One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Act a part in a play or film in an overly restrained or unemotional way.
- ‘DeNiro underacts brilliantly, creating a character whose obsessive concern for control and order is both his means to the top and his undoing.’
- ‘This movie is loud, gaudy, underacted, and completely without a soul.’
- ‘He underacts many scenes, perhaps going for stoic emotional pain but looking bored.’
- ‘Thank John, who overacts in direct proportion to the amount of underacting everyone else does.’
- ‘It's a caper film, with all the obligatory touchstones of the genre and everyone underacts to great effect.’
- ‘An actor himself, he doesn't write plays so much as actors' exercises: violently angry confrontations, absurdly bizarre vignettes, and abject deflations good for practicing sotto voce underacting.’
- ‘I think this movie may mark the only time in recorded history when he managed to underact in a part.’
- ‘When in doubt, they seem to choose underacting, which is a smart pick.’
- ‘He was often, and probably justly, accused of underacting in the movies, but never of overacting.’
- ‘The young actress manages, at the same time, to underact and overdo playing a grieving yet bratty young girl.’
- ‘For once, he underacts, and still manages to create a memorable character.’
- ‘The acting isn't all that way, because we're sometimes treated to underacting as a change of pace.’
- ‘Who overacted, underacted, didn't try or couldn't act his or her way out of a paper bag?’
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