10 Actors Who Went Above And Beyond For Their Roles

  1. 1 Adrien Brody 

    For his Oscar-winning role in The Pianist, Brody worked to inhabit the life of Holocaust survivor and real-life concert pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman. Not only did he lose 31 pounds for the role, he also gave up his apartment, sold his car, disconnected the phones, and I left for Europe with only two bags and a keyboard.

  2. 2 Shia LeBeouf

    LeBeouf was very committed for his role in 2014’s Fury. He told Dazed: “The day after I got the role, I joined the U.S. National Guard. I was baptized—accepted Christ in my heart—tattooed my surrender and became a chaplain’s assistant to Captain Yates for the 41st Infantry. I spent a month living on a forward operating base. Then I linked up with my cast and went to Fort Irwin. I pulled my tooth out, knifed my face up, and spent days watching horses die. I didn’t bathe for four months.”

  3. 3 Jamie Foxx

    During the shoot for The Ray Charles Biopic Ray, Jamie Foxx committed to his character’s blindness by wearing prosthetic eyelids. Foxx also suffered panic attacks from the prosthetics. “Imagine having your eyes glued shut for fourteen hours a day,” Foxx said. “That's your jail sentence.”

  4. 4 Daniel Day Lewis

    For his role in 1989’s My Left foot, three-times-Oscar-winner Daniel Day Lewis did not leave his character’s wheelchair. His adoption of the character’s slumped poster eventually led to his two ribs being broken. Crewmembers were also made to spoon-feed him.

  5. 5 Natalie Portman

     Portman spent eight hours a day in rigorous rehearsals and lost 20 pounds for her role as the perfection-seeking ballerina in The Black Swan. She dislocated a rib during rehearsals and felt that she was going to die due to the punishing schedule.

  6. 6 Christian Bale

    In a matter of few months after filming 1,013 pounds man, Christian Bale lost 900 pounds to prepare a scrawny body for his role in Machinist.

  7. 7 Heath Ledger

    The actor prepared for his turn as the deranged Joker in The Dark Knight in such extreme lengths that he brought a whole new life to it.  “I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices—it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh.” Ledger said. He wrote a list of “things that make me (The Joker) laugh” and it included: “blind babies, land mines, AIDS, beloved pets in bad road accidents, statistics, pencil cases, brunch, the periodic table of the elements.”  

  8. 8 Robert De Niro

    For his Movie Taxi Driver, De Niro reportedly worked twelve-hour cabbie shifts for a month to prepare for his iconic role. Reports also say that the actor would pick up passengers in New York City while on filming breaks.

  9. 9 Will Smith

    Before the shoot of Mohammed Ali’s Biopic Ali, Will smith reportedly went to Starbucks 25 times a day and told the barista his name was Mohammed Ali to prepare for the role.

  10. 10 Nicolas cage

    Nicolas Cage went on another level when he starred in the 1984 film Birdy, in which he played a Vietnam War veteran who had been badly injured. His character’s head needed to be wrapped in bandages for several scenes, and Cage insisted on keeping them on all the time and had four teeth pulled to accurately portray the dental injuries his character had sustained.


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