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14 Movies That Relied On a Single Star Whose Acting Turned Out to Be Stunning

We are all used to seeing many various actors starring in one movie: the main ones, the supporting ones, and actors of crowd scenes. As a rule, the abundance of dialogue, people, and dynamic scenes causes excitement. But still, each movie is unique in its own way: some of them can boast the presence of numerous roles, while others can surprise viewers with the acting abilities of one bright star.

We at Bright Side always get surprised at how one actor can perfectly show the director’s idea and get the viewers to completely drown in the plot. Let’s reminisce about a few of these movies.

1. 127 Hours (2010)

The aspiring fan of rock climbing and unexplored caves sets off on his next journey to the canyon valley. One careless move and he’s trapped.

In between shooting, James Franco was reading books that he had hidden behind stones. He did this to distract himself from his claustrophobia. By the way, initially, the movie director had planned for Cillian Murphy or even Shia LaBeouf to play the main role.

2. Into the Wild (2007)

A young man decides to say no all the benefits of civilization and go on a solitary journey around the country. He gives all the money he has saved to a charity, after which he starts his trip through the deserted areas of Alaska.

The actor, Emile Hirsch, who played the main role, lost 40 pounds to plausibly convey the image of a hermit. He did all the dangerous tricks in the movie by himself.

3. Bronson (2008)

The story of the “coolest prisoner in Great Britain” was played by Tom Hardy. In 1974, Michael Peterson robbed a post office and was sentenced to 7 years in prison. However, he ended up staying in prison for 34 years.

Tom Hardy had several meetings with Charles Bronson and they became good friends. Charles said that he considered Hardy to be the only person who could play him. The real Bronson wasn’t allowed to watch the movie, but he said that if his mother liked the flick, it would be enough for him.

4. Gravity (2013)

A medical engineering specialist is sent into space to conduct some scientific research. As a result of an unforeseen situation, a disaster occurs.

James Cameron called Gravity the best cosmic flick. By the way, almost 80% of the movie is computer graphics. Even the legendary Avatar consists only 60% computer graphics.

5. The Martian (2015)

Due to an upcoming storm, the “Арес-3” crew has to urgently leave the planet. During the evacuation, the engineer and biologist, Mark Watney, disappears and the crew assumes he has died.

The solo scenes with Matt Damon were shot for 5 weeks straight. As strange as it might sound, 4 days before the planned release of the film, NASA announced that salt water may still be flowing over the surface of Mars.

6. Man Push Cart (2005)

A migrant named Ahmad spends every night in motion by moving his heavy cart across the streets of New York. And the question is: will he ever be able to change his fate?

The famous cinema critic Roger Ebert declared, “The flick was filmed in Manhattan by an American born in Iran and an American born in Pakistan. Free of contrived melodrama and phony suspense, it ennobles the hard work by which its hero earns his daily bread.”

7. The Machinist (2004)

Trevor Reznik, a factory worker, has been suffering from insomnia for one year. That’s why it becomes more and more difficult for him to distinguish a crazy dream from a no less crazy reality. Each scene of this movie is full of unbelievable tension.

By the way, Christian Bale lost 63 pounds by his own initiative to play in the flick. Later, the actor admitted that it was difficult for him to even run in some scenes due to such a rapid weight loss.

8. Phone Booth (2002)

How do you think a usual phone call can change the life of one person? Stu Shepard instinctively decides to pick up the phone and answer a call, and ends up getting involved in a terrible game.

The scene where Stu confesses everything was done in the first take and Colin Farrell’s tears were real. He got a round of loud applause from everyone present on the set for his perfect acting right after shooting this scene.

9. The Truman Show (1998)

Truman lives his quiet life in a small city: he goes to work, dates a girl, and hangs out with friends. Suddenly he starts to realize that everything around him is fake, while the people who surround him are professional actors.

This flick became the first serious piece of drama for Jim Carrey. The original plot of the movie was much darker: in it Truman goes crazy, fights, and cheats on his wife.

10. Rear Window (1954)

After injuring his leg, and now unable to leave the house, a photojournalist has to spend all of his time in a wheelchair. Gradually, out of boredom, he begins to watch his neighbors, whose windows overlook the courtyard.

At the moment the movie was created, the sets for this movie were the biggest in the Paramount Pictures studio. However, it was Grace Kelly who was the main star and who attracted all the attention on the set — the whole crew looked forward to seeing her day in and day out.

11. I Am Legend (2007)

The movie is based on a novel with the same name about an unknown virus that turned the biggest part of the planet’s population into zombie-vampires.

Will Smith fell for the dog who he acted together with. He became so attached to the dog that he wanted to adopt him after the shooting was over, but the dog’s trainer refused. In order to get ready for the role properly, Will communicated with former prisoners trying to understand what being completely alone was like.

12. Cast Away (2000)

Chuck Noland is a worker for the international delivery service FedEx. During another delivery, the main character gets into an airplane crash but miraculously stays alive and ends up being stranded on an abandoned island.

During the shooting, Tom Hanks had to go through serious testing because he had cut his leg so much that it led to further infection. The doctor told him, “What’s the matter with you? You could have died from this thing.”

13. Falling Down (1993)

William Foster is vexed by a series of bad luck: his boss sends him on indefinite leave and the court forbids him to meet with his daughter. Having finally lost faith in humanity, the main character intends on getting revenge.

By the way, Michael Douglas considers the role in this movie to be his favorite one. In one of the scenes, Foster says that golf is for old men who have nothing else left to do. Ironically, in his real life, Douglas is an avid golfer.

14. Moon (2009)

The main character, Sam, has lived on the moon for 3 years and is looking after the station for the extraction of a rare gas. His contract is coming to an end and he needs to go back home. However, it’s impossible to spend this much time alone without it leaving a trace on the psyche.

The script was written especially for Sam Rockwell. By the way, Kevin Spacey read the script and agreed to voice GERTY but only after the shooting was over and he made sure that he liked the movie. Eventually, he recorded his words in just half a day.

Do you think one actor is enough to make a movie successful?

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