What’s a typical day like for an actor? Likely it’s signing autographs, receiving awards, and working with genius directors and talented colleagues. However, things aren’t all that simple.
Very often, they have to endure tough diets, work out several times a day, and learn difficult skills in incredibly short periods of time. And in some very specific cases, they’ve had to eat raw liver and witness autopsies.
Daniel Radcliffe — Jungle
Daniel Radcliffe played the leading role in the film Jungle which was based on true events. The film tells the story of a group of friends who get lost in the Amazon rainforest. The role required Radcliffe to lose 33 lb in real life.
The actor wanted to show how the main character was suffering in a way that was as real as possible, so he had to follow a very strict and difficult diet throughout the entire production. And right before the shoot, he didn’t eat anything for 2 days.
Shailene Woodley — Adrift
90% of the shooting process for the film Adrift Shailene Woodley took part in was in at sea, 2 hours away from the shore. The filming process sometimes started at 4 am and lasted 12 hours. According to the actress, the entire crew, except for the director and a cameraman, had very bad seasickness.
Robert Pattinson — Good Time
In order to dive into the role of a robber who is trying to run away from the police, Robert Pattinson had to forget about comfort. He explained, “I literally lived in the same basement apartment [as the character] in Harlem.
I never opened my curtains, didn’t change the sheets the entire time I was there for those 2 months, and I would just sleep in my clothes. I probably have mercury poisoning now because I ate it just out of the can. That’s all that was there: tuna, hot sauce, and coffee.”
Charles Dance — Game of Thrones
For the role of Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones, Charles Dance had to learn an unusual skill. In order to do one of the scenes, Dance learned to skin a deer, and as he says himself, he did it quite well.
Saoirse Ronan — Byzantium
Saoirse Ronan learned to play the piano from scratch for the role in Byzantium. She amazed the director with the fact that it took her only 12 weeks to learn to play Beethoven’s most difficult sonata even though she had never played a musical instrument before. You can see how great she is in this bit.
Margot Robbie — Suicide Squad
Margot Robbie took lessons from a freediver in order to learn to hold her breath underwater for Suicide Squad. Even though the actress only needed to hold her breath for a couple of minutes, Robbie learned to hold it for 5 minutes.
Leonardo DiCaprio — The Revenant
The role DiCaprio finally got his Oscar for was a really difficult one. He had to eat raw bison liver (even though he’s a vegetarian), learn to shoot a musket and sew wounds, and speak Native American languages. But that’s not all: he also had to work in constant cold, dive into a freezing river, and wear heavy bearskin.
Tom Hiddleston — High-Rise
When trying to dive into his character in High-Rise, Tom Hiddleston went to see a real autopsy. The actor is convinced, “If you have to perform something on camera, you want to make sure people who actually do that go, ’Yeah, that’s how you do that.’ Whether it’s making an omelet or performing an autopsy.”
Jennifer Lawrence — Hunger Games
In order to portray Katniss Everdeen, Jennifer Lawrence had active workouts twice a day and learned to shoot a bow and arrow. She also had to go through a special obstacle course that required her to jump and climb trees.
Eddie Redmayne — The Theory of Everything
Eddie Redmayne received an Oscar for the role of scientist, Steven Hawking.
The preparation for the role was very tough: the actor spent months studying the life of the scientist and also learned to walk and speak like a man who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Would you do any of these things for a role in a movie?