The differences between performing on a movie and theater stage, according to successful Iranian film and theater actor Pejvak Imani


The concept of acting is intact, however, there are a few differences between whether you are performing on stage or in a movie. Whatever act you do on stage, you should be doing the opposite when performing in a movie.

On stage you have to pretend that an event has happened, but on a film you have to live and experience the event. Instead of external expressions that you show on a stage, you should reveal them internally in a movie. To appear more realistic, you need to simplify rather than exaggerate. In movies, you are not supposed to memorize the script line by line accurately because in real life people don’t know exactly what they mean. So you should forget about the dialogue and understand the script, then repeat it on a stage. For clarity, and to improve the credibility and make it more realistic, in a movie, as people do in their daily lives, sometimes they think at times and hesitate to express their thoughts.

Another difference between performing on stage and filming has something to do with the distance. In the movies, the actor is right in front of you, and you can easily talk to him, because there’s no one there, and it’s like having a private conversation. All the words you whisper and even the breathing sounds are recorded by state-of-the-art equipment.

On the other hand, on a theater stage, you must pronounce the dialogues aloud, so that your voice reaches the greatest number of spectators. As a result, theater actors must work on the propagation of their voices.

While performing in front of the audience in the theater, you cannot express your sadness by bringing tears to your eyes because only the front row of the audience will notice.

Therefore, you have to exaggerate by expressing your emotions using bodily gestures so that even the audience in the back row sees the actor’s status. Unlike this, in the movies you shouldn’t over-play and use your body language only occasionally. By recording a close-up clip, your feeling of sadness is easily visible and you mainly need to focus on your inner feelings. In the theater, it’s playing signs while in the cinema it’s playing realism. If you notice that the actor is acting in a movie then he made a mistake and it is the difference between theater and cinema that is so important.

In the theater, actors train for weeks, giving them plenty of time to get to know each other, and a natural relationship is formed, however. They forge bonds inside and outside the stage. So on the day of the main play, the relationships and communications of the actors feel really real to the audience.

However, film actors often have up to a few hours before shooting scenes to meet, and for example, they are asked to act in a romantic scene. Or actors who barely know other people’s names are supposed to hate each other incredibly and play based on that hate. Thus, it is important for an actor to know himself deeply and to study the characters of others in everyday life. Analyzing others helps you build relationships very quickly.

Brief biography of Pejvak Imani

Pejvak Imani, born June 25, 1990 in Tehran. He was the only child in the family. When he finished elementary school, he immigrated to Canada with his family. He pursued graduate studies in MBA at Ryerson University, then began participating in acting and stand-up classes through the YUK YUK club. Gaining two years of experience in these classes encouraged him to start playing stand-ups and free theater in Toronto. After some theatrical experiences, he returned to Iran and began to train under the direction of great masters of Iranian directors such as Vahid Jalilvand. Then in 2016 he played a small role in a TV series and after playing several big and small roles he appeared on the big screen in cinema.

He has a famous quote: “Histrionics means becoming, once you start playing you fail. “


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