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Why Bob Hoskins watches women

Bob Hoskins learned to act by studying women, says Nigel Farndale in the London <em>Daily Telegraph.</em>

Bob Hoskins learned to act by studying women, says Nigel Farndale in the London Daily Telegraph. After dropping out of school at 15, he drifted from job to job, doing stints as a porter, truck driver, and window cleaner. Then in 1968, when he was 26, he accompanied a friend to an audition. Mistaken for an actor, he was asked to read for a part and ended up getting the lead. He knew he had found his calling, but struggled to hone his technique. “When I started, I thought, ‘Christ, I ought to learn to act now I’m doing this for a living.’ I was a completely untrained, ill-educated idiot.” He read works by the great acting coaches Stanislavski and Strasberg, but found their advice “obvious” and unhelpful. Instead, he decided to study people, especially women—something he enjoyed doing anyway. “Men are emotional cripples. Emotional stability and expression comes from women. I started my career by becoming a stalker, watching women in the street, the way they greet each other. I thought, if I could capture some of that expression, that depth of emotion, it will make me interesting to watch as an actor.”

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