CLASSES taught by a Hollywood talent that were scheduled to begin in Phnom Penh on Monday have been cancelled because Cambodian actors were too arrogant to concede that they needed to hone their craft, an organiser said yesterday.
The three-week method acting course was to be taught by American actor David Bradley, an ex-karate champion who in 1989 “became a star after becoming the 2nd American Ninja in The American Ninja Part 3”, according to the Internet Movie Database.
But Marian Arthur, CEO of KMY Films, a Cambodian-based film distribution company, said yesterday that Bradley had cancelled his flight to the Kingdom because of low enrolment in the classes.
She said that some of the Cambodian actors invited to attend the classes had balked at fees – between US$150 and $300 for a three-week course – and that others had said they did not need or want any help.
“Many of the current actors did not sign up because they said they already know how to act,” she said in an email yesterday. “Several others said they don’t care about learning how to act because they just used acting jobs to become celebrities, and that if they learn to act they will have to actually work. They have lost my respect.”
She said organisers had hoped that around 70 people would attend classes, but that only eight people had enrolled, and that, as a result, Bradley had pulled out of the project.
“At this time I do not feel comfortable in making the trip, but thank you for your interest, and [I] suggest we delay this process until it’s more comfortable for all involved,” he told Arthur in an email last week.
Arthur said she had approached Bradley, a personal friend, and asked him to teach the classes because she believed that Khmer actors would respond well to him.
“He really has that Asian Zen-like attitude,” she said. “He’s very quiet and very strong.”
She said that she had spent three months organising the classes and was “very discouraged” that local actors had failed to take advantage of the opportunity to attend.
Matthew Robinson, an executive producer at Khmer Mekong Films, said yesterday that he believed the standard of acting in the Kingdom was already very high and that there appeared to be a lot of talent.
“I think the world is yet to discover the treasures of Cambodian acting,” he said.
“I’m not sure how much they would have benefited from a method-acting class.”