This comprehensive collection provides theoretical accounts of the grounds and phenomenon of film acting. The volume features entries by some of the most prominent scholars on film acting who collectively represent the various theoretical traditions that constitute the discipline of film studies. Each section proposes novel ways of considering the recurring motifs in academic enquiries into film acting, including: (1) the mutually contingent problematic of description and interpretation, (2) the intricacies of bodily dynamics and their reception by audiences, (3) the significance of star performance, and (4) the impact of evolving technologies and film styles on acting traditions.


chapter |16 pages


Acting, Casually and Theoretically Speaking
ByAaron Taylor

part I|73 pages


chapter 1|14 pages

Acting Matters

Noting Performance in Three Films
ByBrenda Austin-Smith

chapter 2|14 pages

Living Meaning

The Fluency of Film Performance
ByAndrew Klevan

chapter 3|15 pages


A Theory of Comedic Performance
ByAlex Clayton

chapter 4|14 pages

Performed Performance and The Man Who Knew Too Much

ByMurray Pomerance

chapter 5|14 pages

“Brando Sings!”

The Invincible Star Persona
ByGeorge Toles

part II|76 pages


chapter 6|14 pages

“Look at Me!”

A Phenomenology of Heath Ledger In The Dark Knight
ByJörg Sternagel

chapter 7|13 pages

Is Acting a Form of Simulation or Being?

Acting and Mirror Neurons
ByWilliam Brown

chapter 8|15 pages

The Bond That Unbinds by Binding

Acting Mythology and the Film Community
ByKevin Esch

chapter 9|17 pages

From Being to Acting

Performance in Cult Cinema
ByErnest Mathijs

chapter 10|15 pages

Acting and Performance in Home Movies and Amateur Films

ByLiz Czach

part III|60 pages


chapter 11|15 pages

Story and Show

The Basic Contradiction of Film Star Acting
ByPaul McDonald

chapter 12|17 pages

The Screen Actor's “First Self” and “Second Self”

John Wayne and Coquelin's Acting Theory
BySharon Marie Carnicke

chapter 13|9 pages

Acting Like a Star

Florence Turner, Picture Personality
ByCharlie Keil

chapter 14|17 pages

Niche Stars and Acting “Gay”

ByChris Holmlund

part IV|59 pages


chapter 15|14 pages

What Becomes of the Camera in the World on Film?

ByWilliam Rothman

chapter 16|13 pages

Sonic Bodies

Listening as Acting
ByJennifer M. Barker

chapter 17|15 pages

Dance of the Übermarionettes

Toward a Contemporary Screen Actor Training
BySean Aita

chapter 18|15 pages

Articulating Digital Stardom

ByBarry King