10 Actors Who Had Nearly Gone Mad While Playing Characters
Physical transformations are very common among method actors. They lose and gain a lot of weight to look like the character they envision.
But sometimes some actors push themselves too far, physically and psychologically, that it ends up giving us roles that are remembered for decades. Some actors crawl into a character’s skin so much so that they take in all the mental and physical disabilities and quirkiness that comes with the role.
Here are some actors can took the technique a bit too far, however, pushing the limits of both themselves and those around them.
Robert De Niro – Cape Fear
To pull off the look of psychotic Max Cady, De Niro paid thousands of dollars to grind his teeth down. That’s right! Grind his teeth. He got several vegetable dye tattoos made all over his body and he also spent a lot of his time studying and researching on sex offenders. He even left behind creepy messages as Cady on Scorsese’s answering machine to freak him out.
Nicolas Cage – Birdy
This actor just doesn’t seem to understand the concept of low-key. Going eccentric over film roles has helped him bag the unofficial title of being the craziest actor in Hollywood. He feels that hints of nuttiness help develop the performance and the character and we can’t disagree. If losing his sh*t meant brilliant performances such as the role of a Vietnamese veteran from ‘Birdy’, we actually think that being a flip could result in greatness. For this character he required several facial injuries, so Nicolas decided to get 4 of his teeth extracted; he also covered his face in bandages that his character wore on-screen for 5 weeks straight, off sets. This apparently resulted in a lot of people growing scared of him.
Jared Leto – Suicide Squad
The Clown Prince of Crime is not a role that can be taken lightly, and Leto may have taken his preparation for the part even further than Ledger did. The 43 year old’s decision to stay in character in between takes isn’t all that out of the ordinary, but his gift-giving habits certainly were. He sent his fellow cast members a series of bizarre presents, including a box of bullets for co-star Will Smith and a live rat for Margot Robbie. He even sent the entire cast a video of him in character alongside a dead pig (with one later slapped onto their lunch table filled to the brim with shell casings). Apparently ‘method gift-giving’ is a thing nowadays.
Kate Winslet – The Reader