How To Make Yourself Cry Fast When Acting: Our Guide

22nd July 2021

How To Make Yourself Cry Fast When Acting: Our Guide
Maria Hanlon

Maria Hanlon

If you were asked to cry in the next 60 seconds, could you do it? 

actress crying

We’re sure most actors would agree, crying on cue is one of the biggest challenges. However, we’re here to help! Our guide will reveal our 7 top tips on how to make yourself cry fast. 

7 Tips On How To Make Yourself Cry When Acting

Every actor has to learn how to cry on cue at some point in their career, and you can too! If you are yet to master the skill of crying on command, fear not. We have come up with 7 ways to make yourself cry. 

Stay Hydrated

woman drinking water

Let’s begin with the basics, if you’re dehydrated it will be much harder to cry. Having a lack of fluid in your system will mean your body will be unable to activate its tear ducts. No matter how much training you’ve had, you’ll have a tough time crying. Remember to drink plenty of water prior to your performance and whilst on set.

Actress Bryce Dallas Howard appeared on American talk show Conan, and said she could cry on command, and within 2 minutes she was. She did however drink water just before and mention that being hydrated was important.

Focus On The Emotion

actress crying

In real life, when you’re really upset, water doesn’t simply stream from your eyes. Your whole body reacts to the emotion. It’s important to portray this during a tearful take to make your performance as realistic as possible.

For example, you could try making crying facial expressions, sounds or breathing heavily. Doing this might help you cry as you’re tricking your body and viewers into thinking you’re upset, and the tears will hopefully follow after.

Use Personal Prompts

woman listening to music

Although this approach, should be taken with care, it could be effective to think back to an emotional time in your life and use those memories to bring out the emotion in your performance.

Think of ways you can relate to your character through your own life experiences as this will create a more authentic performance.

Tap Into Your Imagination 

acting class

If you’re having trouble connecting to your character, put yourself in your character’s shoes. Imagine that you are going through the same thing they are and how that would make you feel.

For example, actor Daniel Kaluuya revealed that whilst filming the stand-out ‘Sunken Place’ scene for Jordan Peele’s Get Out — during which he was physically frozen with teardrops streaming from his eyes— he just thought about what it would be like to be in a similar situation in real life.

Listen To Music Or Watch Videos

record collection

There’s nothing wrong with a little inspiration. Watch your favourite sad movie scene or listen to the song that causes you to feel emotional to induce tears. Have these ready to go so you can quickly watch/listen before you perform and make yourself cry. 

The Notebook, P.S I Love You, Life Is Beautiful and Sophie’s Choice are up there with some of the most tear-jerking films of all time according to Harper’s BAAZAR last year. 

Fill In The Gaps 

acting school

When it comes to crying on cue, it may be useful to think outside the script. Fill in personal details for your character to get to know them beyond the script. Consider what their home is like, what their favourite meal is and what they like to do in their spare time. The more you can connect with your character, the easier it should be to cry when they’re upset. 

In fact, Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard invented an extensive backstory for her character in “Two Days, One Night.” She carefully studied the script and filled the gaps including everything that happened in her life prior to the film. The technique definitely worked, Cotillard earned her second, very well-deserved Oscar nomination for the performance.

Remain Authentic 

actress crying

How often have you felt very emotional watching a film scene in which no tears have actually been shed? It’s not all about the physical act of crying.

It’s about the emotion the actor portrays, so if you feel that can come across well enough without tears and that they’re not adding much to your performance, you might be able to skip them.

Now You Know How To Make Yourself Cry When Acting

actress crying

Those are our top 7 tips on how to make yourself fake cry when acting, from staying hydrated, watching sad movie scenes to filling in the gaps and thinking outside of the script.

Now you are ready to give a convincing performance and how to make yourself cry on command whilst acting.

Best of luck and don’t forget your tissues!

We hope you’ve found this useful and hopefully you’ll be in the background of some future films we watch! Whilst you’re here, why not check out some more of our articles on our blog? We recommend The Ultimate Guide On How To Learn Lines and How To Audition For A Movie to get you started!  

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