17 Craziest Things Actors Have Done In The Name Of "Method Acting"

One of the most revered forms of acting, method acting is a sign of dedication to a role for any actor. This is because of the toll it takes on the actors.
From physical transformation that requires restrictive diets, to mental transformation that needs that actor to stay in character for a long time, method acting is difficult to adapt techniques.
But the payoff is well-deserved. Many actors have received acclaim for their work, thanks to method acting. Method acting is still adapted these days. This is because it helps actors to sincerely and expressively portray a character through understanding, and experiencing a character's inner motivation and emotions.
The technique also results in some controversies. Due to its extreme nature, method acting is not for everyone. Here are 17 craziest things actors have done in the name of "method acting."

#1 Tom Hanks - Cast Away

Source: 20th Century Fox / Everett

To prepare for his role in Cast Away, Tom Hanks had to lose 50 pounds rapidly, and he refused to bathe, which nearly killed him after he contracted a staph infection from a gash on his thigh.

#2 Daniel Day-Lewis - Gangs of New York

Source: Miramax / Everett

Daniel Day-Lewis developed pneumonia during filming Gangs of New York because he refused to wear a warmer coat between shots. After all, such coats did not exist in the 1860s.
He admits he went insane and that the role was not beneficial for his physical or mental well-being.

#3 Daniel Day-Lewis - My Left Foot

Source: Miramax / Everett

Daniel Day-Lewis refused to get out of his wheelchair when filming My Left Foot, and production personnel was forced to carry him over the set equipment so he could move around. He even damaged two ribs from always sitting bent over.
Because the real Christy Brown was crippled, Daniel learned to paint with a knife held between his toes and even forced others to spoon-feed him. He was so passionate about being in character that when he wasn't filming, he had people refer to him as Christy Brown - he literally wouldn't react to his name.

#4 Robert De Niro - Cape Fear

Source: Universal

Finally, for his role in Cape Fear, Robert De Niro hired a dentist for $5,000 to have his teeth ground down, sharpened, and disfigured.
After the film was over, he hired a dentist for $20,000 to completely fix his teeth.

#5 Jared Leto - Morbius

Source: Getty / Sony Pictures Releasing

While filming Morbius, Jared Leto appeared to be crippled like his movie counterpart, limping on crutches even though he wasn't.
Jared agreed to use a wheelchair instead of crutches since the crutches made his restroom breaks so long.

#6 Jared Leto - Suicide Squad

Source: Warner Bros.

At the first table read for Suicide Squad, Jared Leto — who would only answer to the moniker Mistah J — also sent his fellow cast mates a dead pig. He sent a live rat to Margot Robbie.
He gave used condoms, anal beads, a switchblade, porn, and a dildo to his castmates.

#7 Colin Firth - The King's Speech.

Source: Paramount / Everett

Colin Firth suffered from migraines, a pinched nerve in his arm, and his stammer after playing George VI in The King's Speech.
To play the part, he had to learn to stutter and then portray someone who was urgently trying not to stammer. His left arm suffered from temporary paralysis that might last three or four days.

#8 Jamie Foxx - Ray

Source: Universal Pictures / Everett

Jamie Foxx donned artificial eyelashes that cemented his eyes shut for 14 hours on filming days while playing Ray Charles in Ray.
He also admitted to the New York Times that he had panic attacks during the first two weeks of filming before acclimating to the "unsettling, claustrophobic atmosphere." He also said that cast and crew members would frequently forget he couldn't see and would "leave him sitting alone at a table after lunch on the assumption that he could navigate back to the set on his own."

#9 Shia LaBeouf - Fury

Source: Sony Pictures Releasing

Shia LaBeouf refused to wash for Fury, slashed his face open purposefully, and ripped out one of his teeth. His conduct became so chaotic that his co-star Brad Pitt had to intervene and talk to him.
Shia even admitted to Jimmy Kimmel that he had difficulty convincing dentists to extract his teeth for the film since it didn't "make medical sense."

#10 Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour.

Source: Focus Features / Everett

Gary Oldman poisoned himself with nicotine after smoking $20,000 in Winston Churchill's favorite cigars during Darkest Hour.
"You can't have Winston Churchill without a cigar," Gary said.

#11 Robert Pattinson - Little Ashes

Source: Kaleidoscope Entertainment

Robert Pattinson masturbated on set while playing Salvador Dal in the film Little Ashes.
"[It] just doesn't work, so I pleasured myself in front of the camera," Robert explained when asked why he didn't just fake it for the camera.

#12 Ashton Kutcher - Jobs

Source: Open Road Films / Everett

While preparing to play Steve Jobs in Jobs, Ashton Kutcher got pancreatitis and was hospitalized twice (!!!!).
Steve Jobs was known as a "fruitarian," living on a mostly fruit diet, which Ashton attempted to mimic.

#13 Jungle Fever - Halle Berry

Source: Universal

Halle Berry was unwilling to dabble with narcotics for her role as a crack addict in her debut film, Jungle Fever, so she embraced her character by not bathing for eight weeks.
She said that just certain areas of her body were washed.

#14 Robert Pattinson - The Lighthouse

Source: A24

During production for The Lighthouse, Robert Pattinson would also try to make himself vomit, taste mud, urinate himself, put stones in his shoes, and get intoxicated.
"I usually say about folks who perform method acting, you only ever see people use the technique when they're playing an asshole," he subsequently said regarding his character. You never see someone being kind to everyone while having a profound character."

#15 Chloë Sevigny - The Brown Bunny

Source: Wellspring

Chlo Sevigny gave her partner at the time, Vincent Gallo, a genuine unsimulated blowjob onscreen in The Brown Bunny.
When asked why she did it, she stated, that it was either to regain her sense of self or to push the boundary of her art.

#16 Jamie Dornan - The Fall.

Source: BBC2

To prepare for his role as a serial murderer in The Fall, Jamie Dornan stalked a lady exiting the London Underground.
He trailed her around a few street corners. It was engaging and intriguing for him to engage that process of 'what are you chasing her for?' and 'What are you attempting to discover?

#17 Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant

Source: 20th Century Fox

Leonardo DiCaprio slept inside an animal corpse during filming The Revenant and was frequently on the verge of freezing.
In real life, Leo is a devout vegetarian, but for the film, he insisted on consuming raw bison meat in order to live as near to his character Hugh Glass as possible.
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