How To Get Into Character

Getting into character is extremely important for actors to be able to do. In order for the audience or viewers to believe your performance, you have to become one with the character. Developing their characteristics, looking the part, as well as knowing how to behave is extremely important.

Know Who You’re Playing

Once you are given a role make sure to know the character that you are playing. If it is a real life person, get background on them. Study their habits, how they talk, how they walk, and more. If it is a fictional person, it is important to make up a backstory for them and really develop a personality for them. You were picked to play the part, but you were also picked to bring the character the writers created to life and understand their vision.

Practice In The Mirror

Facial expressions, movement, walk, etc. are all things that people don’t normally consider when they are memorizing lines but it is important to consider. A person is their movements, laugh, expressions, and walk. Practicing in a mirror can help an actor see exactly what they are doing, the faces they are making, as well as gestures. All of these things are integral parts to a character and developing them into your own.

Test Different Circumstances

When you are at a restaurant ordering food or doing a normal everyday task like checking out at a grocery store, practice what the character that you are playing would do. Order your food with their mannerisms as well as a walk around the store, pick things up, and look at things like they would. When you’re on set or stage it can be easy to do what you do normally. Practicing it throughout the day and getting extra time in being the character can make all the difference.

Talk With Other Actors

Get advice from other actors on what they do to get into character. Getting tips from others can give you new insight and even better tips. Remember, what works for some people might not work for everyone. However, seasoned actors will know how to really get a character down and put their special twist on a character and make sure to vary it from other characters that they play. An actor that people can only see in a certain role has a very limited career in the film and theatre industry.

Becoming a character takes practice as well as commitment. Embodying someone else’s style and personality is challenging but also playing a character well is extremely rewarding.

Originally published at on February 21, 2017.