8 Actors Who Were Willing to Go the Extra Mile for Their Parts

Image credit: Legion-Media

These actors really put the 'method' in method acting.

Michelle Williams — My Week with Marilyn

Many actresses dream of getting the role of the main sex symbol of the XX century. But not everyone can portray the image of the legendary Marilyn Monroe. When Michelle Williams was offered the lead role in the movie My Week with Marilyn, she tried her best to look more like the icon.

The actress listened to interviews with the star all day long and watched movies with her in order to learn how to speak the way she did. Michelle also put on makeup every day and wore clothes similar to the ones Marilyn loved. But these were not all the sacrifices Williams made.

She purposely tightened her legs with straps just below her knees to learn the famous walk. All the efforts were not in vain — Michelle Williams managed to believably portray the famous movie star and was praised for the work she did.

Shia Labeouf — Fury

In the film Fury, the actor had to play a member of the tank crew. To get used to the role, Shia not only signed up in the U.S. National Guard, where he served for a month, but went on even further. Labeouf said to himself that he had to give his best and play as well as he could.

The actor even knocked out a tooth and did not wash for a few weeks. In addition, in one of the days of filming Shaya thought that his makeup does not match the one that a soldier should have, and cut his own cheek.

Halle Berry — Jungle Fever

Halle has always been a professional and even in the early days of her career went to great lengths to get the role of the junkie in Jungle Fever. In 1991, the actress had just begun her journey into the world of big cinema, and when she came to audition, director Spike Lee immediately sent her home, believing that for such a character the girl is just too beautiful.

However, Berry was not going to back down and started preparing for the role. Fortunately, the actress did not use illegal substances, as others did (yes, there were such actors), but she became a frequent guest at drug houses, where she tried to adopt the manners and behavior of the addicted people.

But this was nothing compared to the fact that Halle did not take a shower for two months — that takes some gut! According to the actress, her body at the time was sticky and dirty and her hair was too dry. But such sacrifices were worth it, since Berry got her role in the project.

Robert De Niro — Cape Fear

It was not a walk in the park for Robert De Niro as well, when he was approved for the lead role in the psychological thriller Cape Fear. To play a homicidal maniac, who has been in prison for 14 years, the actor asked his dentist to ruin his teeth and change their color. According to De Niro, a dangerous criminal could not have a dazzling Hollywood smile.

This procedure cost the actor five thousand dollars. Thankfully, after they finished shooting, Robert restored his teeth, but it cost him a bit more — he had to pay 20 thousand dollars. The reward for such sacrifices was the cherished Oscar statuette, which the actor received for his role in this film.

Liam Neeson — The Grey

Liam was comparatively lucky, since he did not have to knock out his teeth or not wash for months. However, he did make one sacrifice during the filming of The Grey. In one scene the actor had to eat raw wolf meat, and this "delicacy" was not the first freshness, since it was stored in the freezer for almost six months.

Neeson later admitted that he, being the Irishman, used to eat food, which for many may seem strange. So the actor clearly had no problem with this scene.

Adrien Brody — The Pianist

In the film The Pianist Adrien Brody portrays the musician Władysław Szpilman who knows firsthand the horrors of the Warsaw ghetto. Initially, the actor spent several hours a day at the piano, trying to learn how to play it masterfully.

But this did not seem enough. To portray a man who lost everything in this world, Adrien sold his apartment, his car, parted with his girlfriend, and during two weeks lost around 26 lb (12 kg). Adrien Brody won the Academy Award for Best Actor and was the only American artist to win the French Cesar Award.

Heath Ledger — The Dark Knight

For his famous role as the Joker Heath Ledger decided to live alone in a hotel room for a month. All this time the actor was by himself and worked through the details of the character. Heath wrote down the thoughts and feelings that he had at the time, in a special diary, and then used this material during the filming of the movie.

These notes helped him brilliantly, but the price of such extreme sacrifice was his health. Recently, Heath Ledger was often in a deep depression and worked as hard as he could. The result of all this was the death of an artist — he died in 2008 from acute intoxication caused by an overdose of sleeping pills and antidepressants.

Hilary Swank — Boys Don't Cry

In this film, the actress had to realistically portray a man, so she started off even before filming began. Hilary cut her curls, started wearing only men's clothes, lost weight and pumped up her muscles. In addition, she tried to imitate the way guys walk and purposely changed her voice, making it more coarse.

Swank also bandaged her breasts tightly to make sure she felt like a guy. For the role in this film, the actress was awarded an Oscar, so her efforts were not in vain!