Watch: 10 lessons in the craft of acting from the cast of ‘Fast Five’

Summer movie season is going to get an early kick off when “Fast Five” opens on April 29 and it will no doubt satisfy a legion of action fans who have been salivating for some not-so serious fun.  Then again, who are we to discredit the skilled actors in the “Fast and Furious” franchise?  These are trained professionals who bring more to their characters than just drop kicks and auto racing skills, right?  

Aptly timed, Universal Pictures just released some new clips from the expected blockbuster and they easily demonstrate how difficult making one of these movies can be.  So, with that in mind, here are some lessons you can learn about acting on screen without having to shell out big bucks for any “professional” training.  Let Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Tyrese instruct you on the finer points of character development.

10. Take one for your fellow actor now and again

We’re convinced Vin Diesel purposely gave weak line readings so his co-star Tyrese would look stronger in this scene.  Would Josh Duhamel do the same?

9. These criminals, er heroes go the extra mile, so do the performances
$100 million?  Whatever it takes.  That’s why you hire the trainer and watch the carbs.

8. Camaraderie is important among an ensemble
Laugh with each other.  Have fun.  Break numerous state and federal statutes while bonding together.

7. Learn from co-stars who have starred in Oscar-winning films
Do you think Diesel, Walker and Tyrese took the time to sit down and learn from Chris “I actually starred in ‘Crash'” Bridges about the finer points of method acting?  (Wait, don’t answer that…)

6. Use previous performances as your inspiration
In this scene Walker and Jordana Brewster race for their lives across the rooftops of Rio.  Clearly, each actor is channeling what they picked up from hours of multiple viewings of Matt Damon in the “Bourne” franchise.

5. Always keep them guessing
Paul Walker has played Brian O’Conner four times now, but is always trying to bring something new to the table.  In this action packed scene is he playing Brian quietly confident that he’ll survive or subtly masking his fear at impending death?  Maybe, and just maybe, he’s conveying both.

4. Hit your marks
Johnson expertly hit his marks in shot after shot of this darkly lit and yet enterically staged scene where his character walks out of an aircraft cargo bay and talks to other characters.  That’s a pro people.

3.  Extras are there to be ignored
Non-American extras getting bowled over by a massive steel vault during a stunt sequence is just part of the business. You can’t worry about their lives or possible injuries.  Just worry about lining up your next gig.

2. Real actors do their own stunts
Is that the Diesel and Dwayne Johnson flying through the air?  Sure looks like it to us. 

1. Don’t be afraid to take it to another level
It’s more than meta. It’s more than method.  It’s more than muscles vs. muscles.   It’s committing to the character.

These lessons and many others can be found in “Fast Five” which opens nationwide on April 29.