What should we include in the definition of acting? Does portraying a calm persona to a customer use the same psychology as acting out a character? And how does the audience think about the reality of acting?
Although we know they are fictional, portrayals of professors, detectives, lawyers and secret agents affect how we think about the real life versions of the people in those professions, and whether actors have the skills they portray.
One interesting thing about old movies is how different the acting feels- particularly when you get back to silent movies and the first "talkies". The acting in these films was taken from melodramatic theatre, and therefore is highly, well, melodramatic.