body of the actor is an instrument, and therefore the body language is very important on stage and in film, but it needs to be more subdued. For example in theatre actors might open up your arms widely, to be sure that movement will be seen till the last seat of the audience.

In film, actors could make a slowly, shorter and gently movements, and two be sure that camera will notice them, and they will be seen by the audience. Sometimes theatre actors have problems, they are too harsh and intrusive in front of the camera, or the film actors are too gentle and invisible on the stage. Of course these can be improved by studding, learning, or it is vanishing with lot of work and experience.

Facial expressions are very important in the theatre and in the film, but in the theatre they are less visible. That causes even more problems for actors used to the stage, because in the film it’s must be seen by everyone. Actors must to say or do something very explicit to make feelings clear to the audience. Without these very clear signals, many actors become unable to express their characters’ feelings, and audience is unable to understand.

Another very important instrument and factor is artist’s voice. On stage, actors need to speak in a loud and sometime non-realistic voice, but this had to be quickly changed in front of the camera. Because voice does not have to travel far till the last seat in audience, and actors have to sound not so loud, and no so silent, similar in everyday conversation in real life, like person talking to another person stage actors often feel quite exposed when they have to perform for a camera, and it takes time to get used to the intimacy. Theatrical voices are really difficult to learn, and of course they pose unique challenges, but they don’t require the same degree of authenticity in film screen.

There are more differences between theatre and film acting, but we have mention three of them, the body language, facial expression and actor’s voice.

Some famous actor had their beginning on the stage and have made the theater-to-cinema transition quite successfully are Charlie Chaplin, Laurence Olivier,  Jim Jarmusch, Al Pacino, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, Bill Murray, Benicio del Toro, Denzel Washington, Dustin Hoffman, Woody Allen, John Malkovich, Jeremy Irons, Sarah Bernhardt, Ginger Rogers, Julie Andrews, Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Glenn Close, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Monica Bellucci, Nicole Kidman, Hilary Swank, Kate Winslet and many others.