Gregory Peck in Spellbound (1945, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
While filming Spellbound, Gregory Peck made the mistake of inquiring about his motivation in a particular scene. What were his character’s inner life and feelings? What should he be thinking?
“My dear boy,” Hitchcock drawled. “I couldn’t care less what you’re thinking. Just let your face drain of all expression.” Peck’s “soul-searching and…lack of ready technique,” in the actor’s words, tested Hitchcock’s patience. The inexperienced leading man hungered for guidance. Much of the time Peck felt adrift, vulnerable - rather like the character he was playing. Although the drained expression was a guise, it also suggested the reality of an uncertain actor.
-via Patrick McGilligan’s Alfred Hitchcock:A Life in Darkness and Light