Acting Coach Aaron Speiser Coaches Will Smith in Preparation for 'Seven Pounds'

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"Seven Pounds" Behind-the-Scenes Acting Techniques Revealed! Renowned Acting Coach Aaron Speiser, Owner of the Aaron Speiser Acting Studio in Los Angeles, has been training and coaching Will Smith for over six years. In Will Smith's recent movie, "Seven Pounds," Aaron used some useful acting techniques in prepping Will for his role as Ben Thomas.

Aaron Speiser Acting Studio

Aaron taught me two major concepts. One was fearlessness and the ability to be fearless in a take... The other was to think of my performance as jazz.

Aaron Speiser, renowned Acting Coach and Owner of the Aaron Speiser Acting Studio in Los Angeles, has been training and coaching Will Smith for over six years. Aaron helps A-list actors by bringing his vast experience and depth of knowledge of the craft of acting in a simple, straightforward, practical, and inspirational way. In Will Smith's recent movie, "Seven Pounds," Aaron used some useful acting techniques in prepping Will for his role as Ben Thomas.

Put on the "Maschera!"
Playing an IRS agent with a fateful secret, Will Smith's character embarks on a journey of redemption by changing the lives of seven strangers. To translate the emotions of a guilt-ridden and depressed character onto the big screen, Acting Coach Aaron Speiser worked with Will in using the concept of wearing "masks." The purpose of wearing a "character mask" was to allow Will to cover the pain that his character was feeling so that everyone could relate and trust him. This "mask" also allowed Will's character to function rationally and seem normal in the real world even though he was not totally rational and normal in his plans.

According to Aaron Speiser, ""Seven Pounds" director, Gabriele Muccino, liked the concept of Will putting on a mask so much that he would often shout out in Italian before a take, 'Will, maschera...please use the maschera!' Maschera is Italian for mask.

Creating Ben's Back-story
Another interesting technique that Aaron and Will used was to create an extensive and detailed timeline and back story for his character. "We found that the more precise and detailed his autobiography was, the easier it was for him to create this complicated human being in the present," says Acting Coach Aaron Speiser. He would often pepper Will with questions about his past to test and challenge him.

Ruin the Take
When asked recently at a Q & A screening what were the most important facts to share with other actors in creating his performance for "Seven Pounds", Mr. Smith said, "Aaron taught me two major concepts. One was fearlessness and the ability to be fearless in a take... The other was to think of my performance as jazz."

When one feels fear one becomes inhibited. Will went on to explain, "If I felt fear, he [Aaron] taught me to go out and 'ruin' the take (by doing something funny or inappropriate) to eliminate the fear. After that, I was free to do anything I wanted or needed to do. This gave me the strength to be fearless and create something fresh, original, and dangerous without any inhibitions."

Jazz Player
In relating his performance to playing jazz music, Will interpreted the lines from the script as he felt them in the moment. He would live and play as jazz players do in their interpretation of classical tunes. By also letting go completely and being free in the moment, he let the director create the final performance.

Will is always eager to excel at everything he does, which also means pleasing the director with his performance. "It's a great measure of what kind of person he is," says Aaron. "But, great acting is dangerous because it means that you have to let go of the urge to please all of the time."

Luckily, critics and fans are taking notice of Will Smith's hard work in this film. Acting Coach Aaron Speiser believes that Will has taken the role of Ben Thomas into darker places than he had before. "He has reached real depths as an actor. His work in 'I Am Legend' is amazing, and his emotional vulnerability in '"Seven Pounds"' is far beyond anything he's accomplished before."

"Seven Pounds" is scheduled to be released on December 19, 2008.

Further information about Acting Coach Aaron Speiser and the Aaron Speiser Acting Studio can be found at Acting Coach Aaron Speiser.

Media inquiries about Aaron Speiser may be directed to:

Erika Maya
erika@ballantinespr.com
Tel: 310 454 3080
Cell: 310 850 0309
Fax: 310-943-1978
Ballantines PR
Ballantines PR, a boutique PR agency

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