Ten actors who took their roles very seriously

The “Stanislavskij method” was perfected at the beginning of the twentieth century by the Russian actor, director and author Konstantin Sergeevich Stanislavskij: it provides, simplifying a lot, that to play a role in a convincing way an actor must deepen the psychology of his character, to achieve a perfect identification, understanding and feeling in turn the emotions described in the script. In its most extreme version, the one taught at the famous Actors Studio by Lee Strasberg, the most famous American acting school, if an actor has to play the part of a postman, the ideal would be to have him really deliver letters early in the morning for a certain period. of time. Many of the most famous actors of the last century have followed this method: the most famous was probably Marlon Brando, who to interpret his first film, My body belongs to you, spent months in the hospital alongside an American officer who, like his character, was paralyzed from the waist down. Leaving from a list published by Guardian we have collected the stories behind some of the most exceptional tests that various famous actors have undergone to convincingly portray their characters.

Jai Courtney, Suicide Squad
The Australian actor plays Captain Boomerang in the film “Suicide Squad” (the film in which the protagonists are the enemies of superheroes), which will be released in Italy on August 5th. In a recent interview said that in order to prepare to play his character (who is a psychopath, more or less like all the other protagonists in the film) he ate hallucinogenic mushrooms and got cigarette burns on his arms (in that order, apparently) .

Leonardo Dicaprio, Revenant – Revenant
For the movie that he finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor, Leonardo DiCaprio had to do a whole bunch of unpleasant things. Among these there is no fighting with a bear, since that scene is one of the few occasions in which director Alejandro Iñárritu has used computer graphics, but the Washington Post however, he put together eight more, including eating raw bison liver (DiCaprio is a vegetarian) and getting into the belly of a gutted horse.

Shia LaBeouf, Fury
LaBeouf recently turned 30, and is one of the most eccentric actors of his generation. He became most famous for playing the title role of the series Transformers, but then he did a long list of weird things, including: wandering around with a bag on his head, hitchhiking around the United States, and showing up at press conferences dressed as a bum with enigmatic phrases. During the filming of the 2014 war film FuryLaBeouf did not wash for four months: the Guardian he says that for this reason he was removed from the rest of the troupe, and made to sleep in a remote village far from the hotel where the other actors were. For the same role, LaBeouf also cut his face and removed a tooth, just in case that wasn’t enough.

Adrien Brody, The pianist
In 2002 it was released in the cinema The pianist, a film by Roman Polanski based on the true story of Władysław Szpilman, a Jewish composer and pianist in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. To better interpret Szpilman, Brody spent four hours a day at the piano until he was able to perform some of Chopin’s passages. In addition, he lost almost 14 kilos of weight, so as to more realistically interpret Szpilman’s months spent searching for food in the ruins of the city. For his portrayal of him, Brody won the Academy Award for Best Actor at the age of 29 and is still the youngest ever to win the award.

Christian Bale, The sleepless man
Bale has never won an Academy Award for Leading Actor (he won it for Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter, in 2011), but when it comes to weight loss, there is no one who can beat it. For the 2004 film The sleepless mana psychological thriller about a man suffering from paranoia, Bale lost more than 28 kilos, arriving at the end of the process to weigh only 55. Bale said that he followed a diet made only of apples and coffee that allowed him to lose weight in a few months: he described his diet as “mentally relaxing”.

Vincent D’Onofrio, Full Metal Jacket
Vincent D’Onofrio, in fact, for Full Metal Jacket had changed weight even more drastically than Bale: to play Leonard Lawrence (the famous “fat ball soldier”) he increased 32 kilograms, as effectively shows this photograph.

Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry
In the 1999 film Boys Don’t Cry Actress Hillary Swank played Brandon Teena, a real transgender person who was murdered in 1993 in Nebraska. Swank shed more than ten pounds to bring out her bone structure and look more masculine, and she spent weeks dressing and acting like a man, to the point that her neighbors believed that the actress’s brother had come to see her. Swank, unknown until then, with the film won her first of her two Oscars for Best Actress.

Val Kilmer, The Doors
To play Jim Morisson in the film The Doors in 1991, actor Val Kilmer memorized more than 50 of the group’s songs and spent months with former band producer Paul Rothschild to be able to replicate the exact intonations used by Morrison in his songs. Eventually, Rothschild said that Kilmer knew Morrison “better than Jim knew himself.” He also said that when in his studio he made his friends listen to songs sung by Morrison and others sung by Kilmer, asking them which ones were played by the actor, they were eighty percent wrong.

Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver
De Niro is one of the symbolic actors of the Actors Studio and of the method Strasberg, and there would be quite a few movies to choose from. De Niro trained for months to play boxer Jack La Motta in the film Wild bull, and gained about twenty kilos for the scenes that showed him at the end of his career. But the most notable commitment of him was probably the one for the film Taxi Driver, in which De Niro plays a paranoid ex-Marine. To train for the role, in addition to losing more than ten pounds, De Niro drove a cab through the streets of New York for months. To a passenger who recognized him, it is said that he said: “The life of actors: one year you win the Oscar and the next you are driving a taxi.”

Daniel Day-Lewis, My left foot
Daniel Day-Lewis is another actor famous for fully immersing himself in the role before acting in a movie. To prepare for the filming of The last of the Mohicans, for example, he spent days on the Alabama prairies, living like a mid-eighteenth-century Native American. In the movie My left footinstead, Day-Lewis played Christy Brown, a paraplegic Irish poet. Day-Lewis spent much of the shoot in a wheelchair, and got to be spoon fed at mealtimes.

Ten actors who took their roles very seriously – Il Post