Actors have to do so much to give justice to the character they are playing. They use different methods for the same. It takes a lot of effort, especially if the actor doesn’t know the required language. To learn the language, they need to put in extra work. It varies from person to person what and how they are facing the difficulties. Thus, the solutions to their problems also vary. The Lincoln Lawyer actor, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, opens up about his difficulties and how he overcame them.
Manuel Garcia-Rulfo isn’t an English man yet…
As much as he struggled with his accent, not being a native English speaker actually helped Manuel’s character, Mickey. But it was challenging for him to speak fluently without hesitating throughout the shoot in his initial stages. His co-actor, Neve Campbell, who plays Mickey’s first wife, Maggie, said that she reached out to him and took him hiking to know each other. She also motivated him, which helped Manuel to be at ease with his fear.
Moreover, his dyslexia added to his existing troubles. How did he overcome this? What did he do to learn the language with this condition?
Grandmother’s technique to the rescue
Grandparents always help us directly or indirectly. The same is the case with Manuel. Facing these issues with the language, Garcia-Rulfo actually went back to his grandmother’s technique. She was an artist and thus was innovative. She had taught Garcia-Rulfo some techniques to learn things easily, as it is difficult to relate to words for those with dyslexia.
“I bought this board and I put it in my apartment and — it was insane — I did brain mapping with pictures, drawings,” he said. He apparently did that in every scene. If there was a gun, he would draw a gun. It made it easier for him to learn through this method.
While learning this way, he understood words and could absorb them easily. The more he understood the language, the more questions he would ask about the deeper psyche of the character to the creators and director. Moreover, the character is based on real-life lawyers in the original novel that inspired the series. This factor might have added pressure on Manuel.
This is how Manuel Garcia-Rulfo cleared all the handles on his way during his initial journey as an American actor. It also surprised him to see the improvements and his ability to deliver the dialogues in English thoroughly.
Garcia-Rulfo proved that giving up isn’t an option when you are in trouble. Just look for the solution and it is always there.
To justify the Mexican roots of the character, The Lincoln Lawyer showrunners chose Manuel, and to justify the Americanness of the character, he chose his roots: his grandmother’s teachings. What an adventurous journey he has been on. We are waiting to see what he has in his pockets for the future. What about you?