Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Please enjoy these stories of method actors going to ridiculous extremes

Photo: Lars Niki/Getty Images

We think of method acting these days normally in terms of its extremes—stories of actors refusing to bathe, destroying their metabolism for a role, or insisting on being called by their characters’ name even when off set. The idea of living the experiences of your character in order to better portray them has certainly created some great screen performances, but it’s nevertheless a source of eye-rolling. “Actors!” we chortle when we hear about another purported “powerhouse” performance in which someone wore the same socks for nine months.

A new video from Mindchop plays to each end of this perception, containing both the ridiculous stories of artistic excess and the theatrical accomplishments achieved as a result.

Many of these have turned into myths over time: the dangerous weight loss of Christian Bale, Adrien Brody, and Robert De Niro, the monklife fervency of Heath Ledger’s preparation for The Dark Knight, Hillary Swank telling neighbors she was actually Hillary Swank’s brother. Daniel Day-Lewis, the king of any list like this, reportedly spent so long in preparation to play Abraham Lincoln that he would text Sally Field in character and demand that she respond to him in kind. Whether doing so will get you, too, an Oscar is unknown, but it is certainly a good thing to spend your Monday afternoon doing for fun.


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