Here is our list of the top 10 Actors Who Almost Went Crazy in Their Roles, whether by choice or involuntarily. Actors often have to take drastic steps to blend into their roles. These often lead them to give stellar performances, but only with a lasting cost to their health in the long term.
10. Nicolas Cage – Birdy
Nicolas Cage had two teeth removed without any Anesthesia as he wanted to better empathize and “become” proficient in the role of a Vietnam vet. He also lost 15 pounds in total and applied bandages to his face for a staggering 5 weeks.
He has also been known for extraordinary or over-the-top preparations for his other movies. The movie was critically acclaimed and known as one of the best 10 movies of the year.
09. Christian Bale – The Machinist
Bale lost a total of 62 pounds for the role, eating a diet of only coffee, water, apples and smoking every day, this was taxing on his health even though done under professional supervision.
He has been known to dedicate himself to roles and has undergone many physical transformations over the years. What’s more, is that he didn’t need to do this, the director had originally planned to achieve the same results with baggy clothes and eye makeup (for portraying insomnia).
08. Jared Leto – Suicide Squad
Jared Leto played the infamous ‘joker’ in the Suicide Squad. The movie was based on a plot where DC’s most infamous villains are brought together and controlled by a threat, and the fate of the world lies upon them. The most famous testimony of his actions was by the cast rather than himself. Jared is a method actor and he invariably fits himself to Joker’s role for this movie, although he didn’t have a major role and didn’t really need to go this far, he still did. His crazy, or less-than-normal antics, were promoted and supported by Director David Ayer, who was a fan of Jared Leto and felt, “His acting was powerful” and “set the bar”.
07. Shia LaBeouf – Fury
Shia, best known for Transformers, didn’t shower for days on end, pulled out his own tooth, and stabbed himself for acting in the movie starring Brad Pitt. Shia has eventually made his place in Hollywood and is now an established actor. He also tripped on acid for a day when his character did the same. Method acting is certainly one of the most taxing approaches to the discipline.
06. Robert De Niro – Cape Fear
Robert De Niro is an iconic actor with many masterpieces in his portfolio. He had his teeth changed as he wanted them to resemble those of the criminal he was representing. He also reduced his body fat and built muscle to match “Max Cady”, or rather embody him.
He has also been known to change his body to fit perfectly into the role in many movies. Alterations in body fat, muscle teeth and other body parts are regular.
05. Kate Winslet – The Reader
Winslet had to portray the role of an illiterate woman in this movie and dedicated herself thoroughly to it. She read the book the movie was based on and took classes with illiterate people to better interact with and understand them.
She felt devastated by her character’s eventual development as she was put on trial. The character she portrayed had pride due to which she was taken advantage of in the court case. She received high praise for this character and this wasn’t the first time Kate ever regretted or felt bad about a character she dug into.
04. Malcolm McDowell – A Clockwork Orange
McDowell is overall ungrateful towards the director for this movie, as he regrets doing the scene in which his eyes are kept open. It was done by applying anaesthesia after McDowell initially was reluctant toward the scene.
It is now one of the, if not the defining moments of that movie, and certainly, something that left a mark on Malcolm’s career, still, he doesn’t like the fact that he was forced into the role and not paid well.
03. Adrien Brody – The Pianist
Adrien had to drop 30 pounds and stay on a starvation diet to play the role of a Holocaust survivor. He became the character and this had a deep impact on his social life, and mental health and affects him to this day.
He was depressed for almost 6 months and tried to recover and become a human again. The movie is based on the true story of a pianist “Władysław Szpilman” based on his autobiographical accounts of the German invasion of Poland and how that affected him and his family. The movie is compelling and emotional.
02. Jamie Dornan – The Fall
The fall is a series that has a special place in the life of Jamie Dornan, he says it gives him a sense of stability regardless of what direction his career is going in otherwise. But at the same time portraying the role of a man leading a double life surely has its disadvantages, one part is that an actor feels difficulty in switching between the 2 frames of mind from one frame to another.
He is committed to his acting and is rather hyper in his day-to-day life, frequently moving around and exercising. The actor is insecure about his looks.
01. Jeremy Renner – Dahmer
Dahmer was a critically acclaimed movie about the life of a homoerotic serial killer Jeffery Dahmer, Renner played this role and was highly celebrated for it throughout the years. He got into the role and the mindset and devoted himself to embodying Dahmer.
Eventually, he was led to a more successful career and is now famous as Hawkeye from the Avengers franchise worldwide, but dedication to the Dahmer role certainly leaves a mark on the actor even today.
10 Actors Who Almost Went Crazy in Their Roles – End
Did we miss any famous actors who went crazy doing their roles? Comment your answers below. You can stream any of these movies and series on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, or any of the other streaming platforms.
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