Emilia Clarke, of Game of Thrones fame, is starring in the upcoming film, Me Before You. In the trailer included above, Ms. Clarke displays a rare nonverbal variation.
Sam Claflin (as William Traynor) "Didn't you ever love anything that much?"
During 1:49, as she says, "... love ...", you will note that along with her elevated central forehead contraction (elevated CFC), her right forehead also raises up and her right eyebrow correspondingly moves with it.
This facial expression is a variation which is rare. Very few people can elevate their central forehead as well as one side of their forehead at the same time (voluntarily or involuntarily). Often nonverbal novices will confuse this with the medical scenario of an attempt at the elevation of the entire forehead coupled with a concomitant unilateral facial palsy (such as a Bell's Palsy). A well-known public figure in whom we can observe this is Senator John McCain.
When an elevated CFC is seen in conjunction with a mouth smile (as is exemplified here) one thought-emotion which should come to mind is incredulity. Depending on the other nonverbal signs with which it is clustered, it may also signal contempt or arrogance (yet not in this moment). Moreover when an eyebrow is elevated unilaterally - along with the forehead on that same side, we also should think of disbelief. In this scene the actress known by many as Daenerys Targaryen, displays both expressions simultaneously - strongly driving home the emotion to her audience.
The art of acting does not, of course, simply consist of memorizing scripts and speaking them with correct timing and emphasis - acting also involves body language. When all three - the nonverbal, the verbal and the vocal qualities are all congruent - it is in these moments when we recognize skilled acting.
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