10+ Actors Who Took The Term 'Method Acting' Way Too Far

Listen, there's a reason it's called "acting" people. It's so when the cameras stop rolling, you don't have to be that person anymore.

Then again, if it makes the performance better, who am I to judge?

Shia LaBeouf


So, for those of you who don't know, Shia LaBeouf was in this movie called Nymphomaniac were... well, the main character enjoyed bumping uglies.

During those scenes, for most of the cast, doubles were used.

Well, not for Shia. He bore it all and left everything on the set.

Choi Min-Sik


Choi Min-Sik's acting is one of the best on earth, and that's showcased in the movie Oldboy.

He burns his own skin, he eats an octopus even though he's a vegetarian, the man is truly committed.

Hilary Swank


In Boys Don't Cry, Hilary Swank was tasked with playing Brandon Teena, a real-life transgender man who was killed in a hate crime.

For a month she bound her breasts, lost weight and got a whole bunch of manly features.

Aaron Eckhart


He did his best to fake the grief that follows the death of a child in Rabbit Hole.

He went to support groups for parents who had actually experienced it, going as far as to tell a fake story.

Chloe Sevigny


So.... yeah... I didn't even know they were allowed to do this in movies, but apparently, in one called The Brown Bunny actress Chloe Sevigny's intimate scene was...real.

And you see everything too, I looked it up. For research purposes, obviously.

Christian Bale


This horrific creature you see above you is actually Christian Bale, one of the most attractive men in Hollywood.

It's from the movie The Machinist and in the weeks leading up to it, Bale would literally eat only a can of tuna and an apple a day.

Daniel Day-Lewis


This guy is my generation's king of method acting. Building houses, getting people to call him Mr. President and of course, his off-screen antics in My Left Foot.

Before the movie was even filmed, he spent 8 weeks in a clinic in Dublin specifically for patients with cerebral palsy. Then he would ride around set, still acting like he had the disease.

Jared Leto


While Jared Leto was portraying the Joker in Suicide Squad, he did some pretty wacky stuff. And by wacky, I mean annoying.

He sent condoms (not used, but taken out of the packaging), live rats and other things to his fellow cast mates. Just like the real Joker would do, he said, sarcastically.

Billy Bob Thorton


This next entry is not for the faint of heart. Apparently, Billy Bob Thorton would walk around with glass in his shoes while he was in Slingblade.

He wanted to make the walk more "awkward and consistent."

Malcolm McDowell


During the famous "forced watching" scene in Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell was temporarily blinded and had some cornea damaged due to the device he had to wear.

Now that's commitment.

Adrien Brody


While preparing for the movie The Pianist, Adrien Brody wanted to know what it was like to lose everything.

So, he sold his New York apartment, sold his car, turned off his cell phone, broke up with his girlfriend, lost 30 pounds and started taking piano lessons.

Jamie Dornan


In the BBC Two thriller The Fall, Jamie Dornan plays a psychopathic serial killer (is there any other kind?).

For a while, the actor actually stalked a woman, following her around.

Jim Carrey


Obviously, we're talking Man On The Moon here.

The movie where Jim Carrey essentially became comedian Andy Kaufman, much to the detriment of every single person around him.

Marlon Brando


One of the greatest actors of all time, it was in The Men where he did his best method acting.

He spent a month in a military hospital, relying mostly on upper body strength and watching the other patients.

Jamie Foxx


This one is the weirdest of them all.

For his role as Ray Charles in the movie, Ray, Jamie Foxx had his eyes glued shut, his teeth chipped and he lost 30 pounds.

Joaquin Phoenix

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Phoenix famously gave an incredibly uncomfortable and unsettling interview with David Letterman where he appeared to be on drugs, but it turns out he was simply in character for the faux-documentary I'm Still Here. Phoenix spent two years totally committed to this character, nearly tanking his career in the process.


Legendary drag queen (and inspiration for Ursula from The Little Mermaid) Divine was known for going above and beyond in movies, especially at the encouragement of cult director John Waters.

In a famous scene in Waters' film Pink Flamingos, Divine eats dog poop. That's gross enough before I tell you that Divine really did it in real life.


Nicolas Cage


Cage is famous for his unique dedication and commitment to his roles. In Vampire's Kiss, Cage showed an intense level of devotion to the craft of acting inthe scene where his character eats a live cockroach. Yep. You guessed it. Cage actually ate that cockroach.

Halle Berry

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Halle Berry was extremely committed to performing her role in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever that she lived in a crack den for a number of weeks, and also stopped showering.

I admire her dedication, but I do not envy those who had to stand near her during filming.

Dustin Hoffman


Meryl Streep did not deserve the way Dustin Hoffman treated her on the set of their film Kramer vs. Kramer. Hoffman wanted a more method performance out of Streep, and went so far as slapping her before a scene to get her angry and teary. he also made cruel remarks about Streep's recent tragedy of her boyfriend passing away.

Leonardo DiCaprio


Leo really wanted that Oscar. The Revenant was filmed outside in all natural light, so DiCaprio was facing near constant hypothermia. He also slept in animal carcasses and ate raw bison for the role.

He finally won, though!

Ashton Kutcher


Kutcher was so dedicated to playing Steve Jobs accurately in Jobs that he even followed Jobs' famous "fruititarian" diet. This diet left Kutcher hospitalized two days before filming started, and it was causing damage to his pancreas. Jobs himself passed away from pancreatic cancer, so it was enough to spook some sense into Kutcher.

Natalie Portman


For Black Swan, Natalie Portman embodied the role of a professional ballerina. Not only did she take intensive ballet lessons for a year before filming, she went on a strict diet, losing 20lbs. This may not sound like all that much, but during filming Natalie was down to a staggeringly light 98lbs.