Doing the bare minimum is never enough for these actors. Their roles are incomplete if it’s not for blood, sweat, and tears. Take a look at 15 actors who took bizarre steps for getting into character.
1. When Jennifer Lopez took up the role of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez to play in her 1997 biopic, she prepared for the role very thoroughly. To get into her boots, Lopez spent time with
Selena’s family and even slept in Selena’s own bed.
2. Tom Holland shed a lot of pounds to play a drug addict in the film Cherry. He lost 25% of his body weight and Joe Russo gave him and his co-star kudos for starving themselves while shooting emotionally draining scenes.
3. Tom Hiddleston stepped foot with real-life doctors in an autopsy to prepare for a movie role.
It was for the High-Rise where he acted as a doctor. Hiddleston says it was “unlike anything I’ve ever done, to see a human body cut open.”
4. It took Hugh Jackman three months to prepare for the shirtless scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past. In a day, he drank 3 gallons of water and then stopped his consumption 36 hours prior to filming.
5. To become as geeky as Peter Parker, Andrew Garfield closely studied actual spiders for The Amazing Spider-Man. He explored the “stillness” and “lightness” of spiders and studied their movements around the world.
6. Heath Ledger insisted Christian Bale to punch him for real in The Dark Knight. Bale, however, refused his request. Ledger was so consumed by the role, he even started to harm his own self.
7. Anya Taylor-Joy filled journals with the thoughts of her character in Furiosa. She perfected her driving skills so much that she was able to do most of her own stunts.
8. For Santa in The Christmas Chronicles 2, Kurt Russell wrote a 200-page backstory for his character.
Director Chris Columbus said Russell wrote “About the mythology, about how he met Mrs. Claus. …And that is his level of commitment.”
9. At a point in time, Michelle Pfeiffer was as dedicated as a monk for his character in Scarface. She had to be super thin for the final scenes of the movie and filming that scene was pushed back over and over. She kept herself so thin for it that people used to bring her bagels.
10. Kaley Cuoco got herself injured on her foot for her HBO Max show The Flight Attendant. In a scene where she kicks an ice bucket, Kaley was asked not to really kick, but she did
and broke her foot.
11. Tom Cruise had a bizarre request of having a knife placed over his eye for a fight scene in Mission: Impossible ll. Cruise especially asked the makers that they use a real knife and bring it close to his cornea.
12. Forest Whitaker learned the Kiswahili language for The Last King of Scotland. He gained weight, spent 3 and a half months doing extensive research in Uganda, and learned to
play the accordion.
13. Gillian Anderson started prepping for her role in The Crown in advance. To learn Margaret Thatcher’s mannerisms and voice correctly, she practiced them at home and even worked with a voice coach for some time.
14. Meryl Streep extensively focused on learning the guitar for six months for Ricki and the Flash where she played the role of a rock star.
15. Bryce Dallas Howard gained 30 pounds for a single episode of Black Mirror. She claimed that she did it to show her character’s insecurity and not because she’s uncomfortable in her own skin.