“I learn the text so deeply that I think it has some chemical effect in my brain…I believe in learning the text which is there. Once you know it so well that you can improvise and make it real, it’s easy. You can’t pretend to know—it’s impossible to, and I couldn’t do it. I’ve worked with actors who don’t know their stuff, and they were just wasting everyone’s time.” -Anthony Hopkins
Assuming you’re working from a great script–and I know that isn’t always the case, but assuming you are–what if you just did these three things?…
(1) Learn the lines exactly as written.
(2) Read the script 100-200 times. That’s right. 100-200 times. To yourself or out loud. Or both.
The first two things, while straightforward, will keep you pretty busy.
(3) TRUST. Trust yourself. Your talent. Your training. Your collaborators. Your material.
And then let it rip.
That’s what Anthony Hopkins does. And he’s pretty darn good.