The question actors get more than any other, by far, is this: How did you learn all those lines?
The answer isn’t that interesting—they learn their lines by repeating them over and over.
But the lines aren’t the goal. Remembering the words is the most basic task of the actor—without that building block, nothing else can happen. If all the actors did was remember their lines, the audience would be really bored and probably quite confused. The lines are the springboard to a deep understanding of what the character needs and wants in each moment. It’s like the instruction manual for the performance.
Knowing the lines, being profoundly familiar with the content, is what allows any of us to connect beyond the surface level with our audiences. If our preparation ends at “I learned my lines,” we haven’t even begun to explore what’s possible.