The actor recommends the books that every aspiring performer should consult.
1. Acting For The Camera by Tony Barr
This popular acting bible by the late Barr, a stage/film performer and teacher, was described by one review as “fast reading, easily understood, and beautifully laid out”. Aside from a theoretical approach, it offers actual acting how-tos and includes first-person accounts by stars such as Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins.
Why Sushant likes it: “This book outlines all the tools that you would need as an actor in order to pretend to the level of belief. The tools are practical. If you practise keeping them in mind, you can actually do something different in front of a camera.”
2. How To Read A Film by James Monaco
Monaco, an American film critic, wrote for The New York Times and Village Voice among other publications. He has also authored a book on New Wave cinema auteurs like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard.
In How To Read A Film, Mason delves extensively into film theory and provides a social, political and economic context to cinema.
Why Sushant likes it: “It talks about films in general. If you know how to read a film, you would have your own language when you’re actually making a film or when you’re a part of a film.”
3. Ways Of Seeing by John Berger
One of most influential intellectual texts of its time, Ways Of Seeing is considered essential reading for any practitioner of the arts. Berger, who was an art critic and artist, decoded visual language for the masses and simplified the concept of ‘gaze’ in how people perceived things.
Why Sushant likes it: “This book tells you about the million different ways you can look at the same basic thing. It will just open you up.”
Watch Sushant Singh Rajput in conversation with Anupama Chopra