All it takes for us, the viewers, is mere seconds to pass judgments on movies. What we do forget is the fact that the cast and the crew puts in so many efforts and hard work to make it. Despite the advent of technology and special effects, it’s the actors who have to put in the maximum effort. From insane weight loss and gain, lifestyle changes and physical training to secluding themselves from the rest of the world are just a few of the ways these actors go to extreme lengths in order to get into character. Given below is the list of few Hollywood actors who dived so deeper into their roles that they needed medical help to come out of it.
- Kate Winslet
Movie: The Reader (2008)
She rose to fame with Titanic and since there has been no looking back. With a lot of mega hits under her belt and becoming the youngest actress in the history to be nominated for six Academy Awards, Kate Winslet’s most difficult role so far has been that of a former Nazi concentration camp guard in 2008 film The Reader. According to her, this is one performance that took a toll on her health. She said that it took months for her to fully break free of the part leaving the character behind and escaping a serious car accident. Thankfully, Winslet has seemingly moved on and she continues to be one of the top actresses in Hollywood.
- Heath Ledger
Movie: The Dark Night (2008)
This list would be incomplete without the iconic Joker aka Heath’s name on it. Playing the arch-nemesis of Batman was no easy feat for ledger. For this Christopher Nolan movie, the actor locked himself away in a London hotel room for a month, keeping a diary and experimenting with various voices and mannerisms until he came up with the final vision of the character. The result was obviously one of the most memorable villains of all time which also made him win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2009. Tragically, he never got to see his work on the silver screen as he passed away from accidental prescription drug overdose one year before the release. According to a lot of claims, it was this role that drove him to his end.
- Leonardo DiCaprio
Movie: The Revenant (2015)
The film that broke Leo’s long dry spell and finally made him earn the Oscar for Best Actor, wasn’t a bed of roses for the actor. Just like his character in the film, DiCaprio slept in animal carcasses, ate raw animal organs and suffered severe bouts of hypothermia in real life! Well, we can only say that it was a well-deserved win for sure.
- Natalie Portman
Movie: Black Swan (2010)
Ballet is probably one of the most difficult forms of dance. It takes years and years to learn the art of Ballet but Portman did not have the luxury of time in her hands. To learn the craft and get into the character Natalie Portman trained her ass off for eight hours a day for months. She lost 20 pounds and dislocated a rib! She managed to put a superb performance in the end which went on to earn her an Oscar. All’s well that ends well, right?
- Anne Hathway
Movie: Les Miserables (2012)
With the word miserable in the movie title, it was obvious that the film wouldn’t be a light-hearted movie. The protagonist Anne Hathaway ate nothing but oatmeal paste for weeks to get into the character of Fatine! This along with the long weeks of intense filming led to Hathaway feeling deprived both mentally and physically.
- Mathew McConaughey
Movie: Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
To play the role of Ron Woodroof, an individual afflicted with AIDS who tries to get around the system to get medication for people facing the disease, McConaughey lost around 47 lbs and it took him a really long time to recover from it. Talking about his drastic weight loss, he said, “As soon as I hit 143lb [10 stone 3lb], I started losing my eyesight. I would do five push-ups and be sore. I would run 30 feet and my legs would lock up.”
- Sylvester Stallone
Movie: Rocky Balboa (2006)
He might not be the most talented actor, but he does work very hard to get into the skin of the character. At nearly 60 years of age, Stallone decided to resurrect Rocky in 2006. Almost 16 years after the last role, a lot of work was required by him to portray Rocky again. In addition to all the training and practice, Stallone also faced off against real-life boxer Antonio Tarver, who played Balboa’s primary adversary Mason Dixon. To look authentic, Stallone wanted the boxing to look as real as possible and as a result took a number of blows from Tarver during practice and filming.