Many actors have gone to great lengths over the years to get the perfect results – they’ve stayed in character for days on end, they’ve done stunts that defy death, and they’ve gotten their most sensitive areas waxed. Here’s some of the craziest things actors have done in the name of art.
1. Shia LaBeouf gave himself actual facial scars and got a tooth pulled for Fury.
To get into character for his role as a war-hardened soldier in Fury, LaBeouf went full method. He bathed minimally, fought with the cast, got a tooth pulled by a dentist, and most shocking of all – kept cutting his face open.
2. Nicole Kidman urinated on Zac Efron in The Paperboy.
In one scene in this crime drama from 2012, Zac Efron’s character gets stung by a jellyfish. Now, anyone who’s watched Friends will remember the most famous cure to the pain from this sting – piss. She went for the real thing, and actually peed on his leg (for the good of the scene of course).
3. Timothée Chalamet actually fucked a peach in preparation of Call Me By Your Name.
One highly memorable scene in this romantic drama sees Chalamet go off somewhere private with a peach, and masturbating with it. Why was the scene so convincing? Because Chalamet actually practised in the privacy of his own home. He called it a wonderfully sensual experience.
4. Charles Dance (who played Tywin Lannister) skinned an actual stag in Game of Thrones.
In the seventh episode ‘You Win or You Die’, Charles Dance, aka Tywin Lannister gives Jaime a piece of his mind in a tent. Concurrently, he’s also skinning an actual stag the entire time. Apparently, he was taught to skin it the day of filming itself. According to Dance, the stench was… pretty heavy.
5. Steve Carell actually got waxed in 40-Year-Old Virgin.
This 2005 r-rated comedy is the stuff of legend, and was Carrell’s first starring role. There’s an infamous scene where he gets his (pretty hairy) chest waxed, and unfortunately for Carrell, the entire scene was real. All his screams of pain are totally legit, and even the blood actually came from his body. Watch the scene below, if you’ve got the stomach for it. Steve definitely had the chest for it.
6. Kate Winslet held her breath for seven minutes while filming the sequel to Avatar.
Winslet learned to hold her breath for extended amounts of time underwater to prepare for her role in James Cameron’s sequel to Avatar. She outdid herself by holding her breath for 7 minutes and 14 seconds, thereby beating Tom Cruise’s record for the longest underwater breath hold in a feature film.
7. Jamie Foxx glued his eyes shut for up to 14 hours a day in Ray.
Foxx played the legendary Ray Charles in this epic movie, and his performance even won him an Oscar. It didn’t come easy though, as he actually glued his eyes shut and wore eyelid prosthetics for up to 14 hours a day to make the performance more realistic.
8. Leonardo DiCaprio slept inside a dead animal carcass, swam in frozen rivers, and ate raw bison liver for The Revenant.
This was a film that truly brought out just how brutal the old days were, where one had to survive through the elements, the wild, and other humans as well. To bring out the sheer rawness of it all, Leo slept inside a dead animal carcass (imagine the smell), swam through frozen rivers that resulted in hypothermia, and even ate the raw liver of a bison.
9. Jared Leto sent ‘used’ condoms, anal beads, a dead pig and a dead rat to his co-stars on Suicide Squad.
To get into the mindset of his character as the deranged Joker in this film, Leto decided to go hard on the sociopath index. He sent many of his fellow cast members condoms that had been taken out of their packaging, anal beads, a dead pig, and he even sent Margot Robbie a dead rat.
10. Christian Bale lost almost 30 kilos for his role in The Machinist.
Perhaps one of the most famous examples of taking your body to extremes for a role, Christian Bale lost 60 pounds, or 28 kgs for this film. He plays an emaciated insomniac in the film, and Bale only ate 200 calories a day. He’d also go days where he just drank whiskey and smoke cigarettes.
11. Joaquin Phoenix wired his jaw shut and destroyed a toilet while filming The Master.
Phoenix is known for his intense portrayal of any given character, and this film where he played a disturbed WWII vet was no different. To maintain a clenched sneer, Phoenix went to the dentist and had brackets and rubber bands put on his teeth so his jaw stayed shut. He stayed in character the entire time, resulting in him suffering quite a few injuries while playing the volatile character, and also ended up destroying a toilet on set.
12. Nicholas Cage had some of his teeth pulled out (without anesthesia) for Birdy.
This 1984 war drama was about a disturbed soldier returning from the Vietnam War. Cage went full method for the role of a wounded soldier, getting 2 teeth extracted without novocaine. Ouch.
13. Brad Pitt got his teeth chipped for Fight Club.
This hyper-violent film needed Pitt to look a little worse for wear than his usual golden boy self. Putt volunteered to get his teeth chipped prior to filming to look more authentic, while also showing just how serious he was about the movie. He got them fixed by the dentist later on.
14. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams lived together as a ‘family’ before shooting Blue Valentine.
The 2 of them played a couple in the movie, and to prepare for the role of a dysfunctional family, they actually lived in the house for over a month, and included their on-screen daughter in the process. They celebrated fake Christmas, had actual fights, and would consequently have to take their ‘daughter’ to the park. Pretty crazy stuff.
15. Robert Pattinson worked at a car wash and didn’t change his clothes for 2 months for Good Time.
To portray the role of a low-level New York thief, Pattinson actually worked at a car wash and took the subway unnoticed. Most extreme of all, he lived in the same rancid basement as the one in the movie for a whole 2 months, never opening the curtains, never changing the sheets, and never changing his clothes.
Damn, these guys weren’t playing around!