William Hurt was an actor with a theatrical background and valued rehearsals; this made him an intense colleague at times. In 2009, Hurt compared his process primarily to the weather.
“Latent moisture doesn’t become visible moisture until there’s a particle in the air that it can attach to,” he said. told the New York Times. “So if there is, for example, fine dust in the air, you will have a moment when the latent humidity of the air catalyzes the visible moisture … I am not an artist until I have something to attach myself to. … An idea or concept.”
This was manifested in the 1985 film Kiss of the Spider Woman, which many still consider the apotheosis of Hurt’s career. Hurt won his first (and only) Oscar for this role, making himself unrecognizable. Even his line readings were outrageous, and not everyone appreciated such a loose study.
“The whole thing about him is that he plays with the speed and accent of reading lines in reverse, racing when he should slow down, gliding through the dots in his sentences,” critic Paul Attanasio wrote in his review, noting the film as “just another a gay minstrel show that justifies itself with pretense of dignity and weighty themes.”
However, Hurt was never afraid to go wherever such a role took him, and always seemed to invest most in films that were considered high enough to challenge.
“I assume that acting is an art,” he said. Los Angeles Times in 1994. “This is not a business. It’s about creating characters, not selling personalities… I don’t owe anything to anyone, including the director.”
Hurt never made his own film, preferring to stay by the side of the actor. But if he did, it would be interesting to see the results of an artist so exclusively focused on protecting the process.
“If you don’t give me six weeks of rehearsals, I will fight you,” he said. said in 2009. I must say that life has been a struggle. But it’s a good fight, and every minute of preparation I lure, extort, coerce or seduce pays off. Every second of extra time to work with other actors has definitely always paid off for me for the film. for the project.”