Ever wondered how Heath Ledger (god bless his soul), gave us a kick a** performance in the batman trilogy as the ultimate joker ? Or maybe if how Leonardo DiCaprio played his part so well as Calvin Candie in the movie Django Unchained ?
Both these actors, along with other few shared a common skill used in the industry called 'Method Acting' for portraying their roles to deliver the audience the perfect character for their assigned movies.
According to wikipedia, method acting can be described as, "a group of techniques actors use to create in themselves the thoughts and feelings of their characters, so as to develop lifelike performances."
Method-acting is a method of acquiring truth in character. Used well it is total immersion in a role "Getting under the skin of someone else." Becoming so convincing that the "Willing suspension of disbelief" follows for the audience and they and the other actors are able to accept the performance "as if" it were truth itself.
So here is a list pulling up the best method actors in the industry today.
Please be advised, this is a completely random order.
1. Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis is probably the most recognized method actor in the business.
For "My Left Foot", he refused to leave his character's wheelchair even when he wasn't filming. Before the project even began he went to various clinics to form friendships with several people with disabilities, some of whom had no speech.
For "The Last of the Mohicans," he spent six whole months in the wild, surviving on only animals he killed himself.
And finally for "Lincoln," he adopted the 16th president's American accent for months on end and spoke like that even at home.
It is even rumoured that while filming for "My Left Foot" he had broken two of his ribs due to the constant posture he had to keep for sitting on the wheel chair.
2. Shia LaBeouf
For the obvious reasons, I hated his whole performance in those horrible transformer movies. But that failure did not stop this man from achieving some serious yet amazing roles in a few movies.
For example, Shia really took acid to get into character for "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman.
He also had real sex on film for "Nymphomaniac." For "Fury," LaBeof cut his face to make his battle-hardened character look authentic.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio
From Titanic to the Great Gatsby, DiCaprio has showed us his many faces. He is also the reason why my girlfriend left me.
For "Django Unchained," Leonardo DiCaprio slammed his hand so hard on a table that he broke a glass and cut himself badly.
Instead of stopping for medical assistance, he kept going, never breaking out of character. That scene made it to the film's final cut, and the blood you see is really his!
4. Anne Hathaway
Time for the Catwoman to pounce.
To portray misfortunate Fantine in "Les Miserables," Hathaway put herself through a only-oatmeal diet that made her lose 25 pounds in two weeks.
She also cut her hair for real (when she could've used a wig) to capture the pain of a mother willing to do anything to keep her child alive.
5. Heath Ledger
I actually started crying when i heard of his demise. This man left a mark in this world as one of the greatest and most feared villains of the dc universe, resembling all the crazy talk, that creepy smile and don't forget all the killing techniques he used in the movie.
To get ready for his role as The Joker in "The Dark Knight," Ledger decided to descend into madness.
He locked himself in a room for a month, completely cut out from the rest of the world. No one knows what happened inside, but when he came out, his Oscar-winning performance blew everyone away.
He was so intense on set that by the end, crew members advised him to calm down... that he had gone too far.
A few months before the film's release, Ledger died of an overdose of prescription drugs... and many speculate his role as The Joker caused him to push it to the limit.
6. Michelle Williams
For "My Week With Marilyn," Michelle Williams obsessively listened to any Marilyn interview she could find over and over again.
She also tied a belt around her knees to perfect Marliyn's way of walking.
You might also realise that she is the good/white Witch from the movie Oz.
7. Kate Winslet
For "The Reader," Kate Winslet adopted her character's German accent 24 hours a day. Her kids were freaked out by her when she read bedtime stories with "a funny voice."
The actress plays a former Nazi concentration camp guard in the post-war drama, and put all her emotions into the intense role.
And Winslet, whose performance in the film won her a Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe, admits it took months for her to bid farewell to the character.
8. Ed Harris
By transforming into his characters and pulling the audience in, Ed Harris has earned the reputation as one of the most talented actors of our time.
For the movie "Pollock," Ed Harris delved into painting for real. He practiced for months to perfect the artist's peculiar technique.
In addition to gaining 30 pounds, Ed Harris watched a documentary and built a painting studio for "Pollock" so he could master the artist's famous painting technique.
9. Joaquin Phoenix
During "Walk the Line," Phoenix took months to learn how to sing and play the guitar. On the show with Letterman, he took it one step further when he asked the entire set to call him JR, Johnny Cash's real name.
"I'm embarrassed about it now," Phoenix told EW. "But when I heard "Joaquin" it just didn't feel right."
Phoenix shared he gets attached to all of his roles.
”When I did Gladiator, I thought that I would carry a sword with me everywhere. When I did Ladder 49, I didn’t want to let go of my turnout gear, and I didn’t believe that I could go through life without smelling smoke.
10. Christian Bale
Bale is the master of extreme weight loss and gain on screen.
To make himself look gaunt and sickly, Bale willingly dropped to 122 pounds for his role as insomniac, Trevor Resnick in "The Machinist" only eating a can of tuna and an apple a day.
Bale quickly gained nearly 100 pounds of muscle afterward for his role as The Dark Knight in "Batman Begins." However, director Christopher Nolan saw that as too bulky for the Caped Crusader and ordered the actor to lose 20.
Bonus: Michael Mando
This dude who gave the voice to one of the most iconic villains in the gaming industry. Turns out Vaas from Far Cry 3 was a product of Mando doing method acting.
His family reported that he got the hair, scars and the facial hair to look like the character and live his life by doing the day to day activities.
Jeez imagine going to the grocery like that and buying milk. He must have scared the shit out of some senior citizens for sure.
These are just a few of the actors/actresses who practice method acting.