8 Actors Who Almost Became Mad While Playing Challenging Roles
Isn’t it crazy how our likes and dislikes for movie characters shape up to be. Ever so often, there comes a bat-cap crazy fellow who literally manages to send shivers down our spine and then there are these adorable characters who make even Care Bears look like fat ugly pieces of sh*t!
But the manner in which these actors make everything they do seem so realistic is almost creepy sometimes. The idea of living the life of a character in order to give an honest performance is only getting more popular by the day. But we don’t think we’d be wrong in saying that some of these artists have taken their ‘Method Acting’ a bit too far.
It is rumoured that certain actors have spent time with “Character inspirations” for months; some have even rumoured to have kept themselves in isolation, inching closer to insanity. Also, it didn’t seem like they simply got off by mimicking those people. Eerily enough, these actors seemed to lose a little bit of themselves and become their characters in real life. Take a look.
8. Kate Winslet – The Reader
Bearing in mind the fact that Kate won an Oscar for this role, it already gives us a fair idea of the kind of hard-work and labour she must have put in for this character. Also, we have to give the woman some credit; it really couldn’t be a cakewalk to play the role of a former Nazi concentration camp guard. No wonder, the performance took a toll on her. She went ahead to say that it took her months of crying and escaping a car accident to get out of it. Haven’t seen the movie yet? Maybe this snippet could give you an idea.
7. Adrian Broody – The Pianist
For Roman Polanski’s historical drama, Adrian Broody played the role of a Holocaust survivor. And to look as authentic as he could in the role, he decided to starve himself and slimmed his way down to 65 kgs. He believed that the genuine desperation that comes from starvation couldn’t be faked.
He also broke up with this girlfriend and shut himself from any kind of contact with the outside world, to understand the mindset of a Jew who had lost everything at the hands of Nazi’s. So, you might watch sequences of him crying manically in the movie; well that’s as real as it gets. He has reportedly stated that for over a year, he lived in the fear of whether or not he’d be able to let go of the character.
We don’t know whether it was all worth it or not, but Adrian remains the youngest actor to bag the Best Actor Oscar Award for this role.
6. Ed Harris — Pollock
Ed Harris is the kind of guy who likes to take his job very seriously. Not because of the weightage it holds for the end product but for his personal satisfaction. So, no matter how big or small a character may seem, Ed always chose the “Methodical” way out. During the shoot of ‘Pollock’, which he also directed, Ed played the role of the famous artist, Jackson Pollock. To give full justice to the character, Ed put on 15 kilos and started smoking Camel Cigarettes (same brand as Pollock did). To absorb Pollock into his soul, he developed his personality, characteristics and mannerisms in real-life. He literally dressed, walked and talked like him, even off the sets. He built a whole new art studio in his house to practise Pollock’s trademark Drip-style painting. Now that’s what we call – dedication, or maybe not!
5. Nicolas Cage – Birdy
This actor just doesn’t seem to understand the concept of low-key. Going eccentric over film roles has helped him bag the unofficial title of being the craziest actor in Hollywood. He feels that hints of nuttiness help develop the performance and the character and we can’t disagree. If losing his sh*t meant brilliant performances such as the role of a Vietnamese veteran from ‘Birdy’, we actually think that being a flip could result in greatness. For this character he required several facial injuries, so Nicolas decided to get 4 of his teeth extracted; he also covered his face in bandages that his character wore on-screen for 5 weeks straight, off sets. This apparently resulted in a lot of people growing scared of him.
4. Jamie Dornan – The Fall
Before Jamie made women across the globe go weak in the knees by playing the lead role in ‘The 50 Shades of Grey’, he played the character of the “Belfast strangler” in the BBC series of ‘The Fall’. To understand the mindset of a serial killer, Jamie confessed pushing a woman off the bus and pursuing her for several blocks after.
3. Jared Leto – Suicide Squad
Aren’t we all a little excited about the ‘Suicide Squad’ ever since its trailer was released? And a lot of this excitement and anticipation has been brewing within us for one particular reason alone – The Joker. Following Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger’s legacy we have with us yet another Joker – Jared Leto. Big shoes to fill, right! We understand that he must be under tremendous pressure, but sending Magrot Robbie a dead rat and sending bullets to Will Smith, what’s up with that? As if the gifts to his co-stars weren’t enough, he also sent the rest of the cast the carcass of a pig. His behaviour even scared the director, David Ayer. He said that he was scared to approach Leto with whatever it was that was going on. Apparently, he even worked out a laugh that made the hair in the back of your neck stand up. Is it strange if we say that all this makes us just want to watch the film even more?
2. Johnny Depp — Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
This one came to us as more of a surprise, because as brilliant as the actor is, he hasn’t been famously known for being a method actor. But when he hit the screens portraying himself as the crazy Hinter Thompson, it was perfection. Johnny Depp started to live in Thompson’s apartment where he smoked and slept next to barrels of gunpowder. Depp began recording all the conversations he had with Thompson and interrogated him about his life to get a clearer picture of the character he was to play. Depp even let Thompson shave his head, when he decided that the haircut given by the films hairstylist wasn’t good enough. Besides all this, Depp did a bunch of drugs while he played the character. Yet after all this insanity, Depp says that he was “very responsible” and did justice to the role. According to us, justice sure was served but responsible; now that’s questionable.
1.Robert De Niro – Cape Fear
To pull off the look of psychotic Max Cady, De Niro paid thousands of dollars to grind his teeth down. That’s right! Grind his teeth. He got several vegetable dye tattoos made all over his body and he also spent a lot of his time studying and researching on sex offenders. He even left behind creepy messages as Cady on Scorsese’s answering machine to freak him out.
People might say that they are slaves to their art. But these guys lost a little bit of themselves to their characters.