Is Christian Bale the best method actor

Method acting extreme: actors who like to go too far

There are actors who just go about their job as normal. For them it is just that: a job. That would be the vast majority. And then there is the notorious "Method Actors", the craziest of them all.

One can understand different things by "method acting", but mostly the term is used when actors completely disappear into their roles, become one with them. When actors not only play their characters, but literally live them, regardless of losses. This includes a large portion of passion and the ability to suffer and probably always a certain degree of madness, there is hardly any other way to explain this extreme procedure.

Method acting polarizes, it's terrifying and impressive at the same time. Some of the best actors of all time practice it and push themselves to their physical, mental and intellectual limits (or beyond) each time, others get by without it. Everyone has to decide for themselves how they can best put themselves in the shoes of a character.

In the following we introduce you to stars who swear by method acting and their methods. Those in Hollywood who will stop at nothing to tease out the best possible performance, no matter how much they suffer from it. Of course, as always, we look forward to your suggestions, comments and additions!

Marlon Brando

In the beginning there was Brando

When talking about method acting, the name inevitably comes up Marlon Brando. He is considered one of the pioneers of high acting and grew beyond himself in his first film role when he was in The men a young war wounded man who was tied to bed because he was paraplegic was supposed to play. In preparation, Brando spent an entire month in a bed at the Birmingham Army Hospital in Van Nuys, California, to really experience the full range of psychological and emotional experiences and get as close as possible to this nightmare. Perhaps still relatively harmless by today's standards, but absolutely revolutionary at the time. And it was precisely this intensity, not to say obsession, that became Brando's trademark.

Robert De Niro

From neat to bold

AlsoRobert De Niro was a real acting chameleon at his best and is one of the greatest method actors ever. ForThe godfather 2 he moved to Sicily, where he perfected several Sicilian accents and thereby amazed even his Italian language trainers. ForTaxi driver he got the taxi driver's license and worked 12-hour shifts for three months. Even during breaks in filming, he is said to have drove passengers through New York City. ForNew York, New York he learned to play the saxophone professionally. And forLike a wild bull he first became a well-trained fighting machine before he was sent on a four-month vacation to France and Italy. The job: eat your way through! No problem for De Niro. He returned with 27 pounds more on his ribs than overweight older Jake LaMotta.

Dustin Hoffman

Always stay awake

Another one of the adventurous method-acting stories circulating about. In order to maintain the degrading physical and psychological condition of his character in The marathon manbetter to get across is supposed to be Dustin Hoffman Have refused to close an eye for days. So sleeping is forbidden. Nice example of different acting styles and ways of working: When he was his co-star Laurence Olivier Sitting comfortably on a chair, Hoffman asked him how he managed to make his performance look so real. Olivier thought for a moment and then replied: "Dear boy, it's called acting." As if Hoffman didn't know that himself! For Tootsie He also wore women's clothes off the set, forRain Man he learned a lot from real autistic people.

Choi Min-sik

We just say "squid"

Drastic method-acting measures are not only being used in Hollywood, the South Korean superstar Choi Min-sik is also known for them. Why, becomes clearest when you look at it Oldboy Look, the original by Chan-wook Park mind you, not the US remake. Choi played a man who was locked in a hotel room for 15 years and who seeks bloody revenge after his release. An enormous challenge, both psychologically and physically, but it was equal to it: Choi gained weight, shed weight and burned himself into his own flesh with a hot wire - ouch. Most disturbing and disgusting, however, is the scene in which he bites into a living squid and eats it in front of the camera. He had to do that seven times (!) With seven different squids.

Adrien Brody

A life for the Oscar

Adrien Brody To put them in a row with those mentioned so far may seem somewhat heretical. But he, too, knows what it means to give yourself completely to a role. That he for The pianist Learning to play the piano and practicing four hours a day was the bare minimum. And the 14 kilos that Brody lost in weight - for free. No, he really wanted to be able to empathize with how Wladyslaw Szpilman must have felt when he was torn from his old life. So Brody gave up on his too: he cleaned up his apartment, sold his car, unplugged the phones and moved to Europe with only two bags and his keyboard. The reward he deserves for so much self-sacrifice: at the age of 29, he was the first actor under 30 to take home the Oscar for best leading actor.

Christian Bale

Between the skeleton and the plauze

No one changes their weight as dramatically as Christian Bale, from one film to the next, he can suddenly be a completely different person. What seems to go so easily is hard work and requires more than just discipline. It started at American Psychowhere, like his character, he sweated for hours in the gym and didn't want to talk to anyone on set. Then it got really intense. ForThe machinist Bale starved himself down to a shocking 55 kilos, lost over 30 kilos and thus almost a third of his total weight. He would have carried on even if the producers hadn't stopped him out of concern for his life. Bale's "diet" was an apple and a can of tuna a day, and he smoked like a chimney. In the end, he was practically skin and bones. After filming was over, he immediately flipped the switch and added 45 kilos of muscle in just five months. The result was seen in Batman Begins. That he is not too good for anything was also proven by the paunch he was in American hustle in front of him or in Vice - the second manwhere he played Dick Cheney. No question about it, Bale is Hollywood's hunger artist.

Heath Ledger

Tragic but unforgettable

As the saying goes? The best always go too early. WithHeath Ledger it met a fantastic actor who was far from reaching his zenith and still had so much to do. Which we like his performance in moviesBrokeback Mountain orThe Dark Knight in no way want to belittle. His death shocked the world, and it was promptly speculated that his role as the Joker had just drained him too much. But no matter what the real reason, there is not the slightest doubt that Ledger has gotten into her intensely. For weeks he hid in a hotel room to research, find the right voice and the right laugh, and keep a diary with notes, drawings and clippings. Much to the annoyance of some crew members, he is said to have stayed mostly "in character" during the filming (like the Suicide Squad-Joker Jared Leto also). The Oscar posthumously was compulsory.

Daniel Day-Lewis

Born to be a method actor

The man who has internalized method acting like no other. WhatDaniel Day-Lewis for his roles is the stuff that legends are made of. It would take all day to list all of his methods, so we'll only limit ourselves to the craziest ones.

At My left foot he did not want to leave his wheelchair even when it was not being turned. ForThe boxer he trained for a year and a half with a former heavyweight champion, who later attested that he could have boxed professionally. ForThe last of the Mohicans he lived in the wild for six months, and on set he was reluctant to eat anything he hadn't killed himself. At Witch hunt he insisted on real tattoos instead of peelable ones. Close during the winter shoot Gangs of New York he caught pneumonia because he just didn't want to wear warm clothes that were historically inaccurate. AtLincoln everyone had to address him as "Mr. President". He forbade anyone with a British accent to speak to him for fear of being dissuaded from his American one. Well, and his performance in There Will Be Blood speaks for itself. A phenomenon, this Day Lewis.

Other extreme cases of method acting

What else was there?

Of course, we haven't included all of the method actors Hollywood has to offer here. Wasn't even possible. Other stars of the older ones (like Al Pacino) and younger generation (like Jake Gyllenhaal, please referNightcrawler - Every night has its price vs. Southpaw) show particular commitment when it comes to delivering acting that is as authentic as possible. We would like to give you a few more examples.

Hilary Swank, for example, is slated for her transsexual Oscar role inBoys don't cry Lived as Brandon (your character in the film) for a month, showing themselves in public in an attempt to integrate themselves into society. Yes, women can do method acting too!Tom Hanks took for Cast Away first hard and then hard to look like someone just looks when - fully fed and ripped from civilization - stuck on a lonely island for years. Because he wanted to live like that, he didn't have a wound on his leg treated, which gave him a nasty infection. Only a few hours longer, a doctor later told him, and he would have gotten potentially fatal blood poisoning.

Nicolas Cage wanted the pain of his Birdy-Charakters (a Vietnam veteran) on my own body and had teeth pulled without anesthesia. He also walked around with his face heavily bandaged for five weeks.Billy Bob Thornton brought out forSling blade the proper shuffle by putting shards of glass in his shoes that made him hobble.Shia LaBeouf took in advance of Long live Charlie Countryman LSD, filmed his drug trip and sent the video to co-star Evan Rachel Wood for feedback. It should look realistic in the film.Vincent D'Onofrio put forFull metal jacket an insane 30 kilos and holds the record for the greatest weight gain an actor.

Yes, even at Sylvester Stalloneone can detect a dangerous tendency towards method acting. AsRocky 4 - The fight of the century was shot, he challenged his opponentDolph Lundgren to really knock him out. Bad idea: Lundgren hit him so hard that his pericardium swelled and pressed on his heart, which usually happens in car accidents. Sly had to go to the hospital and was in the intensive care unit for several days. If that's not method acting, what is it?