The acting business is indeed difficult. It requires an awful lot of determination and sacrifices to rise up as a top-tier acting artist. It’s not just about the acting skills that count but the changes that one has to go through to become suitable for the roles and scenes that are given by the directors. To achieve this feat, some actors got so crazily involved in the roles that the process affected them and their lives changed somehow and not always for good. Following is the list of 10 such actors who got too involved in their movie roles that it affected their lives.
1. Mila Kunis in Black Swan
Mila Kunis lost 20 pounds in just three months to prepare for the movie Black Swan in 2010, and when she started gaining weight again after the movie, it seriously damaged her body as she acquired weight in completely different parts of her body.
The actress was already lean before preparing for the role of Natalie Portman’s ballerina frenemy in the movie Black Swan. After losing 20 pounds for the role, she was at 95 pounds and was very skinny. The major problem with her weight loss journey was that she used unhealthy ways to achieve it. She mentioned that she used to eat very few calories and smoked a lot of cigarettes.
She was completely in bad shape when she regained her weight after the movie. All the weight that she lost was shifted to her hips and stomach this time, and that entirely changed the shape of her body.
Expert dieticians say that redistribution of weight after drastic weight loss and gain is not uncommon. The primary reason for that is when you decrease the weight, you lose your muscle tissues, but when you gain the weight back, it comes as fats. (1, 2)
2. Adrian Brody in The Pianist
Adrian gave away his apartment, sold his car, broke up his long-term relationship, and moved to Europe to immerse himself in the role of Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist. The memories of the movie haunted him for years, but his dedicated method acting made him the youngest actor to win an Oscar Award for Best Actor at the age of 28.
He completely gave up his comfortable lifestyle at the age of 28 to get as close as he possibly could to his character, Wladyslaw Szpilman, who was a Jewish pianist who lost everything including his home and family yet survived in the Warsaw Ghetto holocaust.
Brody was dedicated to giving an authentic performance in the movie, so he gave up his apartment, sold his car, broke up with his partner, and moved to Europe. He learned piano by practicing for hours and playing for specific scenes. He dropped his weight by 30 pounds. He said he wanted to experience the desperation that comes with hunger and without that, he couldn’t have acted the way he did.
3. Bob Hoskins in Who Framed Roger Rabbit
This British actor was on the edge of insanity because of the role he played for eight months in an animation film Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988. He literally hallucinated the cartoon characters of the movie for months.
Hoskins had to act by listening to the cartoon characters’ voices and imagining them on the set. The voices were added later through animators in the production process. This practice affected Hoskins’s mental health severely. He began seeing the characters even after the shooting was over.
Hosking did this for eight months straight and began hallucinating the characters in real life, and said it was very hard for him to get rid of them.
This problem grew so dramatically that it was noticeable to his younger daughter and other people when he attended various events. (source)
4. Bill Skarsgard in It
The actor who played the role of Pennywise in the horror movie It got so involved that he formed a relationship with the horror character and was haunted by it in his dreams after he was done filming the movie.
Bill was always trying to figure out what kind of creature this bloodthirsty monster was and spent hours thinking about it. He mentioned that despite him being in a very miserable psychological condition, he enjoyed it and was having fun doing the role.
For instance, Bill thought that he was over Pennywise when he went to his childhood home in Sweden after the filming. He was so relieved that he didn’t have to deal with the darkness of the character anymore, but actually, he couldn’t get rid of him in his dreams.
Every night the monster visited Bill in his dreams in different forms, either in the way that Bill was dealing with the monster as a separate entity or Pennywise was inside him.
The fact that Pennywise visited Bill in his dreams got him a little bit excited, and he said he actually liked the process of letting go of that monster, even if it was daunting. The actor now says, “I’m good with it.” (source)
5. Sara Paulson in The People v. O.J, Simpson
Sara developed a smoking habit that damaged her health because she played the role of Marcia Clark at the age of 41 in an anthology series named The People v. O.J. Simpson.
During a sit-down conversation on the Late Show, Sara Paulson admitted to Stephen Colbert that she started smoking after the role of Marcia Clark in the American Crime story series The People v. O.J. Simpson.
She went through a lot of coughing when she just started doing it for the scenes, but eventually, she went all crazy and got hooked to smoking. She was shooting simultaneously for another American horror story for which she had to smoke too when she was acting as Marcia Clark.
Speaking of Marcia Clark, Paulson had mentioned publicly how far she went to mimic the character’s micro habits and physical features. Paulson started using her left hand in real life since Clark was left-handed and also pointed out or jutted out her chin and jaw while doing the courtroom scenes exactly how Clark did. (1, 2)