“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Matthew Perry and The Third Eye
Sunday, April 7, 2013

I judge TV shows and movies by two things: as an author, I'm always acutely aware of dialogue and how true it may or may not ring. I also judge the actors' ability to control their "third eye."

We all have one. It's invisible and in the middle of our foreheads. When we know someone is talking about or watching us from across a room, for example, and we want to look cool and pretend we don't know it,  we continue to look forward, at the person we're talking to, our eyes locked on theirs. But the third eye, meanwhile, turns toward that person across the room to look. It screams: Hey! I see you! Basically, you can always tell when someone knows you're looking at them; their third eye is looking right back at you. I'm not talking about a sideways glance with your normal two eyes -- that's an altogether different thing.

The best actors know how to control their third eyes. They can shut them. Paul Newman comes to mind. Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman. They are very good at acting in a vacuum, shunning the camera from their mind.

Then there are the lesser-talented actors. Some of them have long careers, like Matthew Perry. He's got the most active third eye of any experienced actor out there. The entire time that he is engrossed in dialogue with another character, his third eye is looking DIRECTLY at the camera, screaming, "Hey! Look at me! LOOK AT ME! I'M SO CUTE AND CLEVER."

Good actors know how to close their third eyes. It's hard to do. Pretend to be in an acting scene yourself. You will feel the pull of the third eye, which is always looking for a mirror, a camera, or affirmation of some kind.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean . . . and your example is perfect!

April 7, 2013 at 6:49 PM  

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