13 Movie Actors Who Overcame Huge Challenges to Prepare for Their Roles

Making a movie is no simple task. It necessitates a great deal of talent and dedication, especially from actors and celebrities, who are always an inspiration because they overcame tough challenges and experiences to succeed.

It is absolutely amazing how far some stars have come to get to where they are now after going through such grueling, dark, and heavy times. To bring their characters to life, actors must undertake a variety of tasks, including intense training, rapid weight loss or gain, and new skills. The following facts prove how hard many actors have to work to walk the red carpet. These movie stars who overcame great obstacles put forth a lot of effort into their roles, and they were rewarded with stardom.

Here is a list of famous actors who overcame significant obstacles to achieve success. Let’s see what challenges they have to encounter and how they overcome them.

#1 Demi Moore

Source: Sebastien Courdji / KCS / East News, © G.I. Jane / Caravan Pictures and co-producers

The 35-year-old mother of three underwent physical training for the G.I. Jane role that even professionals don’t typically undergo. The fact that the entire 17-week course was compressed into 2 weeks was the hardest part.

The actress had blisters on her legs and vomited on the first day. She taped the blisters and decided to finish the training even though she had been told she didn’t have to work out as hard as the guys did. Demi Moore completed her transformation by shaving her own head on one of the days.

#2 Brendan Fraser

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Brendan Fraser had to play a 600-pound man who was depressed and binge-eating in the movie The Whale. As a result, the actor would dress in a suit and carry an additional 50 to 300 pounds for the movie.

He would feel lightheaded when the suit was taken off because it was so exhausting. He claimed that he had to build muscles he wasn’t aware he had to carry the suit.

#3 Charlize Theron

Source: Invision / Invision / East News, © Tully / BRON Studios and co-producers

Charlize Theron put on about 48 pounds to play a mother of three in Tully. Additionally, it wasn’t the first time she put on weight (30 pounds) for a role in the movie Monster. Theron, however, had to deal with unpleasant outcomes this time.

First, the actress experienced depression for the first time in her life as a result of eating a lot of unhealthy food and sugar. And second, she understood that losing weight wasn’t as simple at 42 as it was at 27. She struggled to walk on the treadmill and had a difficult time sleeping. She had to work hard for 1.5 years and eat well to get back in shape.

#4 Adrien Brody

Source: Invision / Invision / East News, © The Pianist / Heritage Films and co-producers

Adrien Brody decided to temporarily adjust his to play the role in The Pianist. He dumped his girlfriend, moved out of his apartment, sold his car, and turned off all of his phones. Brody would starve himself while practicing the piano for four hours a day to better portray Wadysaw Szpilman. He was already quite thin before he lost almost 30 pounds.

He experienced feelings of emptiness and desperation because of his hunger. After the filming, Brody experienced depression for a year. He eventually became one of the actors to receive an Oscar at a young age.

#5 Gwendoline Christie

Source: ANDREA RENAULT / AFP / East News, © Game of Thrones / Home Box Office and co-producers

Gwendoline Christie spent six weeks preparing for the audition because she was so desperate to land the role of Brienne. She did kickboxing, yoga, and a complete diet overhaul. She consequently shed 20 pounds. The workouts intensified after she was cast in the role.

But the actress’s having to part with her gorgeous hair was the biggest setback. She started crying when she saw herself with short hair and didn’t stop for two hours.

#6 Jake Gyllenhaal

Source: [email protected] / Broad Image / East News, © Everest / Universal Pictures and co-producers

At 28,000 feet above sea level, where there is insufficient oxygen for people to breathe, the events on Everest take place. Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin decided to simulate these circumstances to get a sense of how it would feel.

They stayed in the simulator a little longer than necessary because they enjoyed the sensation. However, they experienced severe depression three days later.

#7 Jamie Foxx

Source: [email protected] / Broad Image / East News, © Ray / Universal Pictures and co-producers

Jamie Foxx met the famous musician and singer Ray Charles for the role in the biographical movie Ray. The musician was easily won over by the actor because he plays the piano. Foxx lost 30 pounds to resemble Charles, and his comedic background helped him act like the singer.

However, the actor had the most trouble portraying blindness. The director advised Foxx to temporarily lose his vision. The actor’s eyelids were taped shut for 14 hours each day. Foxx initially experienced anxiety and claustrophobia, but he eventually adjusted, and it even helped him win an Oscar.

#8 Jennifer Aniston

Source: Invision / Invision / East News, © Cake / Cinelou Films and co-producers

Jennifer Aniston portrayed a character with chronic pain in Cake (2014). She was able to understand her personality thanks to a couple of friends who suffered from chronic pain syndrome. The actress would walk with a straight back while wearing a corset that allowed her to round her shoulders. The actress began to experience pain herself five weeks after donning the corset.

She wasn’t bothered by having to put on a few pounds either. She simply stopped exercising and lost control of her diet for a while. She even found joy in gaining weight.

#9 Matthew McConaughey

Source: Invision / Invision / East News, © Dallas Buyers Club / Voltage Pictures and co-producers

The actor needed a diet specialist’s help to lose 48 pounds for the Dallas Buyers Club role. In the healthiest way possible, he tried to get Matthew McConaughey into the shape he required.

McConaughey would chew on ice instead of snacks because he felt so energized after losing weight. He even slept for 3 hours less per night than usual.

#10 Natalie Portman

Source: Invision / Invision / East News, © Black Swan / Searchlight Pictures and co-producers

The actress had to practice ballet for hours and swim several miles each day for her part in Black Swan. She also engaged in cross-training, which includes exercises that target muscles we hardly ever use in daily life.

Even though she started to look like a ballet dancer and lost almost 20 pounds, the ultra-intense training didn’t have the best effects on her body; she developed calluses, her toenails broke off, and she even twisted one of her ribs.

#11 Nicole Kidman

Source: Collin Xavier / Image Press Agency ABACA / Abaca / East News, © Moulin Rouge! / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers

In Moulin Rouge, Nicole Kidman wanted to look absolutely stunning! that she’d tighten her corset hard. She aspired to Vivien Leigh’s 18-inch waist from Gone With the Wind. One time the costume was tied so tightly that Kidman’s rib broke.

Additionally, Kidman found singing in front of an audience for the musical to be a tough challenge. It was unfamiliar to her and quite frightening.

#12 Rachel McAdams

Source: Invision / Invision / East News, © To the Wonder / Redbud Pictures and co-producers

To work with director Terrence Malick, Rachel McAdams kept a secret about her allergy to horse hair and genuine fear of animals. She said she enjoyed working with animals when he asked if she was comfortable doing so. She could hardly see anything in To the Wonder (2012) because her eyes were swollen.

#13 Zac Efron

Source: Reynaud Julien / APS-Medias / ABACA / Abaca / East News, © Baywatch / Paramount Pictures and co-producers

The actor had to go through a very unhealthy experience to portray a powerful body with protruding veins in Baywatch. He would get up at four in the morning to begin his workout and would work out for hours. He only consumed lean meat and leafy greens.

As a result, Zac Efron experienced many health issues, such as depression and insomnia. Next time, he decided, he would rather have a small amount of extra fat than a struggle for a good shot.