12 Daring Stars Who Have Gone Through Fantastic Changes to Get Into Their Role

6 months ago

Preparing for a challenging role often requires actors to make significant changes to their bodies and acquire new skills and knowledge. This process involves dedicated effort and commitment. This preparation is not only about looking the part but also about understanding and embodying the character’s essence.

Adrien Brody

For the role of Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist Brody left his apartment, sold his car, and relocated to Europe carrying just two bags, all in an effort to immerse himself in his character’s unease. This Oscar-winning actor underwent an intensive six-week crash diet, shedding 30 pounds and reaching a minimum weight of 130 pounds during filming. Additionally, he dedicated time to piano and dialect lessons to enhance his portrayal.

Adrien revealed: “There is an emptiness that comes with really starving that I hadn’t experienced. I couldn’t have acted that without knowing it. I’ve experienced loss, I’ve experienced sadness in my life, but I didn’t know the desperation that comes with hunger.”

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman ensures fans that her well-developed muscles in the movie Thor: Love and Thunder have nothing to do with computer graphics. A few months before the filming started, the actress began to work out at a gym, focusing on strength exercises which she had never done before. Her favorite exercises had always been jogging and yoga.

According to Portman, she had never wanted to get bulky, but she decided to change her ways for this role. It’s worth mentioning that the actress is vegan, but she managed to gain muscle mass by consuming a lot of plant-based proteins.

Cillian Murphy

Cillian Murphy worked really hard to bring J. Robert Oppenheimer to life in Christopher Nolan’s movie in 2023. The Irish actor went through a lot to play the role, but one impressive thing he did was learn to give a complicated physics talk in Dutch.

The actor also underwent a significant change in his body by losing a lot of weight. Cillian had to stick to a highly restrictive diet, as shared by his co-star Emily Blunt, who plays his onscreen wife Kitty Oppenheimer: “He had such a monumental undertaking. And he could only eat, like, an almond every day.”

Tom Hiddleston

In the TV series The Night Manager, Hiddleston’s character runs a hotel. To prepare for the role, the actor spent a night managing a real upscale hotel. “This work only seems glamorous. There was a wedding going on in the ballroom in the basement and there were people on the first floor complaining about the music, and the Night Manager and I had to keep both parties happy,” the actor recalled.

The series was filmed in a real hotel, and Tom was sometimes taken for a real hotel manager. A few hotel guests even requested their room keys from him, and he was happy to oblige.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio went all out for his role as Hugh Glass in The Revenant. He pretended to sleep inside a horse carcass, ate raw buffalo meat, and dragged himself through freezing rivers during the nine-month shoot. This extreme commitment, along with learning survival skills and studying Glass’s life, helped him win an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Alexander Skarsgård

To build a body like Tarzan’s, the actor had to work out a lot and stick to a special diet, which consisted of 2 stages. For the first 3 months, Alexander had to consume 7,000 calories a day. According to the actor, he ate mostly meat and potatoes.

The second stage of the diet was more strict and didn’t include fast carbs. Alexander had to eat 6 small meals a day. And this drove him crazy. “I would walk around and look at my watch constantly thinking, when’s my next meal, that was the highlight of my day,” the actor revealed.

5 months later, his trainer allowed him to cheat with his meals slightly. Alexander even cried from happiness when he could finally eat what he wanted. He ordered pasta, a pizza, and tiramisu and felt like he was in heaven.

Halle Berry

To get into character in the movie Jungle Fever, Halle stopped taking showers and shaving her armpits. The actress confessed that she didn’t shower for 2 weeks, and her armpit hair was so long she could braid it.

Her co-workers had to deal with her body odor, but, as Berry said, “Nobody said anything to me, but everybody sort of started to keep their distance.”

Rooney Mara

To become Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara put in dedicated effort. She transformed her appearance by getting multiple piercings, changing her hair, and even bleaching her eyebrows. Mara delved into the psyche of the character, undergoing intense training to capture Lisbeth’s complex personality. She even roamed solo through Stockholm to experience the same isolation felt by Lisbeth.This involved understanding her background, emotional turmoil, and mastering the art of hacking, as Salander is a skilled computer hacker in the story.

Anne Hathaway

Invision / Invision / East News, © WeCrashed / Apple Studios and co-producers

In the miniseries WeCrashed, Hathaway portrayed a real person — businesswoman Rebekah Neumann. According to the script, her character was a vegan and only ate food that was raw or heated at very low temperatures. She also did yoga.

To get into character, the actress decided to adopt Rebekah’s lifestyle. She became a raw vegan and took yoga classes every day. According to Hathaway, she got so deep into character that she began to think she was a vegan herself. 3 weeks after the filming finished, she suddenly realized she wanted a burger.

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper had to bulk up for the movie American Sniper. And unlike Matthew McConaughey, who enjoyed the process of gaining weight, as mentioned above, Cooper really suffered.

“It was a real shock to my body. If it’s pizza and cake, that’s one thing. Putting 6,000 calories a day in your body gets old quick,” the actor complained. Cooper’s personal chef prepared 5 daily meals for him, but he also had to snack on energy bars in between.

Amanda Brugel

F Sadou / AdMedia / SIPA / East News, © The Handmaid's Tale / MGM Television and co-producers

The Handmaid’s Tale star said that the role of Rita was the most challenging job in her life. She had to make her character convincing, almost without dialogue.

The actress had to rely on her facial gestures and change her gait — she would put rocks in her left shoe. Perhaps, this is what helped her convey the hidden pain of her character.

Jessica Chastain

Before portraying the famous singer in the movie The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Jessica Chastain never sang in front of cameras. This is why she was very nervous about this role. “It’s a real nightmare for a shy person. But I had to do it,” the actress confessed. Chastain learned 31 songs performed by Tammy Faye.

Also, Jessica let makeup artists paint her face with markers. The fact is that Tammy Faye had permanent makeup applied to her eyes and eyebrows. A regular eyeliner and lipstick were not enough to achieve the same effect, so they used markers.

Actors engage in extensive research to grasp the nuances of the role, delving into the character’s background, experiences, and emotions. This comprehensive approach and significant changes help them deliver a convincing performance that resonates with the audience, showcasing the depth of their dedication to their craft.


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