The video: As Mitt Romney struggles with his stiff, out-of-touch image, at least one observer thinks acting lessons could help. Legendary thespian, drama coach, and Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton offers his own unsolicited advice to the presidential hopeful in a new video and New York column cheekily titled, "How to Act Human." (Watch the video below.) While Mitt must, Lipton says, add warmth to his "mirthless" laugh — "There's no pleasure there, no amusement" — the wealthy politician should give up his attempts to impersonate the common man. He lacks the skill to pull off the ruse, Lipton says, suggesting that Romney "stick to typecasting and go with what you've got and who you are." His conclusion: "It's not just your best option, sir, it's your only one."
The reaction: "Not everyone is a natural star when they hit that podium," says Sarah Muller at MSNBC. And Mitt Romney, more than any other politician, could use some acting tips to get up to snuff. We were prepared to laugh at Lipton's pointers, says Alexander Abad-Santos at The Atlantic Wire, but his advice — particularly on getting rid of that mechanical laugh — "actually makes a lot of sense." But given that Romney is three points ahead in national polls despite Obama's stronger favorability ratings, maybe coming across as "human" is overrated, says Kara Miller at The Boston Globe. Reliability and intelligence may be more important. See Lipton's tips for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Chuck Hagel was a huge mistake
- Want to eliminate the scourge of frat culture? Lower the drinking age.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Yes, the Obama administration's green loans are unprofitable. They should be.
- 5 quick things you can do today to boost your creativity
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- What would it take for humans to build a settlement on Mars?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why we gossip, according to science
Subscribe to the Week