Sebastian Stan Thinks Method Acting Is ‘Very Irresponsible, Narcissistic’

Sebastian Stan has appeared in some of the biggest blockbusters of all time, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Endgame. As a member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Stan has achieved tremendous success in his career, becoming an actor beloved by fans as well as critics around the world.

While the Romanian-born actor has been praised for his work in dramatic movies and recently transformed himself in order to play drummer Tommy Lee in the biographical miniseries Pam & Tommy, Stan has gone on the record to speak out against Method acting, claiming that the controversial performance style is “narcissistic.”

What are Sebastian Stan’s biggest movies?

Stan first achieved prominence for his work in the TV series Gossip Girl, according to IMDb. In 2010, Stan landed the part that would define the early years of his career, in the thriller Black Swan. He received acclaim for his work, and not long after, he was cast as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier in the MCU. He made his first appearance as the character in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger.

He reprised the role in multiple other high-profile MCU projects, including the recent miniseries The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. More recently, Stan acted in the biographical drama I, Tonya – and in the miniseries Pam & Tommy, where he portrayed the controversial drummer Tommy Lee. Stan’s most recent movies include Fresh, a comedy thriller released in early March, and The 355, a spy film that received a limited theatrical release in the spring of 2022.

What did Sebastian Stan say about method acting?

Sebastian Stan of 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' headshot
Sebastian Stan | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Stan has been known to dive completely into the characters that he portrays, sometimes even physically transforming for a role. However, when it comes to the infamous performance style known as Method acting, he’s not a fan.

In a recent interview on the podcast In the Envelope: Inside the Actors Studio, Stan opened up on his feelings toward Method acting. “I don’t believe in creating chaos for the purposes of (acting). And I know actors do that a lot,” Stan said. “There’s a lot of people that do that…create sort of chaos on set or chaos in the other people they’re working with, in order to somehow give the scene this tension or whatever.”

Stan went on to note “But to me, that just reads like a very irresponsible, narcissistic, kind of self-indulgent thing. It just reads like: ‘I’m afraid, and I just want to torture everyone else because of it.” Method acting, according to Daily Actor, is the process of understanding a character’s inner life in order to more accurately represent that character’s experiences. 

Other actors who have denounced Method acting

Certainly, Method acting has received some bad press over the years – and Stan isn’t the actor only to speak out against Method acting. High-profile performers such as John Malkovich have slammed the Method, with the actor noting, according to Casting Frontier, “I’m not a Method actor. I don’t believe acting should be psychodrama. I look within myself and see what I can find to play the role with. If I’m playing a blind man, I don’t go around blindfolded for days. A lot of good actors would, but I don’t go in for that very much. I like to just make it up as I go along.”

Mads Mikkelsen has also voiced his disapproval of Method acting. According to Variety, Mikkelsen told GQ UK that he thinks Method acting is “bull****.” Mikkelsen claimed that the Method is “pretentious,” saying “What if it’s a shit film — what do you think you achieved? Am I impressed that you didn’t drop character? You should have dropped it from the beginning! How do you prepare for a serial killer? You gonna spend two years checking it out?” Certainly, the Method doesn’t have the edgy, sterling reputation that it had in the ’50s, with the advent of the infamous Method performer Marlon Brando.

RELATED: ‘Pam & Tommy’: Sebastian Stan Admits He Was Shocked to Find Out Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee Were Actually Victims of a Crime