Actors Who Made Big Time Sacrifices for Movie Roles

The movie industry can be brutal and demanding. While fans are dazzled by the glitz, glam and fame, actors often have to endure physical changes, psychological trauma, give up other opportunities and family time to make it big. So the next time that you’re being entertained by amazing actors while munching on popcorn and having soda, remember the sacrifices they’ve made to give a memorable performance that you can enjoy.

1. Sylvester Stallone

After dropping out of college to pursue an acting career, Sylvester Stallone only landed some uncredited roles. He began writing scripts but struggled with that too until he sold one for only $100. He was motivated to write a script which became the movie “Rocky,” after watching a boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner. He was given a $125,000 offer for his script which he rejected because he wanted to star in the movie. He got the role; however, he received only $35,000 for the script and a small percentage of the movie’s earnings. Stallone sacrificed thousands but it launched his successful career and he’s now worth millions.

2. Christian Bale

For the 2020 movie Reign of Fire, Christian Bale weighed 183 pounds of mostly muscle. Less than two years later, for his role in The Machinist, Bale went through a period of extreme weight loss and was 120 pounds. His daily diet consisted of black coffee, a can of tuna fish and an apple. To suppress his appetite he had a packet of cigarettes. Although he wanted to lose a few more pounds, his doctors advised against it because he ran the risk of not surviving. Just a few months later, Bale landed a role in Batman Returns and gained sixty-eight pounds. He was all ripped again.

3. Adrien Brody

Adrien Brody was selected for the movie The Pianist which is based on true events of World War II. He lost thirty pounds in a short period while on a diet of boiled eggs, small portions of fish or chicken and steamed vegetables. This got him quite cranky which was ideal for his character. He became a recluse in a sense to get into character. Brody moved away from family and friends, turned off his phone, had limited conversations, made no connections with people or possessions to get into character.

4. Joaquin Phoenix

Imagine making everyone believe that you had lost your mind all for a film. Well, in a nutshell, this is what happened in Phoenix’s case for the film “I’m Still Here.” He appeared on various talk shows making weird comments, looking disheveled, and claiming to want to leave acting to become a rapper. The latter he actually did. There was much speculation from the public about what caused him to lose it. It was later revealed that this was all for a documentary to show the negative sides to the life of a celebrity. It was called performance art, although many people didn’t believe it was a ruse.

5. Daniel Day-Lewis

For all of Daniel Day-Lewis’ films, he does much research on the character and goes through method acting. In the 1989’s My Left Foot, Lewis stayed in a wheelchair for so long that he hurt two ribs. For his role in The Last of the Mohicans, Lewis spent six months in the wilderness learning to live off what nature provides. Lewis got pneumonia when he didn’t wear a coat as he prepared for Gangs of New York. He certainly went to great lengths to prepare for his various roles. 

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