Some actors and actresses take their jobs extremely seriously. Let’s take a look at the following actors and see just how unorthodox, risky and extremely challenging some of their roles have been.
When Heath Ledger accepted the role as The Joker, in the Batman franchise, not even he thought he would have immersed himself into the role to the extreme degree as he did. It’s the way in which he did so that has many people wondering if it played a part in his eventual and very unfortunate demise.
For an entire month, Heath immersed himself into the role of Batman's arch-nemesis, The Joker, by locking himself into a hotel room and hardly slept at all. He kept a journal with images and clippings from various Batman comics, pictures from Clockwork Orange and pictures of clowns, amongst various other macabre images. When asked by reporters about the shoot, Heath said that he was sleeping for about two hours at night and played the psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy during the day. He also said that he couldn't stop thinking. His body was exhausted, and his mind was constantly going.
By the time he started his next movie, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Ledger was suffering from chronic insomnia, pneumonia, and exhaustion. During a break in the movie, he went back to New York to recuperate, but it was on January 22, 2008 that he was found dead from what is believed to be an accidental overdose.
Christian Bale knows how to put the kilo’s on and take them off just as fast. In the Machinist in 2005, Bale dropped a hefty 63 pounds by living on just one can of tune and an apple a day. When he reached a shocking 120lbs, and still wanting to continue with his ‘diet’, the producers talked him out of it fearing for his health. What even more astonishing is the fact that less than 5 months later he bulked up 100lbs more for a set in Batman Begins.
During the recording of ‘Man OnThe Moon,’ which showcases the life and times of comedian Andy Kaufman, Jim Carey acted refused to break character even for a second and would not respond to anybody on set unless he was being referred to as Andy or Tony Clifton. He even purposely put bits of Limburger cheese into his pockets so that he could smell horrible like the real-life character.
We could hardly recognise Rooney Mara when she transformed into the role of computer hacker Lisbeth Salander in ‘Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.’ Not even Rooney imagined that the body piercings and Goth make-up required would totally transform her looks so drastically. With her nose, lip, brow, ears and nipples pierced, Rooney perfectly imitated the character she was given. She admits that because of the tattoos, makeup and piercings she underwent intense physical transformations which made her feel like she was always in a costume.
Regarded as one of the most talented actors in Hollywood, Daniel Day Lewis, often goes to extreme lengths when immersing himself in movie roles. In the 1989 classic ‘My Left Foot,’ he refused to move from his wheel-chair. Crew members had to lift him up over any obstacles. He also insisted that all meals had to be spoon fed to him. Endless weeks of crouching in this apparatus resulted in 2 broken ribs but also a Best Actor Oscars award. Moreover, for his act as Mr. Hawkeye in Last of The Mohicans, he prepared by living in total isolation in the wilderness of Alabama, while tracking, hunting and skinning wild animals for survival.
Buddhist Choi Min-sik
Choi Min-sik is best known for his critically acclaimed role in Oldboy. Although not as widely recognised as an actor as the rest of the actors and actresses on this list, he has done some incredible things to perfect his art. In the movie, Oldboy, he he burned his own flesh with a hot iron rod to mimic a prisoner who was on solitary confinement. He also most famously ate an entire live octopus in the film. With still-writing tentacles that flailing around his face, we movie enthusiasts are still reeling and have I’m sure, distanced themselves from ordering calamari for some time.
Al Pacino, also got caught up in the role he played as Frank Serpico in the move Serpico. Pacino played an undercover agent tasked with exposing corruption within the police force. He was so deeply involved in the role, that when driving his car in real life, he saw a lorry on the road spewing fumes from its exhaust pipe and stopped the driver attempting to make an actual arrest.
We can’t talk about Pacino and then not mention DeNiro. DeNiro also showed his weird side when he went to live in Sicily, Italy to learn the native dialect for the role he played as Vito Corleone in the Godfather II. He’s hard work paid off big time though, as he earned himself an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
When he starred in Raging Bull in 1980, DeNiro also gained a staggering 60lbs in order to resemble a middleweight boxer named Jake La Motta. LaMotta himself, put DeNiro through a rigorous boxing training sessions.
Back in 2003, Adrian Brody won his Oscar for Best Actor, for his role in Roman Polanski’s ‘The Pianist.’ Very few are aware of the blood, sweat and tears that he went through to scoop this amazing prize however. To identify with Wladyslaw Szpilman, the real-life Holocaust era pianist, Adrian Brody stripped himself of everyday life necessities and lived in squalid conditions. He did away with his car, home, girlfriend and other personal belongings before migrating to Europe. Brody said that the experience definitely changed his mind for the better and contributed to the powerful performance he gave.
While many actresses auditioned for the role as Brandon Teena in the 1999 movie, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, a timid female-to-male transgender person who was killed in mysterious circumstances, it was Hilary Swank who pitched up to the audition wearing her husband’s cowboy hat and overalls that did the trick. During the shoot, she lived like a man. She cut her hair short, tucked her breasts and went as far as stuffing a sock in her underwear.
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