As in “Oh, man, I just let loose” (talking about her lifechanging acting lessons around the time of her stage role in “Death and the Maiden”), or “Oh, man, I never knew what was going to happen next” (about playing Alice in her new film “Map of the World” and “Oh, man, I don’t want that much chaos” (recalling her former resistance to free-form jazz: Which she has since grown to love).There’s a no-holds-barred quality to her acting these day’s, whether she’s going for the emotional jugular or over-the top laughs, unlike her more restrained roles in films such as “The Ice Storm.” She credits her newfound range with a process that began after Roman Polanski introduced her to uber-acting coach Jack Waltzer in Paris in 1993.
“I never really learned anything in drama school. It was all about representation acting than about real acting. Real acting comes from here, she says, putting her palm on her chest. . “Not from here. ” She points to her head.
“l used to think that I still had to do that stupid head-figuring-out. I didn’t really do it. I was always rebelling against it. I felt like I developed a new technique for every new roIe I had. Jack helped me discover the kind of actor that I was. So what that did was to have me fall in love with acting all over again, and the idea of reaching into another life and coming out and telling the story to everybody.
“I- don’t even have to think about it now, ” adds Weaver, who , turned 50 in October but looks at least 15 years younger on screen. ” You just do your work ahead of time and you experience it as if it’s happening to you. You just surrender to it. “She compares playing Alice in “Map” to listening to jazz a type of music that used to frighten her. Now, she says she loves its anarchy.
“Jazz used to intimidate me because when it went outside, it would be like, “Man. I don’t want that much chaos “. Now, when we go to see people play, that’s the best kind of work, because it’s all just in the moment. It’s so out there, you don’t need to do anything but relax totally and be there, and be picked up by whatever that is and thrown around.
“Playing Alice was like that. I never knew what was going to happen. I was, like, flying.”