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Educating Siskel

CBS News This Morning contributor Gene Siskel gets acting lessons from the stars.

If you've gotten this far, you know how to schmooze and how to use the right lingo, and you know where to go to get discovered in Hollywood. But sometimes, it actually helps to know how to act. As in, perform.

This fact is not lost on CBS This Morning film critic and contributor Gene Siskel. Finding himself in the presence of no fewer than three Oscar-winning actors – Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, and Paul Newman – Siskel took them for what they're worth.

Below we present highlights, including video clips, from Siskel's free acting lessons from the stars of the new film, Twilight. Learn from him learning from them.

(Watch This Morning on Monday, March 2 through Thursday, March 5, to see the segments in their entirety.)

Paul Newman
"I'm not an expert on teaching acting or really explaining acting. I think with the actor, the thing I look for is whether you can see the machinery going on. If you can see the machinery, that has nothing to do with what the guy is doing, then it doesn't work for me." (See Newman video.)

Gene Hackman
Siskel: "Do you have any tricks that you can tell me?"

Hackman: "Too many [times] you find yourself in a picture that you know is not working. And you say, 'I just have to protect myself.' And you do it. . .with energy. But also..."

Siskel: "Scratching and grinning?"

Hackman: "Well, yeah. You just do everything that you can to stay in there." (See Hackman video.)

Susan Sarandon
Siskel: "You go to props a lot?"

Sarandon: "Yeah, and I never put 'em down when I have them. If you find a good prop, don't lose it. . .Sometimes you can find something, some way of expressing yourself physically, so that you don't have to say it, because people show things. The more in films that you can show something, rather than say 'I'm nervous,' you know, showing it. Futzing with the thing..."(See Sarandon video.)

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Back to Plot Your Big Break In Hollywood

The Film Lingo Final
Build Your Own Plot
The Be-Seen Scene

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