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When it comes to an actors process no two artists are the same. Line learning is no different. Some prefer to get the material on its feet and let the lines gradually absorb into their mind and body, while others like to knuckle down and get the script learnt in advance, thereby unshackling them from the restraint of having to carry a script for the first few weeks. BILL NIGHY favours the latter.
It used to be sort of taboo in England, to learn your lines before you start rehearsals. Like you would become imprisoned by intonations, which then is in some way doing a disservice to your fellow actors. It’s NONSENSE.
It’s just a way of putting off homework
He reveals his full line-learning technique here:
What works for you?