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Method madness at the movies

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
nuts.

Method madness at the movies

First there was Method, where an actor had to "become" the character they were playing.

Then Hollywood actors took Method beyond the psychological into the physical realm as well, just like Charlize Theron did for her upcoming film, Monster (see cover story).

She is but one in a long line of actors who have radically changed their appearance for the big screen. Some examples:

Weight

Charlize Theron gained 30 pounds for Monster (2003).

Tom Hanks lost 55 pounds for Cast Away (2000) and lost 45 pounds for Philadelphia (1993).

Robert DeNiro gained 60 lbs for Raging Bull (1980).

DeNiro had held the all-time weight gain record until Vincent D'Onofrio packed on 70 pounds for his role as Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket (1987), Stanley Kubrick's story about a group of soldiers who develop dehumanized personalities en route to Vietnam.

Renée Zellweger gained 20 pounds for the first Bridget Jones Diary (2001), lost it, then regained it for Cold Mountain (2003) and the sequel to Bridget Jones, to be released next Christmas.

Adrien Brody starved himself, losing 30 lbs, to play holocaust survivor Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist (2002).

Teeth

Brad Pitt chipped his front tooth during filming of Fight Club (1999). He did not have the tooth capped until after the movie was completed because he felt it added to his character.

Viggo Mortensen also lost a tooth during a fight scene in Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002).

Nicolas Cage lost two teeth in his role in Birdy (1984). Also ate a live cockroach in Vampire's Kiss (1989)

Extreme Method

Daniel Day Lewis is legendary in his preparation for roles. Apparently he became so engrossed in playing Bill the Butcher in Martin Scorsese's Gangs Of New York (2002), when he became ill on set he refused to get out of costume, because warmer clothes would take him out of character.

He studied Czech for his role in The Unbearable Lightness Of Being (1988), and lived in a wheelchair for weeks to create his Oscar winning characterization of quadriplegic Irish writer Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989).

Daryl Hannah interviewed and filmed strippers, even practiced stripping in an L.A. strip joint her role in Dancing At The Blue Iguana (2000) — from this, she made a documentary called Strip.

Jared Leto lost weight, slept rough in New York and gave up sex (with then-girlfriend Cameron Diaz) for two months in order to play a heroin addict in Requiem For A Dream (2000).

Dustin Hoffman screamed for more than 5 hours to make his voice sound like a 121-year-old's in Little Big Man (1970). He once kept himself awake for days to look more tired for a scene in 1976's Marathon Man (with Laurence Olivier). Plus, of course, Tootsie (1982) spending most of his time in drag.

Nicole Kidman received a serious knee injury while filming Moulin Rouge (2001) that later needed two surgeries.

Demi Moore, G.I. Jane (1996), shaved her head and undertook a two-week Navy Seals training session.

Linda Hamilton, for Terminator 2 (1991), went muscle-bound by cross-training six days a week for 13 weeks.

Mariel Hemingway had a surgeon install breast implants to play murdered Playboy centrefold Dorothy Stratten in Star 80 (1983).

Sigourney Weaver visited Rwanda and lived with wild gorillas to play Dian Fossey in Gorillas In The Mist (1988).

Marlon Brando. The original Method Actor spent a month lying in bed at a veterans' hospital studying for his screen debut in The Men (1950). Subsequently drove directors crazy by refusing to memorize lines (to sound more natural), improvising most notably in Apocalypse Now (1978) and Superman (1979), where Brando's lines were written in baby Superman's diapers.

Oh, the Pain

Jim Carrey. Had to take pain management lessons from a Navy diver in order to deal with his costume in The Grinch (2000).

Compiled by Andy Murdoch and Virginia Doig, Toronto Star Library. Sources: Internet Movie Database and Star ARCHIVES.
 

comma splice

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
lived in a wheelchair for weeks to create his Oscar winning characterization of quadriplegic Irish writer Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989).
great movie and great performance from Day Lewis


supposedly Nick Nolte gets extremely into his roles as well.
 

BigBadBaldy

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
Nicole Kidman received a serious knee injury while filming Moulin Rouge (2001) that later needed two surgeries.
Um, SO FUCKING WHAT? How does that fit exactly? So she injured herself, big deal. How does that compare with a lot of the others mentioned? She probably tripped getting off of the massage table in a rush to have her pedicure.

I really want to see "Monster", though. Charlize Theron's performance looks STUNNING from the clips I've seen. She's going to win an Oscar for it from all the buzz I've heard.
 
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Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
yeah I want to see Monster. I thought she was pretty and not much else before, maybe I'll change my mind about her talents.
 

BigBadBaldy

TRIBE Member
Yeah, I never really thought of Mme. Theron as a serious actor.

From all accounts though, she really surprises in this role. She is incredibly scary from what I've seen. Demented.
 
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deep

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
Will it scare me out of going to prostitutes ever again?


deep save me some crack
I'm method acting for my role of a retard
 
Re: Re: Method madness at the movies

Originally posted by comma splice
supposedly Nick Nolte gets extremely into his roles as well.
He admits to doing heroin prior to filming The Good Theif. He's got quite the reputation of being a terror off the sets between projects.

Russell Crowe is very similar too in the Method Acting role. Gained 40 pounds for The Insider, lost it all for Gladiator, demanded that he and all the extras go through a nautical course of some kind prior to filming Master and Commander.
 
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