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Insane things actors did so that they would get into character

Nikola Simonovski

The lives of the movie stars seem easy and simple; they are rich, live in luxury and travel around the globe. Most people envy this lifestyle, and the actors make it look so easy, as all they seem to do is appear in movies and earn lots of money.

What is little known are the sacrifices which dedicated actors do to get into character for every single role they have. Below is a list of some of the craziest things actors did before playing their role:

1. Robert De Niro drove passengers around New York for his role in Taxi Driver

Robert De Niro’s wig from Taxi Driver Photo Credit

Robert De Niro’s wig from Taxi Driver Photo Credit

The role of Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver is one of the best acting performances of all times. De Niro was known to push the limits and do extreme things to get into character. So, for this movie, he studied mental illness and got a taxi driver’s license. He would drive passengers around New York for 12 hours every day until he was fully prepared for the role of Travis Bickle.

2. Forest Whitaker learned an African language for his role in The Last King of Scotland

Actor Forest Whitaker Photo Credit

Actor Forest Whitaker Photo Credit

Forest Whitaker did a fantastic job playing Idi Amin, the dictator of Uganda. To prepare for the role, Whitaker learned the Swahili language so he could have a better collaboration with the Ugandan actors and the extras on the movie set. Besides this, the actor gained 50 pounds of fat so he would look more like the notorious dictator.

3. Christian Bale lost 65 pounds for his role in The Machinist

Actor Christian Bale leaving the press conference Photo Credit

Actor Christian Bale leaving the press conference Photo Credit

Christian Bale is one of the best actors of today. For his role as Trevor Reznik in the psychological thriller The Machinist, Bale went so far that he lost 60 pounds to get into the character of the insomnia suffering factory worker.

The weight of the character in the script was a typo, as the writer entered his own weight. The director demanded the script be changed as per Bale’s proportions, but the actor insisted that he lose the 65 pounds as a challenge to see if he was able to do it.

4. Heath Ledger isolated himself from the outer world for his role in The Dark Knight

Heath Ledger at the 56th Berlin International Film Festival, February 2006 Photo Credit

Heath Ledger at the 56th Berlin International Film Festival, February 2006 Photo Credit

Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight is definitely one of the best of all times. To get into character for his role as the Joker, Ledger locked himself in a hotel room for six weeks before the filming started. The isolation paid off, and the Joker overshadowed Christian Bale’s role as the Batman. Heath Ledger won the Oscar for the supporting role for his performance, but the award was given to him posthumously, as he died of a drug overdose before the movie was released.

Many people considered the preparation he took for the role as to blame for mentally destroying the actor.

5. Adrien Brody sacrificed everything he had for his role in The Pianist

Brody at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. Photo Credit

Brody at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. Photo Credit

Adrien Brody won the Academy Award for his role in the Pianist, where he played Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish piano player, and composer. Szpilman was a Jewish Holocaust survivor who lost everything he had, so the actor had to do the same to get into character.

Brody threw away his luxurious lifestyle and sold his apartment, his car, and all his possessions. The actor went so far as to even breaking up with his girlfriend so that he could better perform in the scenes where Szpilman cried.

6. A group of actors checked into a psychiatric ward for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Bo Goldman (left) and Michael Douglas on the set of Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Bo Goldman (left) and Michael Douglas on the set of Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, the masterpiece of Milos Forman is an epic movie made in 1975. The story takes place in a psychiatric ward, so the group of actors led by Jack Nicholson checked themselves into a real asylum to study the behavior of the patients.

Read another story from us: After filming “The Doors” Val Kilmer underwent therapy just to get out of character

The experience they earned during their stay in the ward helped the actors to play the roles of psychopaths perfectly, and many of them stayed in character even when the camera wasn’t rolling. Needless to say, the movie was a huge success and won Oscars.