Shelly Winters and Marilyn Monroe, who were roommates at the time, went shopping. While in the dressing room, Shelly was practicing a breathy laugh and speaking voice. Marilyn asked her about it and Shelly said she was using it in a scene study class. Marilyn asked if she could have it and the rest, as they say, is history.
As an exercise:
1) Determine what sets your character apart. Think of Angelina Jolie’s lips, Woody Allen’s thick-rimmed glasses, Hitchcock’s girth.
2) Once you figure out what your character’s signature look or behavior is, interview and write a story about how they got it. You will learn interesting details about their past and present.