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Annette Bening Offers Tips on Acting

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Annette Bening proffered words of wisdom to her fellow actors Tuesday at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, where she was honored for her past work as well as for her latest feature, The Face of Love. It was during a question and answer segment of AFI Fest’s Conversations program that Bening shared tidbits of advice from her very successful career.

Naming ‘listening’ as the first and foremost helpful hint for actors, Bening shared a time when she was called out by her director during a rehearsal when she clearly wasn’t listening to what her acting partner was saying. Her embarrassment was a price well paid, however. She also says drawing the line between fact and fiction is of utmost importance to actors–not just for their performances, but for their overall emotional well being as well.

“When you’re involved in it in a neurotic way…if you’re still crying when the curtain comes down, that’s a problem. That has to do with something else. I think it’s healthy to be able to stop and let it go,” she said.

Annette Bening’s final piece of advice for fellow actors pertained to something that takes place after the fact. Actors read reviews. Sometimes those reviews will send them jumping for joy, while others make them want to refuse to take the stage for their next performance. She tells actors to, “believe the good ones and ignore the bad ones.”

Bening is best known for films including The Grifters, American Beauty and The Kids Are All Right. She won Golden Globes for both The Kids Are All Right and American Beauty.

In her film, The Face of Love, Annette Bening plays a vulnerable character who is on the verge of breaking. She plays opposite Ed Harris. The Face of Love did well at the Toronto Film Festival.


Just imagine being a fledgling actor–or perhaps one with a few notches on your belt–and receiving acting tips from Annette Bening. What an amazing gift her words of wisdom would be.

Image via Wikimedia

Annette Bening Offers Tips on Acting
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  • chuckiechan

    I’d like to add: “Stay out of politics”. Just because you play a role in a fantasy, does not mean your opinion has any weight in the real world beyond your expertise – acting.

    Stick to what you know.

    • David James

      If everyone was involved in Politics, rich and poor, we would have a better society, and jerks like you would be out voted and have no voice, as by what you said I am positive you are a Republicon!

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