10 Times Actors Took Method Acting Too Far And Shocked Everybody

Method acting is a dangerous double-edged sword. It has helped many actors win their Academy awards, but it has also ruined many actors’ mentality and health. When you live and breathe like your character, you will understand your role better and will be able to bring them to life in the most realistic way. However, in some extreme cases, actors would be trapped in their character modes and took everything way too far to the point it became dangerous.
So let’s see which celebrities went extreme with method acting and what consequences they had to face. Do you think it’s worth it?

1. Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant

method acting Source: 20th Century Fox/ Everett Collection

Leonardo DiCaprio spent four decades to win the Academy Award, and he finally won it with his role in The Revenant. Everybody had to admit that it was a well-earned Oscar. In The Revenant, DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, a frontiersman in the mid-1800s who faces the obstacles of the daunting wilderness and seeks revenge for his son's death.
To bring his character to life, DiCaprio had to learn the Arikara Indigenous language, sleep in an animal carcass, and withstand freezing temperatures. He also had to eat raw bison despite being an avowed vegetarian. That’s dedication right there.

2. Johnny Depp - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

method acting Source: Universal Pictures/ Everett Collection

Johnny Depp basically lives and breathes as Jack Sparrow these days. Some fans were even convinced Jack Sparrow was a real person that played the role of Johnny Depp. But joking aside, before his glory days as the pirate captain, Depp spent years studying Hunter S. Thompson to nail his role in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
The actor even lived in Thompson’s basement to spend as much time with the legendary author as possible. He read old transcripts over and over again, and even slept and smoked next to barrels of gunpowder in Thompson’s basement.

3. Charlize Theron - Monster

method acting Source: Newmarket Films/ Everett Collection

Charlize Theron is a beautiful actress, but she isn’t afraid of sacrificing her beauty when it comes to acting. For her role as the infamous serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster, Theron went through a complete physical transformation. She became unrecognizable!
Theron gained 30 pounds, wore prosthetic teeth, thinned her hair, and bleached her eyebrows. Although she won an Oscar for her amazing performance in the movie, the actress admitted that playing the mentally ill serial killer was very damaging to her own mentality.

4. Tom Hanks - Cast Away

method acting Source: 20th Century Fox/ Everett Collection

In the 2000 survival drama Cast Away, Tom Hanks played Chuck Noland, a survivor of a plane crash who spent four years on a remote island in the South Pacific. To play Chuck before the plane crash, Hanks gained 50 pounds. And then the actor lost 55 pounds to play Chuck during his four years living on the island.
Not only that but Hanks also developed a staph infection from a cut on his leg during filming. Due to the lack of hygiene of his role, the infection almost became fatal.

5. Natalie Portman - Black Swan

method acting Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures/ Everett Collection

Natalie Portman never intended to go method in Black Swan, but her dedication to her role made her end up doing it anyway. In the total six months before filming, she trained for five hours a day doing ballet, cross-training, and swimming. The actress barely ate and lost 20 pounds during this time.
“It was more difficult than anything I’ve ever experienced before. I like to go home and be myself but with this one, I didn’t get the chance. It didn’t leave me,” Portman shared with the Daily Mail.

6. Christian Bale - The Machinist

Source: Paramount Classics/ Everett Collection

Christian Bale must be one of the most hardcore method actors in Hollywood. He lost over 60 pounds to portray the severe insomniac in The Machinist. Bale only consumed coffee and apples prior to the filming.
His co-star Michael Ironside advised Bale against dropping his weight that dramatically, and the screenwriter Scott Kosar took the time to alter his script, but Bale refused to change his character. To top it all off, after The Machinist, the actor gained all of his weight back and buffed up for his next role in Batman Begins all in the span of six weeks.

7. Robert Pattinson - The Lighthouse

Source: A24/ Everett Collection

To best portray his character Thomas Howard in The Lighthouse, Robert Pattinson would try to make himself throw up, lick mud, and piss himself. He also put stones in his shoes and got drunk like his character.
When asked about this particular role, the actor shared his feelings, “I always say about people who do method acting, you only ever see people do the method when they’re playing an asshole. You never see someone being lovely to everyone while they’re really deep in character.”

8. Jamie Foxx - Ray

Source: Universal Pictures/ Everett Collection

The role of the blind musician Ray Charles in Ray might have earned Jamie Foxx the Academy Award for Best Actor, but it also made him suffer through several panic attacks. To bring his character to life, Foxx glued his eyes shut for over 14 hours a day by wearing prosthetic eyelids modeled after Charles.
This led him to have panic attacks during the first two weeks of filming. He also lost 30 pounds to portray Charles after his heroin addiction.

9. Adrien Brody - The Pianist

Source: Canal+/ Everett Collection

Adrien Brody played Szpilman, a Polish-Jewish pianist and composer who survived the Holocaust. This role earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor but also cost him a great deal. To prepare for his role, Adrien sold his apartment and almost all of his possessions to understand the life of his character better.
Brody even broke up with his long-term girlfriend. He also learned to play the piano and lost 30 pounds.

10. Ashton Kutcher - Jobs

Source: Open Road Films/ Everett Collection

Ashton Kutcher got himself hospitalized twice for his role as Steve Jobs in the 2013 biographical film Jobs. The actor spent many hours researching Jobs' life and decided to try his eating habits. This decision resulted in Kutcher having pancreatitis. His wife Mila Kunis strongly disagreed with his way of method acting, saying "He also only ate grapes at one point. We ended up in the hospital, twice, with pancreatitis."
These actors sure take method acting way too far, but there is no doubt that they nail their roles. However, they are not the only ones who successfully portray their characters. Check out these actors who went all out for their roles and others who couldn’t be bothered!
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