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9 Famous Actors Who Went to Extremes in Their Quest for Perfection

When it comes to an interesting role, some actors are ready to give everything they possibly can to be as genuine and authentic as possible. And besides all those who learned to ride horses and wield swords for a historical movie, many actors take method acting too seriously. They truly believe there is no other way than to dive deep into the character copying his or her lifestyle and doing really weird things on and even off stage.

We at Bright Side have found some facts about famous actors who seem to be so dedicated to their roles that they tried to find really unique ways to portray them on the screen.

1. Tom Cruise worked as a delivery man to prepare for a role.

According to Michael Mann, the director of Collateral, one of the main characters was able to get in and out of any place without being recognized or remembered afterward. He could move unnoticed in a crowd and stay completely anonymous. So to prepare for the role, Tom Cruise had to make deliveries in the Los Angeles market. And since we don’t see many fans’ photos from that market anywhere it seems he managed to do it all quite brilliantly.

2. Daniel Day-Lewis lived in a wheelchair during the whole shooting.

My Left Foot is the story of an Irish man born with cerebral palsy. He could only control his left foot but managed to become a writer and an artist. Daniel Day-Lewis is known for his really unthinkable approach to preparing for his roles. And this time he insisted on spending almost the entire shoot in a wheelchair. The crew continued feeding him and wheeling him around. They literally only saw him walk once. And it looks like it was worth it — the actor won the first of his many Oscars for this incredible movie.

3. Heath Ledger locked himself away in a hotel room for about a month.

Heath Ledger really liked to immerse himself in the character on every level. Preparing for his Joker role he locked himself in a hotel room for about a month. He wrote in a little diary and experimented with voices trying to find the most suitable one. Let alone the epic laugh we all remember so well. As it turned out later, he took a lot of inspiration for that from Malcolm McDowell’s character in Clockwork Orange and — more surprisingly — from hyenas.

4. For the movie Ray, Jamie Foxx had to wear prosthetic eyes for 12 hours a day.

For portraying Ray Charles Jamie Foxx had to dive deep... into complete darkness. Charles was blind so Foxx decided to wear prosthetic eyepieces that rendered him sightless for 12 hours a day while shooting. To prepare for the role he studied Braille and lost 35 pounds to become more slender like Charles. He also practiced his piano for 8 hours a day to master this instrument. A blindfold on during these sessions helped him to feel how intensified everything you hear becomes when you’re living blind.

5. Natalie Portman endured a very harsh schedule for her role as a ballerina.

For the Oscar-winning role in Black Swan, the actress had to lose a lot of weight and underwent a very strict diet, eating little more than carrots and almonds. But ballet is more serious than that so she had to spend 8 hours a day in rehearsals. “There were some nights that I thought I literally was going to die,” said Portman. “It was the first time I understood how you could get so wrapped up in a role that it could sort of take you down.”

6. After shooting Courage Under Fire Matt Damon had to be put under medical supervision.

In order to lose the required amount of weight, Matt Damon went on an extreme diet and physical training running 12 miles a day and drinking 4 to 6 pots of coffee to muster up the energy. He even started to wash his mouth every time his girlfriend kissed him. Just because he could taste the food she had eaten. Unfortunately for the actor, he had to lose weight without the help of a nutritionist so he had to be put under medical supervision right after shooting. It took him 2 years to fully recover and get his body back to normal.

7. Robert Pattison chose to live in a basement just like his character.

The role in the Twilight franchise made Robert Pattinson an international celebrity. But not many people took his acting skills seriously. So it took him some time to prove he was as dedicated to his profession as any other serious actor.

For the filming of Good Time, he eschewed all the accommodations and chose to live in a basement. Just like his character. He never opened his curtains, ate only cans of tuna, didn’t change his sheets for the whole 2 months he spent there and slept in his clothes. He himself said, “I was like this freak living in the bottom of the basement.”

8. Val Kilmer truly became Jim Morrison so even the band members were confused when they heard him singing.

To prepare for the role in The Doors film, Val Kilmer tried to get to know his character well and started obsessively questioning all the people who had known Morrison in real life. He also learned 50 of his songs, despite the fact that only 15 of those would be used in the movie. Let alone the fact it would all be dubbed in with Morrison’s real voice. Nevertheless when the Doors heard him singing they could not tell whether the voice was Kilmer’s or Morrison’s.

9. Halle Berry didn’t shower throughout the whole movie production.

The production of Jungle Fever took about 8 weeks. To better embrace her character, Halle Berry decided not to take shower during the entire shooting of the film. Well, that was her acting debut but it seems she took it all too seriously. Anyway, fans hope Samuel L. Jackson who played her boyfriend treated the devotion of the young actress with total respect and understanding.

Have you ever been so dedicated to your profession? What was the most ’iconic’ thing you’ve ever done to achieve perfection? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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