top of page

What Animal Would You Be?

Did you know that Marlon Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire” based his character on a gorilla?

While a lot has changed since the 1940s when Brando was studying with Stella Adler, the acting techniques used in preparation for his role, are just as powerful today.

Stella Adler believed that an actor’s talent lies with his/her imagination and visualization.

In Marbella Film School a lot of the exercises and techniques we do are based on her teachings.

As an actor, your responsibility is to create a compelling, relatable and authentic character.

A character is manifested in his/her mannerism, way of speaking, walking, sitting, eating and everything to do with his/her physical movements.

Marlon Brando, for instance, used to go to restaurants as his character to see how other people would react and respond to his behaviour.

Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire

So what does a gorilla have to do with all this?

Animals have very distinctive behaviour, appearance and movement. A gorilla is a large and powerful animal and has a very different way of moving his body compared to a small chihuahua, or a graceful swan.

When studying your character for your next role, it can be incredibly helpful and also a lot of fun to embody an animal - no matter how silly you look or feel at first!

Would your character correspond to a majestic lion or rather a rat picking its feet at a rapid pace? Is your chosen animal prey or predator? How does it walk, run, fly, crawl?

Spend some time walking and moving around as your chosen animal, then turn it into a human again.

We do this exercise in our class with a lot of success and you can always spot which actors have already done the “animal” preparation work!

Learn this and more Stella Adler techniques in our ongoing screen acting classes, join us every Tuesday from 6:45pm to 8:45pm, for a monthly fee of 150 euros.

Marbella Film School Calle Jacinto Benavente 37, Marbella (Centro), 29601 Málaga, Spain. Phone number: +34 951 247 285 E-mail:


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page