Whether it means losing 70 pounds, gaining 30 or simply putting themselves in an uncomfortable situation, some actors will go that extra mile in order to embrace their roles and transform themselves into the most realistic character possible. To think that many of these actors have back to back roles within the same year just goes to show how hard they work and what measures they are willing to take in order to captivate their roles.
Take Christian Bale for example. Once you’ve seen the drastic changes from his role in The Machinist, to his role in Batman Begins to his role in American Hustle, you’ve seen it all. The actor went from losing nearly 63 pounds, to gaining 100…in a matter of months!
Well-known actor Matthew McConaughey also underwent extreme weight loss when he played the role of a man who was afflicted with AIDS in Dallas buyer’s Club. Similarly to Bale and McConaughey, Jarod Leto and Curtis Jackson both lost a significant amount of weight for film roles as well.
Altering their body image is one thing, but Heath Ledger put himself through mental extremes as he prepared himself for The Dark Knight Returns. Having locked himself up in a hotel room for 6 weeks, Ledger mentally prepared himself to fully embrace the role of the insane Joker and his cynical attitude.
Sometimes actors need to adopt their character’s lifestyle in order to fully embrace them. In Tom Cruise’s case, he worked as a UPS deliveryman while prepping for his role in Collateral. His goal: to go unnoticed while delivering parcels.
You wouldn’t think a beautiful woman like Charlize Theron could possibly sacrifice her looks for a role, but in order to fulfill her role in Monster, Theron had to gain approximately 30 pounds and shave her eyebrows.