10 Actors Who Did Strange Things To Land A Role

10. Chris Hemsworth

On the surface, it may not look like Chris Hemsworth did anything particularly strange to prepare for the movie Heart of the Sea. Investigate a little further, though, and you’ll learn that Hemsworth went on a rigid 500 calorie per day diet to land and prepare for the role. The usually jacked Hemsworth dropped a ton of muscle to look the part of Owen Chase in the Moby Dick inspired film. While dropping weight is nothing new for actors looking to land big roles, it’s definitely unnerving – and a tad strange – to see a guy like Hemsworth looking as disheveled and sickly as he does in the before-and-after photo above.
10. Chris Hemsworth

9. Matthew McConaughey

When you think of Matthew McConaughey, you think of the well built, handsome man driving around Lincolns and rocking top of the line suits like few others can – not as a skin-and-bones cowboy. McConaughey took the weight loss challenge to an interesting level for his role as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club, as he only ate chicken and egg whites to lose close to 40 pounds for the role. Safe to say McConaughey went on an eating spree as soon as the cast and crew had wrapped up the final scene was over.
9. Matthew McConaughey

8. Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf went from lovable Even Stevens child actor to inspiring hero in Transformers to…well, its hard to pin down what exactly happened to the once seemingly mild-mannered actor, but it would appear that some of his role preparations have done more than leave some form of physical mark or scar.
8. Shia LaBeouf

7. Jared Leto

Jared Leto pulled out all the stops to land and prepare for his role as Rayon in the recent hit Dallas Buyers Club. Leto slid right into the role of a transgender by not only interacting with transgenders in real life, but by losing 30 pounds, shaving his eyebrows and waxing his entire body. On top of that, he lived out the character’s life and intertwined it with the struggles he dealt with during the preparation for the role, mainly by dressing up as Rayon and reportedly going to the grocery store to “stare at the food I wasn’t eating”, along with trying to better understand the type of judgement transgenders have to deal with in public on a daily basis.
7. Jared Leto

6. Adrian Brody

Adrian Brody likely could have stopped pushing the limits of his preparation for his role in The Pianist at intensive piano lessons and extreme weight loss, but that didn’t seem enough for Brody – so he pushed it even further. Brody won an Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Wladyslaw Szpilman, and he credits it to his desire to be truthful to the role by feeling what it was like to lose everything in his own life, so that he could carry that feeling over to his role. Brody sold his New York apartment, got rid of his car and turned off his cellphone for the entire duration of the shooting of the film – and while it couldn’t have been easy, his strange method of preparation worked like a charm.
6. Adrian Brody

5. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams

It’s one thing to practice lines with a fellow cast member to prepare for an upcoming role – it’s another thing entirely to put your life on hold to live the life of your characters as a way to land and prepare for a movie role. That didn’t stop Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, though, who took their preparation for Blue Valentine to another level by living together (with their on-screen daughter, no less) to fully acclimate themselves to not only each other, but the roles themselves, in an attempt to spark the characters’ chemistry before ever stepping onto the set.
5. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams

4. Heath Ledger

While Heath Ledger was able to pull off arguably one of the greatest portrayals of a villain in movie history (let alone the best performance of a Batman enemy), the toll it took on body and mind ultimately proved to be too much for the Oscar-winning actor. Ledger took the lead-up to the job to unimaginable levels, doing nearly everything possible to become the psychotic character by barely sleeping and scribbling a “Joker’s journal” to truly capture the role.
4. Heath Ledger

3. Hillary Swank

Hillary Swank might have put in the most dedicated effort of all the actors on this list to land and prepare for her role as Brandon Teena in the film Boys Don’t Cry, as she decided to live as a man in the lead-up to the filming of the movie.
3. Hillary Swank

2. Daniel Day-Lewis

In an attempt to fully embrace his role in the 1996 film The Crucible, Daniel Day-Lewis virtually transported himself back to the 17th century to land and prepare for his role. Not only did he not bathe throughout the entire filming of the movie, he lived on the set without any modern amenities – notably electricity and water (thus the lack of showers) – and went as far as building the house used in the movie using only tools that would have been available in the time the movie was set. One can imagine the kind of stench he must have worked up building a house with tools that were that outdated, so you can only wonder about the kind of horrendous odor the cast and crew had to deal with throughout the filming of the movie.
2. Daniel Day-Lewis

1. Jamie Dornan

It can’t be easy trying to get into the mind of a serial killer, but Jamie Dornan found a way – even though it was admittedly a little creepy…OK, very, very creepy.
1. Jamie Dornan