Originally Posted by oink
I believe "method" acting was much more common during Hollywood's Golden Years than it is today.
It depends on which form you're talking about. While Stanislavski developed it in Russia in the late 19th century, and there were adherents in the 30s-50s in the States, such as Uta Hagen, Lee Strasberg, and Stella Adler, most of what we consider "method actors" came during the "New Hollywood" era of the 60s and 70s, and even into the blockbuster era. Guys like Keitel, Pacino, and De Niro still work in at least one form or another.
It's still taught today, but guys like Sanford Meisner and Robert Lewis started changing up the approaches, so now there are a bazillion different ways to go about method acting. Plenty of acting schools still teach these newer method forms, like the Stella Adler and Ruskin schools, and you still have quite a few proponents of it, though "classical actors" never really went away, either. Skilled directors know how to work with all types, and how to mesh different actors from different schools of thought to make it work right, though it can be a challenge.
One of my profs in grad school related about when he worked on The Border with Harvey Keitel and Jack Nicholson. Keitel is method, Nicholson is distinctly not method. One day they were getting ready to shoot a scene, and director Tony Richardson was spending a considerable amount of time going over with Keitel why his character was wearing a hat, and all the backstory about why he wore this hat. Nicholson, who was getting tired of it, walked over, grabbed the hat, put it on Keitel's head and said, 'You wear it because you like it!" And then they shot the scene.
I've worked in the theatre with some method actors (though not as a director or actor myself.) Sometimes it can be madding, but sometimes it's pretty fun to watch, and some of them can do some amazing things. But I've also seen amazing things from more classically trained actors as well.