If you're ever looking to destroy your free time, I recommend Reddit, the "front page of the internet." They have categories, or subreddits, for pretty much anything, including acting. That's where I found a link to the video below. In it, Scottish acting coach Mark Westbrook lays out ten reasons he hates Method acting. It's about seven minutes. Have a look. He's articulate and has a cool accent.
Given my MFA program's former connection to the Actors Studio, many of my teachers were members. I think I can speak on this with some authority. I myself am not a huge fan of the Method, mostly because I'm more interested in comedy and none of my teachers ever knew what to do with that. Moreover, drawing on my own experience won't get me too far. It's better for me to use my imagination, rather than sense memory to recall emotions. That being said, I think I understand it pretty well, and I'd love to address some of his points.
I don't know how much direct contact Mr. Westbrook has had with traditional Method actors, but he sounds like he's heard the same stories we all have of things DeNiro, Pacino and Day-Lewis have done to prepare for roles. While a strict definition of Method acting is difficult to pin down, I think it's safe to say that it deals primarily with techniques to work on your inner self so that you can create an honest emotional state, rather than externally indicating said state. Method acting is not changing your weight. It's not refusing to get out of a wheelchair because your character is paralyzed. It's not psychotically deluding yourself into believing your name is actually Hamlet.
Nor were we spinning off into abstract emotional states unconnected to the scene. Even if we were wide of the mark, that's what directors are for. If I'm in a scene that's about me confronting my wife for cheating on me, but whatever I'm using gets me to a state that doesn't seem to fit, one would hope the director would say something and I could adjust accordingly. Actors can't watch themselves. We don't always know how what we're doing comes off to an audience, nor should we be constantly worried about that (as the video states).
Mr. Westbrook says that tinkering with the mind of the actor is dangerous. He goes on to say that it isn't brave, but stupid. I think one of the bravest things an artist can do is make themselves completely vulnerable to the audience. Isn't that the point of what we're doing?
His point about research sounds like a straw man that he created based on IMDb trivia. What actor learned an entire language for three lines? When did Strasberg ever say that was necessary? Firing a gun before the camera rolls won't help you look like you know what you're doing? I get that just because your character is a cop, the whole scene isn't about you being a cop. It's about whatever the writer put behind the scene. But if you've been around cops and you feel more comfortable with that life, you're freer to focus on what the scene's really about. If you've seen cops arrest people, you don't have to worry about what they do with the cuffs when you're supposed to be accusing your partner of being a rat. Does that mean you need to live with a DEA agent for six months? Of course not. No proponent of the Method is saying otherwise.
Another straw man: he makes it sound like Method actors will just drop out of a scene and start remembering their childhood bedroom because they need to feel an emotion. No teacher I ever came across teaches it that way. The work is preparation, which is just that: "pre." You can use it to get to an authentic emotional state, but once the scene starts you're rolling downhill with no brakes. You just have your partner and whatever happens during the scene.
At this point the Method is ingrained into Western acting and most people I know use elements of it, whether they know it or not. Naturally anything that comes to dominate a form that strongly will generate reactions against it. I just wish people actually knew what they were reacting against.