Home Tips and Advice Actor John C. Reilly on The Physical Strain of Being an Actor

Actor John C. Reilly on The Physical Strain of Being an Actor

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John C. Reilly walks the red carpet ahead of the 'The Sisters Brothers' screening during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 2, 2018 in Venice, Italy. (Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock.com)
John C. Reilly walks the red carpet ahead of the 'The Sisters Brothers' screening during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 2, 2018 in Venice, Italy. (Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock.com)

The physical strain of being an , as told by John C. Reilly

It's been said many times that -nominated actor John C.Reilly is not just a gifted comedic actor. If you have seen Reilly in any of his dramatic , you know he portrays these characters as well as he does the goofball. One of his most recent dramatic roles is Jerry Buss in the HBO limited Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers . While speaking with Vulture about the role, Reilly shared what an actor needs to do to maintain their conditioning for a performance.

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When asked if it's hard to separate himself from his characters after playing them on screen, Reilly says, “At the end of a night, a violinist gets to put his violin in its case. If it gets broken, he takes it to the luthier, and they fix it. But actors are their instruments, and we must perform maintenance on ourselves. You have to come back after these jobs that take a lot out of you emotionally. Physical wear and tear is another thing people don't realize. It's like, Just slam your hand on the table one time. No big deal. But then I slam my hand on a table 25 times from three different angles, so by the end of the day, it gets messed up.”

Reilly tells a funny story about the extra “maintenance” he had to do to get himself emotionally ready for the part. He relates how the assistant directors thought he had a classic “movie ” fit when he blew up at his assistant:

“All the usual stuff, like taking care of myself physically. But one of the main things I had to meditate on was not letting the of my position go to my head. When you're on a show like Winning Time, it's in everyone's vested interest that you are happy and stable, so they're always trying to make you feel important. I like to be self-reliant because you can get spoiled really quickly. Once, I was running lines in my . I think it was one of the early scenes where I rip Jerry West a new one. And I realized nobody had come to tell me when it was time to go to set. I went to the ADs like, ‘Hey, why didn't you guys let me know it was time?' They were afraid to knock on the door because they thought I was screaming at my assistant. I was like, ‘We were running lines! Come on, you guys. You know I'm not like that.'”

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