I read somewhere that an actor who has to cry in a scene should play like he’s trying not to cry. Because most of the time when you cry, you’re fighting it, you want to hold it back. If you go straight for the crying, it can look fake to the audience. After you’ve spent a few years trying to cry, you realize that’s not how your body works. You can trick your body into feeling things, but the way to do it is to try not to do it. Laughing and crying are two things that dog young actors. When you’re 21, it’s your bete-noire: “Oh, God, I have to cry! I can’t cry, I don’t feel it! I have to laugh? But it’s not funny!” As you get older, they’re two of the easiest things. Partly, it’s because you’ve had more life. It’s not hard to think of sad things. I could cry right now.
Michael Emerson about actor’s play (from Vanityfair.com, 2010) and so in tune now