It might seem like actors just need to learn their lines by heart, and the rest will depend on their acting talent. But it is not that easy. Sometimes actors have to work hard to be convincing in their roles. They can gain or lose weight, adopt new skills, or even stop taking showers.
Palme2015 / News Pictures / East News, © Thor: Love and Thunder / Marvel Studios and co-producers
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.
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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.
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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.
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.”
AP / East News, © Gold / Black Bear Pictures and co-producers
McConaughey usually has a slim build, but he appeared as a rather overweight character in the movie Gold. At first, moviemakers wanted to dress him in a special fat suit. But Matthew decided he could do without it.
“I ate and drank what I wanted for 6 months without thinking about any consequences whatsoever,” the actor said. His favorite food was cheeseburgers, which he would buy at fast food restaurants or make at home. Of course, he gained weight quite quickly. According to Matthew, it wasn’t easy to go back to eating like a healthy person.
Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP / East News, © Fury / Columbia Pictures and co-producers
To play an officer in the movie Fury, Pitt had to undergo a rigorous training course. The entire movie cast was supposed to participate in it, and even though Pitt was older than the other actors, he never tried to avoid it.
The actor said, “It was set up to break us down, to keep us cold, to keep us exhausted, to make us miserable, to keep us wet, make us eat cold food. And if our stuff wasn’t together, we had to pay for it with physical forfeits. We were up at 5 in the morning, we were doing night watches on the hour.”
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.
AF Archive / Graham Whitby Boot / Mary Evans Picture Library / East News, © In the Name of the Father / Universal Pictures and co-producers
To play the convict in the drama In the Name of the Father, the actor spend 3 days in real jail. “I felt the need to do this,” Day-Lewis said. When he was in jail, he couldn’t sleep at night because someone would come and bang on the doors with tin cups every 10 minutes.
But this was not all. At the end of those 3 days, policemen interrogated him for 9 hours without stopping. We are delighted by how seriously Daniel Day-Lewis takes his job
Andrews Archie / ABACA / East News, © Judy / Pathé and co-producers
The actress had to thoroughly prepare for the role of Judy Garland. Despite the fact that Zellweger had already sung in the movie Chicago, her voice was not as strong as Judy’s. So, the actress had to take vocal lessons for a year to be able to sing exactly like Garland for the movie Judy.
It’s a known fact that Garland had a slight curvature of the spine, which bothered her during her performances. This is why Renée Zellweger did something kind of odd before certain scenes. She tried to move a piano before the filming of concert scenes to feel joint pain and get into the right mood.