Let’s get one thing out in the clear – acting is not an easy job! From afar, it looks like actors are only paid to look good and have a lot of fun while travelling to exotic new places. Well, although that’s part of the job, it’s nowhere near a complete representation of what more they have to do. The hard work and dedication that these people have to put in, to get to where they are in an industry that thrives on competition – is nothing short of inspirational. Actors have to train all their lives to achieve what they have. They have to work hard and fast like everyone else. An average actor’s life involves singing lessons, piano lessons, dancing lessons, sports training, martial arts or other action training, speech training and sometimes learning new languages too!
For serious actors, a lot of hard work and sweat goes into the craft. Specially when an exceptional role is in the market, it is known to drive actors to extremes to land it! Let’s take a look at some of the crazy things Hollywood actors have done over the years to land something great.
1. Drastic Weight Changes
Christian Bale has been known for his extreme process of weight change for roles. Although, a lot of actors do this, nobody does it better than Batman! To portray an anorexic character in The Machinist the actor literally starved himself and lost about 63 pounds! Then he bulked up and put on a lot of muscle to play Batman in the Dark Knight movies. After that, he gained unhealthy weight and stopped exercising to play a fat and lazy character in American Hustle. Oh the pain he puts himself through! Gotta hand it to the guy – nobody deserved these roles more than you man.
2. No Shower For 30 Days!
Halle Berry has worked her tiny-behind off to get to the star status she is at now. When she was initially breaking in to the industry – she refused to bathe for an entire month to correctly portray the role of a cocaine-addict in the movie Jungle Fever! She researched her role well and went to see a crack house with a police officer too. Guess she really needed the role.
3. Isolation from the World
The Australian heartthrob, Heath Ledger left all of us in a tragic and untimely death, but he left us with the best representation of the ultimate anti hero – The Joker. Looks like Ledger really wanted to do the character justice, for he went to the extreme of locking himself up in a hotel room for more than 14 days before shooting began! It’s said that all he did was perfect his lines, movements, speech and posture for the role. The actor definitely overshadowed Bale’s Batman and won an Oscar posthumous for the performance.
4. Extreme Training
For her female action fighter roles in the Kill Bill and Charlie’s Angels movies, Lucy Liu had to go through extreme training sessions. She went through 8 hours of intense physical training, 5 days a week for a year to get the roles. Along with her Pilates training, which she hasn’t missed since the past 10 years, that’s one bad ass woman I tell you! As if this wasn’t enough the actress says she even enjoys running and often uses it lose weight for her roles.
5. Losing Everything!
For his Oscar winning performance in The Pianist, Adrien Brody let go off everything he had to feel more like his character, who was a Jew and a survivor of the Holocaust. Brody might be a little on the crazy side though, he even broke up with his long time girlfriend so that he could feel the real pain of loss. The actor completely committed to the role by drastically changing his lifestyle during filming, he let go of his car, his apartment, his mobile and you haven’t even hear the best part yet! He learned the piano from scratch and perfected the Chopin Piece he plays in the movie! All these efforts made him the proud owner of an academy award at a young age and he was also honored with a Cesar award – which is often called the French Oscar!
6. Admitting into a Psych-ward!
Nobody can even come close to the notorious Jack Nicholson when it comes to extremes. Before the filming of arguably one of the greatest films ever made (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) the actor along with most of his supporting cast, admitted himself into a psych-ward! The true effects of which can be seen in the movie too. Some of the extras were actual patients from this ward too. Nicholson truly took preparation for a role to the next level and that too in 1975!
7.Learning a Skill from Scratch
The Israel born American actress, Natalie Portman invested a complete year of her life preparing for the lead role in the extraordinary movie Black Swan! She, along with co-actress Mila Kunis, took ballet lessons to prepare for their roles! Portman did more than five hours a day of ballet dancing, along with swimming plus cross training for the physique she needed in order to portray the character right. She also had to follow a very strict diet for the whole year, where she could take nothing more than 1200 calories in a day. Her efforts did not go in vain though, the role won her an Oscar at a considerably young age.
8. Emotionally Connected
Another name that comes to mind about best performance by a considerable effort is Tobin Bell who has been damn famous for his role in SAW film series and also known as Jigsaw Killer because of killing too many people with a sharp jigsaw in SAW film series. Tobin Bell says, he entirely imposed his character on himself to play this Jigsaw Killer role.