I’ve studied acting, so I know all about the three-dimensional character, with the thoughts-emotions-actions being clear to the actor to be able to portray a three-dimensional character.
However, I’ve never quite understood the concept of a “layered” performance. What is meant by the term “layers” in association with acting, and with a character that an actor is given?
Examples from film/television/theater would certainly help.
I think when people bring up “layers” they’re referring to the nuances in an actor’s performance. For example, expressing different emotions in a short span of time. A recent example I can think of is from the Mad Men episode where Abe tells Peggy he wants to have kids. Elisabeth Moss’s face presents a handful of emotions from incredulous, to confused, to relieved, to happy in a matter of seconds. It’s easy to miss, but if you’re paying attention, it’s excellent. This is just my take on that term, though!