Why the Oscars love method actors

Almost half of all Best Actor and Actress awards have been won by method actors since 1951.

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Method acting’s foundational theory originated in the Soviet Union during the early 20th century. It was created by Konstantin Stanislavski and his peers at the Moscow Art Theater as a framework for systematically training young actors. Method acting became influential in the US in the ’30s and ’40s, pioneered by Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, and Sanford Meisner, each of whom transformed and built on Stanislavski’s system.

Today, training in method acting is ubiquitous for aspiring actors. But at the same time, the stakes of method acting continue to rise. First popularized in the US during the 1950s by Marlon Brando’s generation of Hollywood stars, method acting continues to be a consistent way for actors to push themselves in new roles. But while method acting won Leonardo DiCaprio his first Oscar for his performance in The Revenant, it’s undeniable that the way method acting is promoted is conspicuously marketable. Still, it has undoubtedly led to some of the greatest performances of all time.

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