So, I was on a movie set the other day and saw the main actors standing in a small group and they were all laughing out loud. When I looked a little closer I saw that in the center of that huddle there was a strawberry blonde, blue-eyed young woman with a fantastic smile on her face – and she was the one making all of her associates laugh so hard. I asked around and found out that she was Ellinor Taflin, the Swedish actress. I wouldn’t have known she was not American if I hadn’t been told. All her mannerisms, diction and use of idioms were like she was born in Phoenix or Los Angeles.
Once the director started shooting the next scene everybody got into places and into their characters and they did the scene in one take. I was amazed at the professionalism involved, especially by the actors and in particular Ms. Taflin, who only moments before was the instigator of the wild laugh fest on that same set. I later found out that she is quite the proficient actress. She has studied all the main acting techniques including Meisner, the Method, Spolin, Stanislavsky, Chekhov, Adler and Hagen. I had always imagined an actor or actress who was trained in those techniques would be a serious prude with no humor to speak of. Funny how predetermined our minds can be and it’s also funny how wrong those predeterminations can be.
I also discovered that Ellinor has a full CV of acting roles, which include some of the most difficult parts in theater history. Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and among many, many others, Fabia in Twelfth Night. Ellinor has been in numerous films and she also does voice-overs when she has the time.
I wondered if her talent had limits but when I saw her deliver her lines flawlessly on the set that afternoon, I realized that some of us are truly gifted – and it’s not me. Ellinor has the gift of a true actress. She knows, rather, she breathes every part she’s in. She has an unfailing sense of timing and obviously has a great memory in order to remember all of her lines. After the shooting stopped, the other players eagerly gathered around this bright-eyed young woman and the laughter began again.