From Leonardo DiCaprio to Jeremy Strong, method actors went to extremes 8 times

Method acting has given us some of the most iconic performances of all time.

Whether or not Leonardo DiCaprio sleeps in an animal carcass for his role The revenant actually played a role in his Oscar – he did it in the name of artistic authenticity.

Method acting techniques rooted in Stanislavski practice were developed in Russia in the early 20th century.

Method actors seek to move through their character’s life experiences and regularly make tremendous efforts to fully immerse themselves in the role.

In most cases, a method actor will maintain an accent when the cameras aren’t rolling, read the novel the film is based on, and perhaps meet their character’s real-life counterparts.

Daniel Day-Lewis took this to new heights during filming The Crucible: He didn’t take a bath during the whole time of shooting.

While I play Natty Bumppo Last of the MohicansDay-Lewis only ate food that he could catch or kill himself.

But when your castmates are affected and your lifestyle is drastically changed for a single role – how far is too far?

Here are eight times actors took method engineering to new extremes:

Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani in House Gucci (2021)

Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci (2021)


Lady Gaga’s portrayal of Patrizia Reggiani – socialite and ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci – in fashion drama biopic House Gucci is a process of “becoming” rather than “imitation,” she said. The actor and pop star claimed to have lived as Reggiani for nine months, in front of and behind the camera.

“I never broke. I stayed with her,” she said in interviews.

Gaga portrayed Reggiani – who was convicted of hiring the hitman who shot her ex-husband in 1995 – as innocent but cunning. She dyed her hair brown and started living her life differently: “I started being like that to live, everything I looked at, everything I touched, paying attention to where and when I could see money,” she said Fashion.

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Unfortunately for Gaga, the Gucci family issued a statement condemning the portrayals in the film, particularly her portrayal of Reggiani. The family said Reggiani “is portrayed not only in the film but also in testimonials from cast members as a victim trying to survive in a masculine and male-chauvinist corporate culture.”

“That couldn’t be further from the truth,” the statement said.

Jeremy Strong as Logan Roy in Succession (HBO, 2018 – present)

Jeremy Strong in Succession

(Graeme Hunter/HBO)

Jeremy Strong plays the painfully flawed and afflicted son of media mogul Logan Roy, HBO’s portrayal of Kendall Roy successor included emotional exhaustion, meticulous intensity, and suffering.

In the process of becoming the dysfunctional character, Strong’s castmates reportedly became concerned for his well-being.

Brian Cox, who plays Roy, narrates The New Yorkerin a viral profile of Strong: “The result Jeremy gets is always pretty impressive. I’m just worried about what he’s doing to himself. I’m worried about the crises he’s facing to prepare for.”

But for Strong, impersonating the character is part of the job. “I think in acting work it’s very important to have a personal experience,” he saidGQ. “That it’s not just an imaginary experience, that you go through something and it costs you.”

He added, “Maybe I’ll hug the cactus a little.”

Strong won an Emmy for his performance in 2020.

Jared Leto as Joker in suicide squad (2016)

Jared Leto in Suicide Squad (2016)

(Warner Bros. Pictures)

In 2016 suicide squadAllegedly, Jared Leto sent used condoms, sticky Playboy magazines, anal beads and dead rats to his castmates to cheer up the actors.

“I did a lot of things to create momentum, to create an element of surprise and spontaneity,” he said E! “The Joker is someone who doesn’t really expect something like personal border space.”

But how did this behavior affect his castmates? “There were many instances where I didn’t know what to expect from Jared,” said co-star Margo Robbie.

For Leto’s role in House Guccihe said iD Magazine: “In the middle of this film, I snorted lines of arrabbiata sauce. I had olive oil for blood. That was a deep dive I did.”

Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass in The revenant (2015)

Leonardo DiCaprio as a 19th-century fur trapper Hugh Glass

(20th century fox)

In preparation for the role of Hugh Glass in The revenantDiCaprio didn’t just camp out in the wild — he slept in an animal carcass, ate raw bison, and regularly went swimming in frozen rivers.

“I can name 30 or 40 sequences that were some of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” he said Yahoo Movies.

“Whether it’s going in and out of frozen rivers, or sleeping in animal carcasses, or what I ate on set. [I was] to endure constant freezing cold and possible hypothermia.”

When the actor won what many believed to be a well-deserved Best Actor Oscar, no one could blame him for negligence.

Daniel Day-Lewis, President Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln (2012)


For Steven Spielberg’s epic “American Civil War,” Day-Lewis notoriously insisted on appearing on the set with “Mr. President” to be addressed. He also claimed to have spent about a year contemplating Lincoln and retained his Kentucky accent for the duration of filming.

To embody Lilcon’s mannerisms, Day-Lewis studied and narrated Alexander Gardner’s photographs from the American Civil War New York Times: I looked at her the way you sometimes look at your own reflection and wonder who that person is looking at you.

He won Best Actor at the Academy Awards for his performance in 2013.

Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena in boys don’t cry (2000)

Hilary Swank in early 2020 and in Boys Don’t Cry

(Robyn Beck/Getty/Fox)

In boys don’t cry, Hillary Swank played Brandon Teena, a transgender man. By today’s standards, casting a cis woman for the role of a transgender person would have sparked significant debate. But in 2000, Swank tried her best to embody the character’s emotions throughout the filming process and was very affectionate.

“Your heart never heals the same way,” she said The Hollywood Reporter. “You always carry these people and their wonderful spirits in your heart. You are all a piece of me. I think that makes me a better person.”

Dustin Hoffman as Thomas Bibington in marathon man (1976)

Dustin Hoffman in “Marathon Man”

(Paramount Pictures)

On the set of marathon man In 1976, Hoffman stayed awake for three days to prepare for a scene in which his character had not slept for 72 hours.

“So what have you done?” asked the classically trained co-star Laurence Olivier. “Well, I stayed up three days and three nights,” Hoffman replied.

Laurence Olivier then offered the rather scathing response: “Why don’t you just try acting?”

Olivier’s classic Shakespearean experience versus Hoffman’s method is symbolic of the two worlds of acting training: method and non-method.

Hoffman won Best Actor at the Oscars Kramer versus Kramer and rainman, with its immersive method techniques for both roles.

Robert De Niro in…everything

Robert De Dino in “Taxi Driver”

(Ronald Grant Archive)

Robert De Niro learned Italian and lived in Sicily to prepare The Godfather Part II. He also got a New York taxi license for taxi drivergained 60 pounds to play Jake La Motta wild bull, and learned to play saxophone for his role as Jimmy Doyle New-York, New-York.

In a 2018 interview, De Niro recounted The guard: “I’m a perfectionist. I always try to do as much research as possible for a role.

“For Taxi driver, I actually drove a taxi for a couple of weeks. It probably wasn’t really necessary, but it was something I wanted to do.” From Leonardo DiCaprio to Jeremy Strong, method actors went to extremes 8 times


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