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Jackman & Craig -- Can You Hear Us Now?

9/28/2009 12:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Wolverine and James Bond are not to be messed with, especially when they're doing the whole acting thing.

Hugh Jackman: Click to watch
Hugh Jackman
and Daniel Craig were trying to perform their play "A Steady Rain" Wednesday night in NYC -- but some nitwit forgot to turn off his mobile phone. Jackman set the dude straight -- staying in character all the while. Minutes later, the ring tone echoed through the theater again and Craig's response was Tony-worthy.

Neither actor seemed shaken or stirred.

97 COMMENTS

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16.

Total Insanity    

First off I love strippers. Mercedes will you be "entertaining anywhere close to me soon...to "Titillate" me? Now that I have that out of my system let us deal with two realities. There was an idiot in the audience that showed a lack of respect by failing to shut their damned cell phone off.

But Teflonn came up with the same item that I want to focus on. Theft is theft. Illegal taping is called “piracy” and it is illegal. Who cares if this was simply a “promotional” event before opener, there are laws that prohibit such actions from taking place…”unless otherwise approved prior to such”. That I doubt was the case here. Why see they show at big bucks when you can watch some persons ripped off cheap assed copy at home for FREE.

Hey Teflonn, you forgot this part. “IF” the video shown here was illegally taken, then why would TMZ show illegally gotten booty (piracy joke or Mercedes joke?) Surly both are formats from the entertainment field…the play and TMZ…with unions, contracts, and perhaps some copyrights in place. So is TMX perpetrating the crime even further by showing it here?

1759 days ago
17.

MC    

I'm surprised that more theatres don't use cell-phone jammers. I've been to some theatres where a five-bar signal will utterly vanish the second you cross the threshold to the lobby.

1759 days ago
18.

Paula    

What the actors did was absolutely wrong in the face of theatre. Any stage-trained actor who saw this is turning there heads "Wrong.' If the actor's were ' in character' then the ringing would not have broken their character. AND you Certainly do NOT BREAK THE 4TH WALL! Not even if you are a movie star. The audience gave negative reinforcement by clapping which they shouldn't have. It makes us as NYC stage actors cringe knowing that some talented male actor who does not have a 'name' missed out on this part and pay. I am sure a normal stage actor would have taken the role more seriously. Shame on you HUGH. Your sexy but leave that attitude in Hollywood.

1759 days ago
19.

teflonn    

Seriously, Paula? "Fourth Wall Acting" - as you so eloquently proclaimed in all caps - is not the only type of acting used out there today. It isn't even the type of acting that's been used for most of the history of western theatre. And, if we really want to get technical, look at the chairs: they're both directly facing the audience. The actors are already connecting with the audience in a non-fourth-wall way. The "fourth wall" was already "broken" long before any cell phone went off -- in the director's concept.

I agree, Total Insanity, there is an IF in there. This, to me, smacks of personal cell phone video, however. I'm no lawyer, but if I had to speculate and if I had to assume that TMZ didn't break any laws, I would say that TMZ might be able to get away with it because someone submitted it to them. That submitter broke the law, not TMZ. TMZ is just posting found material. I'm also not sure of the legality. It's certainly against Actors' Equity Association, but I don't know what legal recourse they have to protect their member's images.

1759 days ago
20.

JRG    

Way to go Jack, I cannot beleive the moron left their cell phone on. If you don't know how to operate one, i guess u don't need one.

1759 days ago
21.

Jeremy B.    

it maybe rude to have your cell phone on during a play. although sometimes people forget and then get imbarrassed when it goes off in the middle. maybe if that jackass didnt break character and make a big deal about it they could have shut it off. I didnt even hear the phone at first. cell phones are part of the world now. people need to quit being babies and get out of the 80's.

1759 days ago
22.

dmrn    

We were there! Wed 9/23. It was ridiculous, someone and their stupid cell phone too embarrassed to give themselves up let the damn thing ring the entire time. Here is the dialog:
After the phone already rang 7-8 times....
Jackman (in character):
Ya wanna get that? Wanna get it? Grab it. I don't care. Grab it. Grab your phone, duz it doesn't matter.
He waited about 15 seconds...as the phone continued to ring...
Jackman: "Come on, just turn it off. Come on, just turn it off...unless you got a better story you wanna get up here and tell your story."
There was about 15 seconds of silence where you thought it was done...then it started again. Then Daniel Craig jumped in (staying in character):
"Can you get that? Just someone. Can you get it? We've been waiting, just get the phone."
Another pause...
Jackman: "Don't be embarassed, just grab it. It happens all the itme, just grab it."
It sounds like it has finally stopped.
Jackman: "You got it? Alright."
With about 10 seconds pause....Hugh got back into his spot in the performance he left off....
They handled it great. The ushers needed to kick out the dumb ass that didn't want to give themselves up!!!

1759 days ago
23.

Jeremy B.    

If he was a good actor he would have been able to keep acting. I think people just want someone to look up to and be part of something. Every pawn in there clapped for Huge Jackass. oops I spelled that wrong. Bad acting BIG TIME!!

1759 days ago
24.

Paula    

TEFFFLON, I understand there are many ways to describe the 4TH WALL in our discipline. However, unless the play and direction is geared toward audience participation, like Passing Strange, then that means actors should not talk to the audience. No matter what. We actors do not expect non-actors to know this. But I gurantee that no matter what syle an actor trained in we are taught to keep it going, unless your or anyone's life is in danger. You are not in character if you use the same accent to talk to the audience member. SORRY. As actors for broadway we train hard to do the job. We dont expect the patrons to understand, we just want you to be engaged in the story and entertained. That's why we make THE BIG BUCKS. I am not excusing the cell phone, but come on, how many tourists will make that mistake on broadway. I do not expect you to understand that significance of the 4TH WALL unless you have trained relentlessley as a STAGE actor. Film is entirely different, thats why movies are edited when stuff go haywire on set. Do you think we would have saw that in a movie. I sthat acceptable as a patron. Those seat are probably over $100....Really.

1759 days ago
25.

teflonn    

No, Paula, there really aren't many ways to describe the fourth wall. Fourth wall is fourth wall and not all theatre uses it. In the past, actors and playwrights have communicated directly to and with the audience and today some playwrights and directors choose to make eye contact and direct communication to the audience, while remaining "in the play" (if you will). We can assume - because the chairs are facing the audience instead of each other (an unnatural position in reality) - they actors are already connecting with the audience directly. It isn't "bad acting" unless the play has established the convention of fourth wall and the actor breaks it. I understand the difficulty here: so many Broadway shows have that established fourth wall. The thing that gets me is that some people think that Broadway theatre is the only theatre out there (or the only worthwhile theatre out there). Some Broadway theatre have a more audience-centered approach. "A Steady Rain" is no "Phantom of the Opera" (which is the only type of theatre most people who say they've attended theatre are familiar with).

It isn't about some creepy dinner-theatre style audience participation. Shakespeare had no concept of a fourth wall, for instance. Every time Iago talks to the audience, he's making a connection with them - just as Jackman did here (in character or out of character, it doesn't really make a difference).

Read up on your theatre history, Paula, it'll do you good. :-)

1758 days ago
26.

Paula    

Tefflon, I appreciate your trying to make sense. I really want to understand you but you are absolutely wrong. Yet I am very intrigued by your resources. Being trained in Theatre for over a decade. I have been required to learn all forms of Acting technique. I hold an MFA in Acting and worked on and 'off' Broadway for 4 years outside of Grad school. I did regional theatre before then. So I do know a little about Theatre and acting. The reason why we face chairs toward the audience is simply so that you can see us. Do you presume that they are looking at you , the audience. Or perhaps imagining a wall or other scenic views? I did not see the play but I gaurantee Hugh is not looking at you or talking to anyone in the audience. And YES The 4th wall is alive and well in theatre. I know because it is my profession it pays my rent, very well in fact. However, I do not expect you to know this at all as a patron. Just as I may not know strategies in your profession. We will have to agree to disagree. Unless you are an actor or at ALL IN THE industry. Please tell me what technique or where your resources are coming from. We actors are also trained to be open minded and I would LOVE to know and understand you. Otherwise, do not feel bad, and enjoy the show!

1758 days ago
27.

teflonn    

I am not simply a patron of theatre, Paula, I DO - in fact - work in the industry and hold an MFA in acting as well. I never stated that the fourth wall ISN'T used today, just that it's not the ONLY one used today. It is the prominence of the fourth-wall approach that makes our art homogenous and causes me to fear for its future. Theatre is attempting to be more and more like film everyday and when a critic expects/asks an actor to ignore the common experience shared in a theatre - laughter or tears, cell phone ringing or medical emergencies - we might as well be seeing a filmed performance. I chose to make my life's work out of theatre because it is LIVE; I don't want to take anything away from that. If I can hear the cell phone ringing, I know the actors can, too. The play has now become about the jerk who left his cell on - not about what I paid money to see. I'd rather the actors acknowledge the fact that we're all having a shared experience, than miss part of the show because I'm distraction and the show is continuing on in spite of it all. At any rate, the audience's reaction - cheers and applause - indicates to me that the actors did the right thing and the audience enjoyed the fact that (while they didn't necessarily WANT the interruption) they all had a satisfying, shared experience.

I should also mention that, yes, I DO presume that, because the chairs are facing me, the actors are talking to me. On looking at the clip a second time, I notice that - in the very start of the clip - Jackman is saying his lines (not just his ad libs) directly to the audience (and not just in an "I'm talking to myself while looking vaguely off into the distance" sort of way). More proof that the fourth wall is already broken.

1757 days ago
28.

Paula    

Teffloon OMG, I am shocked that you are a theatre student like me. I'm sorry to be arguing with you. Profound! So what technique did you use in Grad school and where did you go? If it Makes you more careful I attended the New School formely Actor Studio. I am intrigued at your lesson and would love to learn more. I do not use or agree all that I have learned. And I have read alot as I am sure you have with theatre. However, I have NEVER heard your technique or ideas at all. I want to understand. Please share?

1757 days ago
29.

Gwennie    

Paula:

Frankly, you are coming off as an envious ass.

1757 days ago
30.

teflonn    

Paula, I will not post my resume on a public forum - but thank you for your intrigue. I'm not talking about a method or style - I'm talking about different ways of looking at theatre and an open-mindedness to all the ways to view theatre without labelling it as "wrong".

As I mentioned, Elizabethan actors and audiences were quite used to and comfortable with extensive audience engagement within the text of the play. If you are interested in researching the ideas of audience involvement, I'd start with a look at Shakespeare's staging conditions - good authors for this research are Tiffany Stern, Alan Dessen, and Andrew Gurr. Companies today that work with "original practices" (though that particular label is going out of fashion, the concept is alive and well) often include a high level of audience contact. Check out the Globe (in London), the American Shakespeare Center (in VA), Patrick Tucker's work (he works periodically throughout the UK and the US).

Happy researching!

1756 days ago
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