Annette Benning, Naomie Harris on the Intimacy of Acting

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Annette Bening and Naomie Harris agree that one of the hardest parts of acting is breaking down emotional barriers, often with a stranger, to deliver convincing performances.

The actors discussed the vulnerability of acting for the fifth season of Variety and PBS’ series “Actors on Actors.”

“Our business is intimacy,” Bening explained. “Our job is to find that thing that is between people — even though you don’t necessarily know the person that you are playing opposite — you imbue the other person with that … you understand that is what the camera needs to see,” Bening said.

“When you are acting, you have to let your guard down,” Harris said in agreement. “That’s very rare you do that with anybody, and to do that with a stranger is such an extraordinary thing.”

Bening and Harris go on to explain how that vulnerability is so specific — and integral — to their craft.

The interview will air in its entirety on Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” Season 5, presented by The Venetian Las Vegas, which debuts on PBS SoCal on Jan. 3.