When Actors Act Blind

It’s a toss up for me — what do I find more annoying — actors who play mentally retarded characters or blind characters? Right now, it might be the latter. I’ve been watching Covert Affairs, a series about a young FBI agent who pretends she works at the Smithsonian (yes, it’s as cheesy as it sounds, but I need to watch something as I fold laundry, and Grey’s isn’t back on yet, speaking of cheesy shows.) There’s a supporting character who is an ex-field operative, very smart, who is relegated to office computer hacking work, though he longs to re-enter the field; oh, and by the way, he’s blind.

I don’t know why it bugs me so much. Maybe because every time the actor cops a feel on all the furniture around him, I know that he can actually see, and how goofy are all those efforts when you can really see? It reminds of this play I saw in undergrad. This very sweet, well-meaning young lady was cast as a blind character, and to prepare, she walk around campus for hours with a blindfold on. Whenever I saw her, or when I think of that now, it just makes me tired. It just makes acting seem so un-fun. I mean, how stupid of a use of time is that? That’s about as fun as memorizing lines.


4 Replies to “When Actors Act Blind”

  1. you know, i saw it ages ago and all i remember is al pacino doing a range of interpretations of “who-wha-HUH,” like slow and thoughtful when he was sad, more staccato when he was psyched, but can’t recall much else. was it good? was his blind acting excellent and not distracting?

  2. Remember the blind high school student in the video for Lionel Richie’s “Hello,” who was clearly neither blind nor a high school student? And was it really a good idea for Lionel to be playing a high school teacher who was in love with one of his students to begin with? I’ll take the “Dancing On The Ceiling” video any day….

  3. yes! there’s something about that video that will never let me forget it. like who can forget that enormous head sculpture that girl created of lionel richie? i didn’t remember or maybe didn’t understand at the time that she was in high school. that makes the whole thing extra gross

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