Why am I a fan of Daffy? Besides his looks that is?
He tried to act in many different films and play every type of part. He was ambitious to act well in great films. His range was amazing. He like playing antiheros and was not afraid of playing villains or weaklings. He rather loathed playing romantic types but in The Shining Prince he played a romantic lead very beautifully. However his forte is complex characters.
He took risks. he played abusive lovers and social climbing cads and murderers. He played costume parts and modern parts equally well too. He played action scenes and small and tiny films well.
Daffy was daring in his acting. he could underact very well, emotions flickering fleetingly across that face of his. He liked to ‘upstage’ ie play with his back to the camera and was quite amazing. He could nail a scene with a single gesture.
Today actors only need to speak and their bodies do not have to act at all. Watch a modern film and turn down the sound and watch it as a silent. You will be surprised. Silents force you to watch the body and face because you do not hear the voice. Silent acting is not ‘hammy’ but rather a different acting that must carrry the film without the voice. How many modern actors could act without a voice? Daffy did not need a voice to act.
Daffy was born for film. Could he have acted on the stage? Probably not. His face was expressive for film and his looks, that black and white face of his , was born for black and white film. He had an instinct for what worked on film and film is a magical thing that either loves or hates you. A broad gesture can fail. a tiny gesture can steal a scene. Daffy could appear to do absolutely nothing at all but dominate the scene nevertheless.
Was Daffy the greatest actor of Fairawayland? No. Critics debate endlessly about the great Laurence Pendragon too and well they should! Daffy appeared opposite many fine actors (male and female). The Daffy Cult is based on many more things beside acting. But was Daffy one of the greatest actors of Fairawayland? Absolutely!