“If you want to play strong, don’t blink. If you want to play weak, blink.”
This is sage advice given by the highly accomplished, Academy Award winning actor, Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters, The Italian Job, The Cider House Rules) during a BBC interview. According to Caine, in a close-up scene, an actor can send a signal of strength and seriousness of purpose by not blinking. And, conversely, the actor can signal weakness, vulnerability and nervousness by blinking more than usual.
“[Hugh Grant] is so funny because he blinks all the time, ‘cause he’s always nervous, he can’t get the girl, and that is a very clever actor letting you know that he’s not very strong and he’s nervous and he’s upset. [On the other hand] If you’re playing a serious character in a movie, as I often do, you don’t wanna appear nervous and upset.”