Tips and AdviceHow-To Guides for ActorsCuba Gooding Jr. Shares Amazing Acting Tips

Cuba Gooding Jr. Shares Amazing Acting Tips

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Cuba Gooding Jr. shares his best acting tips.

Cuba Gooding Jr.’s acting career is expected to make a huge comeback following his acting performance in American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson. But, it was not a walk in the park for the legendary actor.

“I was in the wilderness of Hollywood for almost ten years. I was off the studio lists.”

Cuba Gooding Jr. opened up about falling from Hollywood’s list top actors and moving towards B-rated-straight-to-DVD videos. “I was in the wilderness of Hollywood for almost ten years. I was off the studio lists. I wasn’t getting the roles offered to actors that hadn’t done a third of the roles I had done, or had the popularity I had.” Cuba added, “I didn’t have “Steven Soderbergh is looking to work with me” anymore. I was hooked up with a couple of low-budget producers who had foreign financing money and were doing a formula where they would sell the foreign presales coupled with personal, private investors who had a billion dollars, and they green-lit the movies for under $5 million as long as I was in it.”

“I wasn’t getting the roles offered to actors that hadn’t done a third of the roles I had done, or had the popularity I had.”

So, in order to combat the lack of movie roles, Cuba Gooding Jr. focused on working with the right filmmaker instead of the money.

“If there’s a connection there, I don’t care what the role is.”

“I don’t choose parts. I choose filmmakers. I’m done trying to make a statement with a character. Instead of worrying about the character, now I choose roles based on who my director’s going to be. If there’s a connection there, I don’t care what the role is.”

Cuba Gooding Jr.
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

He discussed how he approached acting and finding the right movie, and Cuba Gooding Jr. also explained how he gets into the mindset for dark and emotional scenes. Apparently, for even an experienced actor it is not that easy.

Ryan and I had such a shorthand communication. “This take, I need you emotional because you might have done it.” Or, “This take, I want you frustrated because you think your son did it.” It would send me into an emotional state. I was ready to go anywhere he wanted me or needed me to go at any time. It was one of the things where, as I walked towards the Bronco, I almost started to shake. I think of it now and it puts me in a frame of mind. When I see the backseat, that leather.

Sometimes in my trailer I would say, “I’m having a nervous breakdown.”

Cuba Gooding Jr. says he takes himself to dark places in order to achieve such dramatic and emotional scenes.

You’re bringing the essence of your core emotional being to that moment. Your brain can clock that there’s a camera, but your body’s believing the reality of what you’re going through. Sometimes in my trailer I would say, “I’m having a nervous breakdown.”

It’s an amazing interview and you can read it in full here.

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Megan Diane
Megan Dianehttps://www.projectcasting.com
Hi, I'm Megan Browne, the Head of Partnerships at Project Casting - a job board for the entertainment industry. As Head of Partnerships, I help businesses find the best talent for their influencer campaigns, photo shoots, and film productions. Creating these partnerships has enabled me to help businesses scale and reach their true potential. I'm excited to continue driving growth by connecting people with projects they're passionate about.

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