It might seem like actors just need to learn their lines by heart, and the rest will depend on their acting talent. But it is not that easy. Sometimes actors have to work hard to be convincing in their roles. They can gain or lose weight, adopt new skills, or even stop taking showers.
At Bright Side, we decided to find out what our favorite actors and actress had to do to play certain characters.
Natalie Portman ensures fans that her well-developed muscles in the movie Thor: Love and Thunder have nothing to do with computer graphics. A few months before the filming started, the actress began to work out at a gym, focusing on strength exercises which she had never done before. Her favorite exercises had always been jogging and yoga.
According to Portman, she had never wanted to get bulky, but she decided to change her ways for this role. It’s worth mentioning that the actress is vegan, but she managed to gain muscle mass by consuming a lot of plant-based proteins.
In the TV series The Night Manager, Hiddleston’s character runs a hotel. To prepare for the role, the actor spent a night managing a real upscale hotel. “This work only seems glamorous. There was a wedding going on in the ballroom in the basement and there were people on the first floor complaining about the music, and the Night Manager and I had to keep both parties happy,” the actor recalled.
The series was filmed in a real hotel, and Tom was sometimes taken for a real hotel manager. A few hotel guests even requested their room keys from him, and he was happy to oblige.
To build a body like Tarzan’s, the actor had to work out a lot and stick to a special diet, which consisted of 2 stages. For the first 3 months, Alexander had to consume 7,000 calories a day. According to the actor, he ate mostly meat and potatoes.
The second stage of the diet was more strict and didn’t include fast carbs. Alexander had to eat 6 small meals a day. And this drove him crazy. “I would walk around and look at my watch constantly thinking, when’s my next meal, that was the highlight of my day,” the actor revealed.
5 months later, his trainer allowed him to cheat with his meals slightly. Alexander even cried from happiness when he could finally eat what he wanted. He ordered pasta, a pizza, and tiramisu and felt like he was in heaven.
To get into character in the movie Jungle Fever, Halle stopped taking showers and shaving her armpits. The actress confessed that she didn’t shower for 2 weeks, and her armpit hair was so long she could braid it.
Her co-workers had to deal with her body odor, but, as Berry said, “Nobody said anything to me, but everybody sort of started to keep their distance.”
McConaughey usually has a slim build, but he appeared as a rather overweight character in the movie Gold. At first, moviemakers wanted to dress him in a special fat suit. But Matthew decided he could do without it.
“I ate and drank what I wanted for 6 months without thinking about any consequences whatsoever,” the actor said. His favorite food was cheeseburgers, which he would buy at fast food restaurants or make at home. Of course, he gained weight quite quickly. According to Matthew, it wasn’t easy to go back to eating like a healthy person.
To play an officer in the movie Fury, Pitt had to undergo a rigorous training course. The entire movie cast was supposed to participate in it, and even though Pitt was older than the other actors, he never tried to avoid it.
The actor said, “It was set up to break us down, to keep us cold, to keep us exhausted, to make us miserable, to keep us wet, make us eat cold food. And if our stuff wasn’t together, we had to pay for it with physical forfeits. We were up at 5 in the morning, we were doing night watches on the hour.”
In the miniseries WeCrashed, Hathaway portrayed a real person — businesswoman Rebekah Neumann. According to the script, her character was a vegan and only ate food that was raw or heated at very low temperatures. She also did yoga.
To get into character, the actress decided to adopt Rebekah’s lifestyle. She became a raw vegan and took yoga classes every day. According to Hathaway, she got so deep into character that she began to think she was a vegan herself. 3 weeks after the filming finished, she suddenly realized she wanted a burger.
To play the convict in the drama In the Name of the Father, the actor spend 3 days in real jail. “I felt the need to do this,” Day-Lewis said. When he was in jail, he couldn’t sleep at night because someone would come and bang on the doors with tin cups every 10 minutes.
But this was not all. At the end of those 3 days, policemen interrogated him for 9 hours without stopping. We are delighted by how seriously Daniel Day-Lewis takes his job.
The actress had to thoroughly prepare for the role of Judy Garland. Despite the fact that Zellweger had already sung in the movie Chicago, her voice was not as strong as Judy’s. So, the actress had to take vocal lessons for a year to be able to sing exactly like Garland for the movie Judy.
It’s a known fact that Garland had a slight curvature of the spine, which bothered her during her performances. This is why Renée Zellweger did something kind of odd before certain scenes. She tried to move a piano before the filming of concert scenes to feel joint pain and get into the right mood.
Bradley Cooper had to bulk up for the movie American Sniper. And unlike Matthew McConaughey, who enjoyed the process of gaining weight, as mentioned above, Cooper really suffered.
“It was a real shock to my body. If it’s pizza and cake, that’s one thing. Putting 6,000 calories a day in your body gets old quick,” the actor complained. Cooper’s personal chef prepared 5 daily meals for him, but he also had to snack on energy bars in between.
The Handmaid’s Tale star said that the role of Rita was the most challenging job in her life. She had to make her character convincing, almost without dialogue.
The actress had to rely on her facial gestures and change her gait — she would put rocks in her left shoe. Perhaps, this is what helped her convey the hidden pain of her character.
Before portraying the famous singer in the movie The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Jessica Chastain never sang in front of cameras. This is why she was very nervous about this role. “It’s a real nightmare for a shy person. But I had to do it,” the actress confessed. Chastain learned 31 songs performed by Tammy Faye.
Also, Jessica let makeup artists paint her face with markers. The fact is that Tammy Faye had permanent makeup applied to her eyes and eyebrows. A regular eyeliner and lipstick were not enough to achieve the same effect, so they used markers.
Did you watch any of the movies mentioned above? Do you think the actors did a great job in them? Share your opinion in the comments below.