Actors are some of the most talented people on the planet. Possessing the abilities of a chameleon before our very eyes! Entrancing the moviegoer with every scene, captivating us with their emotional range leaving audiences in awe but at what cost? Now that’s an overlooked question because at what cost does the actor put their bodies and minds. All this in order for entertainment. It’s remarkable and at the same time utterly ridiculous what actors put themselves through for a few minutes in front of a camera. This list is dedicated to the actors that went above and beyond for a role.
1.) Miles Teller – Whiplash (2014)
Teller plays the gifted jazz drummer Andrew Neiman, a young man that belongs to one of the most prestigious music schools in the country. As talented as Neiman is he must face many obstacles to obtain success. When watching this incredible movie it’s difficult to believe at first these insanely fast maneuvers on the drums are being performed by the actor and they are! On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Teller tells the late-night host he’s been playing since age 15. What’s more incredible he’s self-taught. Putting in over 4 hours a day of practice before shooting to add the cherry on top.
2.) Adrien Brody – The Pianist (2002)
In The Pianist the audience is delightfully treated to a work of art on screen. It’s a haunting movie on Holocaust. A subject matter that many actors have tackled, but Adrien Brody might be the best actor that has truly capsulated through his performance the horrors of World War 2 from the eyes of a Jew. Adrien Brody consumed two hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken, and steamed vegetables for six weeks. This diet dropped the actor’s weight to a staggard 130 lbs at 6’5″. In the end, Brody sacrificed both his mental and emotional health for this movie. Selling everything he owned, leaving his girlfriend, and living isolated in Europe to get into character. The method to his madness paid off as he became the youngest actor to win an Oscar at 29-year-old, but it came with a cost. He suffered from depression for a year he told IndieWire.
3.) Shia LaBeouf – Fury (2014)
Tanks, explosions, killing Nazis, brotherhood, and rancid smelling Shia LaBeouf. LaBeouf truly went above and beyond then what was needed for his supporting role in Fury. He decided not to bathe for days to replicate the hygiene of a Sherman tanker on the front lines. Then he decided to pull his own tooth out and slash his face with a knife instead of using makeup for a battle scene. That’s Shia for ya’ ladies and gentlemen.
4.) Halle Berry – Jungle Fever (1981)
People may not associate the word thespian often with the name Halle Berry, and it’s easy to see that with some of her past projects after winning an Oscar. In Spike Lee’s classic, Jungle Fever, Berry really shows off her acting chops but the actor did choose a poor hygiene routine while filming. Similar to LaBeouf, but worse Berry did not shower for weeks! Playing the homeless drug addict, Vivian. She took it upon herself to go in the direction she went in order to get closer to her character. Some may not know that Halley Berry was homeless before acting.
5.) Daniel Day-Lewis – Every Single Freakin’ Movie
Method acting and Daniel Day-Lewis go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. It’s an amazing combination, need I say more? There are many actors that method act in the majority of their movies, but Day-Lewis tends to always kick it up a notch. He became a butcher’s apprentice for several weeks and learned how to properly wield throwing knives by circus performers. He even got into a few fights, all this in preparation for the movie Gangs of New York (2002) as the ferocious gang leader, Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting. It didn’t stop there because before that movie he would never leave his wheelchair on set and rarely after set for My Left Foot (1989). Playing Christy Brown an Irish painter and painter that was born with severe cerebral palsy. From learning how to track, hunt, and skin an animal in The Last of the Mohicans (1992) .
6.) Robert De Niro – Raging Bull (1980)
Before Christain Bale was praised for his wild body transformations there was the great Robert De Niro. De Niro’s most transformative role was as the hardnosed middleweight boxing champion from New York, Jake LaMotta. De Niro trained with the real-life boxer LaMotta to get into fighting shape. Performing a rigorous exercise routine that included 600 crunches every day! That’s not it; because in order for De Niro to look like LaMotta in his later years when he became less and less disciplined with his diet. The studio decided to halt production for De Niro to gain weight which he did fast by traveling to Italy consuming as much pasta and extra card for fourth months straight. When came back to shoot Martin Scorsese was so mortified over his actor’s drastic transformation that they halted production again for health reasons. Gaining 60 lbs when arriving back from Italy (160 lbs to 220 lbs).
7.) Hilary Swank – Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Boy’s Don’t Cry is an emotional story that touches on the serious subject matters of homophobia and transphobia in America. Hilly Swank was a force of nature in this movie truly representing the humanity of the real-life Brandon Teena. Swank knew she could never fully understand being transgender, but she wanted to respectfully be as authentic as possible in memory of Brandon. Swank cut her hair short, wore male clothing, and picked up mannerisms of the men around her. She did this so well every day before beginning production that her neighbors thought Swank had her brother stay over. As the actor acknowledged before taking on the role that they will never fully understand what the real person went through, she did face bigotry while as a man when strangers found out she’s a woman. A must-see movie and performance by Hilary Swank that won her an Oscar.
8.) Charlize Theron – Monster (2003)
The gorgeous South African actor drastically altered their body to become a spitting image of the real-life prostitute turned serial killer Aileen Wuornos. The transformation was so drastic that the cast and crew found her unrecognizable. At times mistaking her for a crazy fan that stumbled onto the set. Charlize Theron out on over 30 lbs, shaved her eyebrows, and changed her accent. That’s dedication.
9.) Jaimie Foxx – Ray (2004)
Foxx is a triple threat type of entertainer. Solid musician, funny comedian, and talented actor. Audiences were spoiled to all three in the movie Ray. What some don’t know is that Foxx wore prosthetic coverings that kept his eyes shut for 14 hours a day! To give himself a temporary taste of what it felt like to be Ray Charles shoes. He did a remarkable job as Charles, another must-see movie/performance.
Christain Bale – As Christain Bale
Saved the best for last. He’s Batman, a psychopath, a psychopath again on Terminator set, fat, obese, abs, buff, skinny, skinny as a Slim Jim, bald, hair plugs, beard or no beard. Bale takes his body and mind to the extreme in just about every movie he’s in. If you don’t believe it then click here.