This Is How Actors Are Crying On Demand (And How You Can Easily Do It)

It’s one of those questions that almost all of us have: how do actors manage to cry when filming a movie? For those of us who tried even once to cry on demand, we know how difficult it is to produce tears and move within seconds from one emotional state to another. So how do they do it?

Well, there are two ways one can produce tears and these are the ways actors are using: with emotional connection and without emotional connection.

Let’s break them down. (the article continues after the ad)


This is by far the hardest method and it requires a lot of practice to pull off. The idea here is that actors can produce real tears by thinking some past emotions. This technique is called “memory driven tears” and it works by recalling an intense emotional experience while saying the lines. Sometimes, because memories may not be enough, actors can actually get themselves into an emotional state by imagining tragic events, even though that events never occurred. Such events include the death of loved one or any other devastating thoughts.

But, as you know, this technique requires a lot of practice, imagination and emotional awareness. Hopefully though, there are easiest ways to cry on demand that require no emotional connection.


Usually, there are two ways that are used in order to produce tears without emotional connection: the ‘staring method’ and the ‘menthol method’. In fact, the ‘staring method’ is quite easy and it’s something that even non-actors, people like me and you, can pull off. Try this:

Close your eyes and rub them (not too hard – you don’t want to physically hurt yourself). Do it for about 30-60 seconds and then open them and start delivering a line without blinking. Just continue to stare. If you stare for longer than 30 seconds, most probably your eyes will start to water. Instant realistic tears!

The other non-emotional method, the ‘menthol method’, is by far the easiest one and it’s pretty much self explanatory. Menthol (an organic compound found in mint, peppermint and other mint oils) is placed under the eyes and it basically acts like a spray, immediately producing tears.

So, now you know how actors cry and how you can do it. But if you want to pull a trick on your friends and family with your fake crying, remember that tears is not everything – body language is equally important!

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: This Is Why So Many Movie Bad Guys Have British Accents 

Photo: Twentieth Century Fox / Screenshot from YouTubeTwentieth Century Fox / Screenshot from YouTube
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: How To Cry – An Actor’s Guide to Crying and Tears

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