Taking work in front of the camera is not always the best first move for an aspiring actor. The practical value of gaining experience in the theatre is undeniable on the way to becoming a professional, versatile, and honest actor.
Performing on the stage is an education in the basics of the craft of acting and offers lessons that an actor just wouldn’t find on the set of a movie or TV show. Here, we look at some legends of the screen who honed their craft for years on stage before they made it as the movie stars we know and love today.
Before becoming James Bond for a whole new generation, Daniel Craig paid his dues on the stages of London for a number of years. His working-class charm wowed audiences when he performed in small plays in the UK and Europe. Even though he enjoyed success as a theatre actor and was a known face in theatrical circles, however, he occasionally slept on park benches.At just 16 years of age, he left school to attend an audition for the National Youth Theatre. After he was accepted, he made the move down to London. His first stage appearance was in the Shakespeare play Troilus and Cressida. He worked has a waiter at the same time as acting in order to make ends meet, even though he toured with NYT in Moscow and Valencia. He failed in multiple auditions at the Guildhall although he eventually succeeded and was admitted in 1988. It was here where he studied alongside actors like Joseph Fiennes, Damian Lewis, and Ewan McGregor.
After he graduated in 1991, Craig appeared in the Lyric Theatre in a new Rod Williams play called No Remission before further appearances such as at London’s National Theatre in Angels in America. Craig made his screen debut in 1992 in The Power of One, followed by a number of movie and television roles. In 2005, he was cast as 007 in Casino Royale, and the rest is history.
Gary Oldman has been called the best actor never to win an Academy Award. That was before his 2018 Oscar for The Darkest Hour, of course, in which he brilliantly portrayed Winston Churchill. A number of fellow actors have praised him, including Tom Hardy, who has referred to Oldman as his hero. Other Hollywood stars, such as Ryan Gosling, Daniel Radcliffe, and Brad Pitt have named Oldman as their favourite actor. Colin Firth once said he’s a candidate for the best actor in the world.
Oldman made a sudden rise to global fame after he portrayed the iconic Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy, along with his performance in Prick up your Ears. Back then, he was often cast as the bad guy before he went on to achieve mainstream success in such blockbuster hits as Tinker Tinker Soldier Spy and The Dark Knight. The former gave him his very first Oscar nomination.