Hollywood’s been around for far too long for the world not to know what it’s all about. To no one’s surprise, movie stars will go to great lengths for their job, from jumping out of their comfort zone to literally driving themselves crazy. Some even do things that at one point they promised themselves they wouldn’t do. But with thousands of people auditioning for the same role as you are in a movie, you have to do something to stand above the rest. These people made sure the role was secured and spent their time off devoting their lives to the role in order to perfect it. We know it must be torture at times to act like someone you’re not for a movie, but did you know that there are actors and actresses who have done unspeakable and plain creepy things?
Robert DeNiro actually got a hack cab license and took twelve-hour shifts hauling people around the city for Taxi Driver. Then for Raging Bull, he trained so hard that he broke an actual boxer LaMotta’s ribs and teeth. Then for The Untouchables, he wanted to become Al Capone so much that he had his suits hand tailored in Italy right down to silk boxers that Al Capone would have worn. Ew! At least those were never shown on screen, right? Either way, it’s incredibly deranged. But if you think that’s all rather creepy, just wait until you get a load of these guys. These 15 celebs went to great lengths for the roles they were given.
15. Heath Ledger Goes Crazy In The Dark Knight
Have you ever wondered how in the world Heath Ledger played such a convincing Joker? The truth is, he trained himself for it. Before filming began, Heath Ledger locked himself in a hotel room for six weeks straight. He refused contact from anyone else and simply talked to himself. All this was just to get into character. We know the man was talented because he often took on an English or American accent when he was actually Australian.
While filming The Dark Knight, Christian Bale said, “When he was in the makeup and the garb he was in character the whole time.” Christian even admitted that when Batman beat up the Joker in the movie, Heath encouraged Christian to actually hit him. Christian says, “He was slamming himself around, and there were tiled walls inside of that set which were cracked and dented from him hurling himself into them. His commitment was total.” Pretty creepy, if you ask us.
14. Jared Leto Refused To Break Character As A Transgender Woman
Here we have another Joker who refuses to stop playing the part. In the Dallas Buyers Club, Jared Leto played the role of a rather eerie transgender character. The man is beautiful in real life as himself, but to really connect to his character, he went to great lengths. During the entire filming of the movie, he retained the role of a transgender person in his real life. Costars say that rarely saw him break character, if ever.
In fact, his costars never met him on set at all. They only knew him as Rayon, as that is whom he portrayed himself as. The director was frustrated by this as he wasn’t “acting” because he tried to convince himself he was this character, so he could fully pull it off. “He tried to steal things from me,” said McConaughey. “Literally, my pocketknife, lighters, etc.”
13. Matthew McConaughey Barely Ate Anything To Look Sick
As you know, Matthew McConaughey can gain weight, lose weight, and bulk up for any role like it’s nobody’s business. But in Dallas Buyer’s Club, he went farther than he ever had. During the filming, he was at his lowest weight in McConaughey history. He was nothing but skin and bones. Upon the director’s advice, he lost more weight than any human should. And then some more on his own despite the doctors’ warning.
How did he do this? He ate nothing but egg whites and chicken for months in order to prepare for the movie. And why did he do this? He wanted to relate to someone who had AIDS by feeling at least somewhat like they did. He wanted to convince the world that he had them. This must have been the farthest that the man has ever gone or ever will go.
12. Dakota Johnson Was Traumatized
Dakota Johnson was rather naïve and innocent when she landed the role as Anastasia in Fifty Shades of Grey. So to no one’s surprise, the entire theme of the movie was hard for her to deal with. She even admitted that after filming the first movie, all she could think about was what her parents would say watching it. Did she want her father to see her in such a film? Not at all!
But personally, she was affected too. There was no scene worse for her than the time Christian Grey tied her up and blindfolded her. She said she couldn’t see anything and the feeling of her hands lacking freedom was scary. It was the realest part of the movie for her, and the most frightening. As for the scenes in general, she once said, “I’ve been simulating [it] for seven hours straight right now and I’m over it. It’s not… comfortable. It’s pretty tedious.”
11. Ryan Gosling And Michelle Williams Lived Together Like A Real Couple
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams were a darling couple in Blue Valentine. They lived through hell together, making us all wonder if they’d ever make it out. But did you know that the relationship was practiced in real life too? Ryan and Michelle lived together in their rural Pennsylvania house for quite some time due to the director’s urging. They even bunked with their on screen daughter, Faith Wladyka. They had all of the same struggles that real couples have. Their grocery budget was even based on Dean’s salary as a housepainter and Cindy’s as a nurse. That was $200 every two weeks. Because of this, their relationship felt real on screen, and for Michelle, that one motel room scene felt much too real!
“Mundane domestic tasks have a way of really stagnating two people and deteriorating something that’s beautiful,” Cianfrance, the movie’s director, said. He even urged Gosling to try to get with Michelle while they lived together. Of course Gosling refused, but the suggestion alone disgusted both actors.
10. Christian Bale Lost A Very Unhealthy Amount Of Weight
Christian Bale is renowned for his role in The Machinist. Probably the most impressive thing about it was his appearance. He dropped 60 pounds for the role and reached 120lbs. At 6’0, that’s incredibly small. He wanted to lose five more pounds, but his doctor told him that if he didn’t stop, he would lose his life. If you want to know how bad it got, think about this. According to Bale, the “muscles in his behind had literally dropped out of the sockets of his hip,” because he had lost all of his body fat that his body began losing elasticity.
After the movie though, he had six weeks to bulk up in order to play Batman in The Dark Knight. How did he do that? Pizza and ice cream, he claims. His muscle suit and makeup helped hide the remainder of his severe weight loss, but the rest was, of course, “just pizza and ice cream,” which caused him to quickly “blow up like a balloon.”
9. Tom Cruise Worked For FedEx
In Collateral, Tom Cruise was forced to play the role of someone who could always “blend in.” As Mission: Impossible MVP, this is now normal for him. But he stepped it up for Collateral when he decided to practice off set. He started by dressing up as a FedEx guy and actually carrying around packages.
The whole idea was to learn how to not be recognized. Since he’s Tom Cruise, this was no easy task. Everyone recognizes him in an instant! But somehow he pulled it off which helped him play his character to a tee. At one point, he sat down at a convenience store and had an entire conversation with a stranger. If you happen to live in Los Angeles and you have ever seen a FedEx or UPS guy, there’s a good chance it was really Tom Cruise. Let’s go with that because it makes us feel cooler.
8. Rooney Mara Pierced Everything
The beautiful Rooney Mara did a wonderful job as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, according to most critics. But do you really know how real everything she did was? She actually cut and dyed her hair for the role, which in itself isn’t all that impressive. Actresses do it all the time, though in this case it’s a little bit edgy.
After chopping off her locks, she decided to go all the way with it. She used real piercings for her nose, eyebrows, lip, and other places as well. The goal was to get into character. She wanted to connect with the character of Lisbeth. At the time, Mara hadn’t even had her ears pierced, so the entire process was completely out of her comfort zone. When asked why she did it, Mara was matter of fact: “I’m [revealing myself] quite a lot in the movie, and I thought, she has it in the book, and she should have it [in the movie]. Because of all the tattoos and the makeup and the piercings, and the physical transformations my body has to go through, it would always feel sort of like I was in costume. It just felt like a good [piercing] to get — a necessary one to get.”
7. Kate Winslet Spoke In A German Accent All The Time
We all know that Kate Winslet is painfully English and her accent does little to hide the fact. But for the movie The Reader, Kate Winslet decided to one up the competition by genuinely learning to speak with a German accent. She spent hours studying the dialect and German accents speaking English. She even learned to read to her kids in a German accent every single night. They ended up hating it by the time the movie started filming.
But it ended up paying off and winning her various awards. She got so good that it took her two months to gain her natural accent back again. It’s so easy to think of the harsh memories and struggles of the past that The Reader brought to light. And with Harvey Weinstein playing a role in the making of the film, it’s hard to see the movie in a positive light at all. But looking at everything Kate Winslet did for it, you can’t help but smile.
6. Vanessa Hudgens Went Wild
Vanessa Hudgens‘ character in Spring Breakers was crazy with a capital C. She was your classic “no rules” teen on spring break. Vanessa did an impressive job playing her character and was critically praised for her role. But during her teen years, Vanessa Hudgens always told herself that she’d never participate in any risqué scenes on screen. She had never even been to spring break and didn’t like to drink.
She was even scared of James Franco, who was frighteningly good at playing his character. But still, she admits that the shocking scenes were the hardest part of the movie: “It was very nerve-racking for me. I told my agent that I never want to do it ever again.” But what’s done is done and Vanessa Hudgens did it all in Spring Breakers. She regrets ever agreeing to do the movie and hated every second of it aside from the friendship she formed with her female costars.
5. Nicolas Cage Has Done Everything
Nicolas Cage is one of those people that you can’t decide if they’re really crazy or just really intelligent. Nicolas Cage once tried to summon spirits by carrying around voodoo trinkets during one filming. He wanted to become someone who believed in all that kind of stuff. Dangerous, if you ask us. For another role, he recorded himself to see how he acted after a few drinks. He wanted to see how he performed when he was out of his own mind. So that’s where all those crazy Nicolas memes come from.
Though that isn’t all he’s done. The craziest thing came when he had his own teeth pulled. In Birdy, Cage played a wounded vet whose teeth had been knocked out. In order to feel his pain as well as look the part, he had two teeth pulled without anesthesia. That had to hurt!
4. Adrien Brody Gave Away Everything
For the movie The Pianist, Adrien Brody wanted to feel like he had lost it all. He broke up with his girlfriend so he could feel lost, alone, and heartbroken. He gave away his car and apartment just so he could get into the lonely mindset of a man who had lost everything. He did everything he could to really feel like a real-life Holocaust survivor. For the role of Wladyslaw Szpilman, he thought it was necessary in order to make himself believable.
He even dropped his cell. This was all while practicing piano four hours a day because he had no prior knowledge. He had to learn how to play from scratch. He learned an entire Chopin piece for the role and could probably play it to this day. With nothing else to do with his time (no car, house, phone, or girl) maybe it was easier to focus.
3. Daniel Day-Lewis Got Pneumonia
The pneumonia wasn’t on purpose, but for Gangs Of New York, Daniel Day-Lewis wanted his role of William Cutting to be so realistic that he refused to wear or use anything that wouldn’t have been available in the 1800s. He wouldn’t even put on a warm modern-day coat in the middle of winter because it was “inaccurate” to do so.
His costars laughed at him and even rolled a few eyes. That is, until he came down with pneumonia and literally nearly risked his life. The man deserved an Oscar more than anyone else. It was obviously important to him if he was willing to risk it all for the role. For this role, he was known as Bill the Butcher, and he really did train as a butcher for it. But as far ask acting goes, he pretty much hates it. “I know this is part of what we have to do,” he spoke about acting, “But I really have to be forced. I just want people to go and see the film. And I hope that they like it. I have done my part. And once I’m finished, I always feel a little empty inside.”
2. Jack Nicolson Really Did Go To An Insane Asylum
Just so they could really get the feeling of what it’s like to be a “crazy person,” Jack Nicolson and his castmates checked into an insane asylum before filming One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. They all agreed that it was both maddening and enlightening. It went so well, that some of the actors in the movie weren’t actors at all. They were actual patients that they had made friends with while at the hospital.
Dr. Brooks was also not an actor but the real doctor that assessed the gang at the hospital the admitted themselves into. The actors got such a sense of what it was like to live in the hospital that some of the scenes were filmed naturally, without a script or, at times, without the actors’ knowledge. They were out of character and actually portraying themselves. We always knew Jack Nicolson was crazy, but we never knew just how much.
1. Brad Pitt Left His Wife For Mrs. Smith
Once upon a time, when Friends was everyone’s favorite show, there lived two people, two people who would soon wed. America’s most beloved actress Jennifer Aniston married America’s most handsome and applauded actor Brad Pitt. The two were inseparable until Brad Pitt got so full of it when he landed a big time role that he left his wife for his costar he started falling for. On set, the two shared a fiery passion, and offset, they shared a tainted relationship.
Today, everyone forgets what Brad did in order to “get into his character” on that movie called Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Everyone except those who remember Jennifer Aniston’s heartache over the movie. Those people can hardly watch Mr. and Mr. Smith without scowling. Those people know that out of everyone, the creepy Brad Pitt pulled the slyest, craziest move we ever thought possible all for a simple role in a movie.
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