There are a few staples the the handmade that any actor worth their salt should have a heavy command of. They ought to have the ability to keep a straight confront even as soon as their display partner is act something hilarious, because that one thing. And also pulling off a crucial love step is often a make-or-break issue for a movie — even if it"s totally awkward for everyone involved, those on-screen lovebirds should look choose they"re enjoying it.

You are watching: How do actors cry on command


Perhaps the most helpful, albeit challenging talent for any kind of film gibbs to have is the capability to cry top top command. Even if it is it"s to portray a moment of pain, grief, anger, desperation, or even glee, there are a most pivotal movie scenes the really need thespians come crank up the waterworks and send residence the feel of the moment. So, exactly how do this stars control to trickle the end those tears again and also again v each take? Let"s take it a look at just how some that Hollywood"s ideal make the happen.


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It might not be common, but there are some gibbs who have actually the capability to summon up authentic sobs by sheer force of will certainly (and numerous practice). Bryce Dallas Howard famously prove her organic gift because that crying top top command throughout an interview with Conan O"Brien. First, she said him the she"d simply need him to begin talking about something, anything to enable her come work. Lo, together the show host started going on and on around some made-up pilgrimage to his local residence Depot, she regulated to squeeze out a few very genuine tears in the expectations of 2 minutes.


The actress later on returned to the very same show and explained the it"s not her genetics that provide her the capability to cry ~ above cue. "It"s technical. It"s something that can be learned and also taught," she said prior to sharing several of the details of her method. As it transforms out, for Howard, inducing the soft palate lift that comes v yawning again and again will help her produce those crocodile tears. "You carry out it enough time and when you"re talking you can proceed to elevator it," she explained. "It triggers it, simply talking around it because that me, it"s choose a physiological thing." The best key, she added, to be to remain hydrated every the when so the there"s plenty of H2O to preventive in she system.


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Like Bryce Dallas Howard, If ns Stay star Jamie Blackley said that the too counts on an unseen bodily cue come bring around his fake tears because that those sadder scenes. Only rather of concentrating on flexing his soft palate to gain the water flowing, he goes one entirely various route that doesn"t specifically sound healthy. The actor defined in a 2014 promotion interview, "You deserve to make all the blood rush to your head... If friend squeeze."


Chances are, there space all way of complications that could emerge indigenous forcing a blood sirloin to the mind again and again as such scenes space shot and re-shot, so this is definitely an circumstances of an actor enduring for his art. However, his back-up approach does sound a small bit safer: Blackley also mentioned thinking of "a poor puppy ~ above the street who"s crying" to north up the requisite sensation and also shed a few. Considering exactly how much feeling he had to display for his teenager romantic drama, let"s hope he grounding to the last option much more often than the former.


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Amy Adams can additionally turn on the sprinklers at a moment"s notice, but instead of relying ~ above a physics trick, she offers a strange little bit of memory recall to make it happen. The acclaimed actress has repeatedly prove her own trick on number of late night speak shows, including The Tonight present Starring Jimmy Fallon and also The Graham Norton Show, and of every the things that could get her operated up, her go-to is a bit about hot sauce.


That"s right, the actress revealed the her daughter helped coax her into crying ~ above cue by informing her about a 2013 news story around a Sriracha tree in California gift shuttered ~ complaints by neighbors about the unpleasant fumes issuing native the manufacturing facility. Evidently, Adams is a big enthusiast that the spicy sauce, so that small tidbit go the cheat to acquire her weeping, and also it"s what she transforms to at any time she demands something come bawl about. Hollyweird.


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The late, an excellent Shirley Temple can have been simply a small tyke once she ended up being a legend that the early display scene, yet even climate she to be a consummate professional. In a 1999 interview (via the connected Press), the previous child superstar revealed her an approach for breaking out with a wail top top camera, saying, "I guess ns was an early technique actress. I would certainly go to a quiet component of the soundstage through my mother. Ns wouldn"t think of noþeles sad, i would simply make mine mind a blank. In a minute I can cry." the talent would certainly come in handy later on in life when she used it to gain out of a speeding ticket. Stars... They"re just like us!


Temple did have one caveat to mustering increase the mopes, though. Favor most small ones, mealtimes mattered a lot of in her life, so as soon as her ship was full (of pet crackers in her soup, no doubt), she couldn"t do it anymore. "I didn"t favor to cry ~ lunch," she said, "because ns was also content."


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Hollywood is all just a game of smoke and also mirrors... And also apparently, tear sticks. At the very least one actress has actually copped come faking her crying scenes with the assist of some fabricated tears. Mom star Anna Faris told James Corden the she isn"t the form of person who can conveniently sob in genuine life, and it"s not any kind of easier for she to execute so for the cameras, either. "It"s actually, it"s a little bit weird. Since my mom always taught me — if I ever before cried in my an individual life, she would kind of come under on me, choose "What carry out you need to feel i m really sorry for?"" she explained.


So, instead of trying to power v with actual tears, she depends on a device called a tear stick, which she carried along because that demonstration. Faris, Corden, and also fellow guest mock Jackson each agreed to have the menthol decision vapors blown into their eye to demonstrate for the crowd, and also within seconds, they were every dripping through tears. That"s as soon as Jackson revealed the secondary trick to selling these fake tears on-screen by advising Corden: "Now look at three-quarters away and also slightly up." Nailed it.


Some gibbs don"t have to stretch your minds too much to get functioned up enough to produce the requisite tears because that a challenging scene. Daniel Kaluuya, for example, revealed the while filming the stand-out "Sunken Place" scene for Jordan Peele"s Get Out — during which he was physically frozen and gutted audiences through those thick teardrops — he just thought around what it would certainly be choose to be in a similar situation in genuine life.


In an actors on actors chat because that Variety, he explained that while part of tapping right into that headspace to cry affiliated ditching out on his usual regime of talking to and joking around with the cast and crew top top set, it to be also around recognizing the parallels between his character"s situation and everyday scenarios. "It"s simply empathizing v someone that"s going v so much and also has suppressed it, sort of suppressed his guilt of a really bad situation and shame. And also his reluctance to confront it. He"s paralyzed, he"s paralyzed emotionally. And also I established with that in all walks of life," that said. To compare his character"s plight to females who space trapped in abusive job-related scenarios for are afraid of speaking out and also being terminated, Kaluuya added, "I identified in so numerous ways in this type of release of emotions that"s uncontrollable." and also thus, an unforgettable cinematic crying scene to be born.


Empathy is all well and good, but if an actor has actually his or her very own harrowing life endure to help bring the sad sobs come the set, it"s also better. For among his very first post-Harry Potter films, Daniel Radcliffe starred in the biographical drama-thriller Kill her Darlings together the beat poet Allen Ginsberg. The duty required that to burned a lot of tears, and also it wasn"t a component of the profession that came conveniently to him.


"Unless you have that cheat of being able come cry on cue, which some world can do, the much more you shot to pressure it, the more awkward and also awful the becomes... Together I have actually found!" Radcliffe admitted come the Vancouver Sun. Instead of trying come feign those feelings, then he revisited a valuable pointer his old on-screen godfather Gary Oldman called him: "Don"t be fear to use all your own stuff because they"re only going to check out it happening come the character." Radcliffe didn"t re-superstructure what storage did the cheat exactly, but he did say he uncovered some success through it. "Three uncontrollable, breaking-down scenes later... There to be these real, raw tears. The first time that happens come you top top a set full of people... Also if you go in just as the character, at that moment, it is just you," that explained. Dare we say it sounds prefer a magical moment? Sirius-ly.


Without a integrated trick or handy dandy device to assist bring top top the waterworks, some actors just need to jump into an emotional scene feet an initial and hope their eyes capture up somewhere along the way. Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, because that example, revealed the for her large crying scene in The Hunger Games (when, gulp, she had to to speak goodbye to poor Rue), she went v the bodily motions of mourning and things simply so happened to progression from there.


"I can certainly start and water comes, sometimes," she called MTV News. "I don"t have actually anything in mine life that have the right to instantly make me cry. It"s mostly just the standard, host your eye open, fake your means through it." Lawrence would certainly later fancy to say that she demands to widen her eyes because that a "long time" to make her technique work, however that it to be still her go-to for the gushy scenes. Considering just how stacked her trophy shelf is right around now, everything she"s doing is obviously working just fine.


Will Smith could have no trouble serving up serious drama currently that he"s such a seasoned movie star, but earlier in his earliest days as a wee TV actor, he was still learning just how to emote on camera. His starring duty in The new Prince of Bel-Air nearly always leaned top top his ability for gift suave and also self-assured, however there to be one vital moment in the show"s 4th season the really compelled the gibbs to destruction deep.


In the episode, Will"s father returns to his life and also gives the teen hope that he can finally create a bond through the male who"s to be M.I.A. Transparent his upbringing. Alas, the takes turn off again, and Will it is provided a heartbreaking monologue that vacillates between contempt, determination, and a many hurt. Without a strong delivery through Smith, the step might"ve to be hokey, however he sold his sadness thanks to the assist of his on-screen uncle, James Avery. 

Smith would later on recall, "James Avery to be relentlessly ~ above me come elevate. Like, James Avery wouldn"t give me a damn inch. Every little thing I said, whatever I did for James Avery was prefer nope, not an excellent enough. He to be like, "You have this position, look whereby you are, watch what you room blessed with." He to be like, "I"m sorry however I"m not accepting anything other than absolute committed perfection indigenous you."" How an extremely dad-like — er, uncle-like — that him.


It"s not always the gibbs themselves who room mustering up every the mopes. Hollywood history is filled v stories of filmmakers making use of near-torturous techniques to elicit one emotional an answer from your stars, like when Alfred Hitchcock tormented Tippi Hedren on the collection of The Birds to catch real fear or as soon as Stanley Kubrick made Shelley Duvall unwell through his harsh requirements on the set of The Shining, and also her problem conveniently aligned through her character"s.


Similarly, there have been numerous noteworthy cases of actors members gift coerced into crying on-set by few of their co-workers, whether they preferred it or not. Because that example, as soon as he was still a son star, Jackie Cooper to be bullied into bringing it with his tears in Skippy (a role that would earn the then-nine-year-old one Oscar nomination, no less) by director Norman Taurog, who threatened to kill his dog if the didn"t cry right then. Similarly, Francis Ford Coppola apparently resorted come calling Winona Ryder vicious name to carry her to tears on the set of Bram Stoker"s Dracula.


There room some gibbs who simply don"t need to turn to techniques or manufacturing to pretend to it is in emotionally affected in a scene. Surprise, surprised — Meryl Streep, largely thought about the biggest actress of ours time, is just one of those people. In a conversation with the students at the college of Texas, she revealed the her procedure is just to power through whatever challenge she faces, consisting of bringing tears to the table even when she isn"t in reality in the mood.


"The hardest point to carry out is to carry out something when you don"t feeling it. You feel what"s walking on in your genuine life. And also then you have to be funny when you"re not feeling funny. You have to cry on the finest day of her life," she defined to the students. "It"s weird and also hard to perform what isn"t really happening, and make it choose it is. Yet we need actors. We need them to assist us understand different emotions and also realities. Come console us. Come let us know that we"re not alone." In other words, anytime Streep demands to cry on screen, she merely remembers how vital it is because that Meryl Streep come cry top top screen, and also she it s okay the job done. That sort of gumption simply can"t be taught, for this reason it"s no wonder she"s so numerous light-years front of the rest.


Oprah Winfrey appears to be an excellent at everything, but when the TV mogul does sometimes dip she toes back into the waters that Hollywood come star in a movie, it"s not always easy because that her. In fact, she called Larry King that prior to she earned an Academy award nomination for her job-related in The color Purple, she felt choose a failure because she could only cry once the cameras were pointed elsewhere throughout production and also that she dried up as soon as they challenged her.

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Winfrey later on revealed (via Huffington Post) that prior to she began working ~ above Lee Daniels" The Butler, she decided to lug in some assist and learn just how to fake some of that feel that involved her so easily on her non-fictional programs. "Everybody thinks that I"m a great crier, an easy crier. I have the right to cry if I"m in the moment and also feeling emotion, however as an actress, the was among my best fears," she explained. Thanks to the enlistment that an exhilaration coach, however, she identified how to do herself cry "in 20 minutes." Now, there"s something to jump on the couch about.