Award-winning actor David Strathairn recently joined BFA Film, Video and Animation Department Chair Reeves Lehmann in conversation at the SVA Theatre. The event was part of the department’s ongoing series, which has brought industry professionals such as James Gandolfini, Sean Penn and Meryl Streep in front of students to share their experiences. Straithairn, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of journalist Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck, discussed working with directors ranging from Wong Kar-wai to Steven Spielberg, and on his latest role in Lincoln, noted the “extraordinary focus and energy in the room” while filming.
Strathairn also told aspiring directors in attendance to always meet with actors before working with them. “Dialogue prior to engagement is very valuable,” he said. He also urged them to be considerate, sensitive, and generous with critique, especially during emotional scenes.
Emphasizing the importance of hard work, Strathairn encouraged the students to be persistent. “It was a long time until people started calling me an actor,” he said. “Validation came in trickles.” He also told the crowd that learning never ends, and pointed out that “everyone out there has something to share.”
For more photos of the talk, visit our Facebook page.
Photo of Reeves Lehmann (left) and David Strathairn at the SVA Theatre by current BFA Photography student Bridget Badore.