While it always helps to be blessed with a bunch of deeply imaginative and consistently creative thespians when it comes time to commit a concept to film, it cannot be overestimated just how valuable a masterful director can be in the producing of truly captivating big-screen performances.
That being said, while many of the most successful movie helmers working today will remarkably find a way to provoke a captivating turn out of one of their stars through something as simple as a subtle note, a spot of mid-shoot rehearsing, or a pleasant pat on the back, this lot had other, often far more extreme ways of getting their desired shot in the can on the day.
From completely deceiving their chosen leading lights in a bid to inspire an authentic response or even just trick them into stumbling onto set in the first place, to some truly bizarre pieces of direction that seemingly had no right to lead to a mesmerising performance, these cinema crafters knew there was something golden hidden within their actors and lured out said brilliance via some often insane methods.
10. Robert Eggers Refused To Tell Robert Pattinson His Entire Backstory - The Lighthouse
It goes without saying that providing an actor with as much information as possible when it comes to their character's background usually gives a performer a better chance of delivering the goods.
Yet, Robert Eggers had other ideas during the forging of his deeply surreal horror survival thriller The Lighthouse. Instead of mapping out precisely what Robert Pattinson's personality of Ephraim Winslow/Thomas Howard had been through in the lead-up to the events of the film, the director decided to leave things as open as possible in order to offer space for the audience to land on their own conclusions regarding R-Patz' character history.
Hell, even when Pattinson himself attempted to nudge his director on what Ephraim had been up to beforehand - in-between p*ssing himself and getting p*ssed, of, course - Eggers would admit to responding (via Vox), "Look, any of those things work. You need to decide for yourself or you can’t play the scene."
And that degree of ambiguity undoubtedly trickled into the finished article itself when all was said and done, with many still debating over what in the holy hell the antics involving Pattinson and Willem Dafoe's nutty wickies all meant some three years later...