5 Stars Who’ve Done Weird/Crazy Things to Get Into Character

Perhaps going after a top award or just hoping to wow with their performance, these 5 stars have gone that extra mile to make sure they’re exactly like their character. By putting themselves through experiences that their character went through, forcing themselves to think like the role they are playing or simply just undergoing a dramatic makeover in order to look exactly like the person they’ll be, these 5 actors and actresses are clearly very devoted to getting their job just right and do everything they can to investigate their part in order to take it to a whole new level. Aiming to impress and to do the most astounding job they can do, they’ve done some pretty weird and crazy things in order to achieve their goal!



Ben Foster

ben foster

Ben lived on the streets for two weeks for his part in ‘Rampart’: “Just living in those clothes helped me, getting my stink in it. It was a great exercise in empathy and being present because everyone is reduced to, ‘Well, there’s no roof here,’ if you’re not getting into the shelter that night and it’s raining. I was trading cigarettes for Fig Newtons. It’s tough at night. There’s violence there but there’s also a beautiful community that tries to take care of their own. You have families sleeping next to families. I went out with a piece of cardboard, a knapsack and my wardrobe – bare bones. I was sleeping head to feet along the buildings and I took my experience back to (director) Oren (Moverman) and some things felt right. Like a journalist, you bring it (to) your editor/director and hope they don’t cut the s**t out of it and they honour what you brought them.”

Denzel Washington

For the film ‘Deja Vu’, Denzel got a tip from a real agent that brushing his teeth was his way to stay awake, so he used it to prepare for the role and it was included in the film: “When he would get tired working 20, 30 hours at a time he said to me, ‘If you brush your teeth it’s like getting an hour’s sleep.’ I put that in the movie and I brushed my teeth in the scene. I like finding real people and using their methods in the film.”

Hugh Grant

Hugh may have only been providing a voice for ‘The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists’ but he used to stroke an imaginary beard to get into character: ”Between sessions you forget the character because it can be months and months and then you’re hauled back in to do some more voicing. I found stroking an imaginary beard very helpful. That or I’d stroke Peter’s (Peter Lord, the film’s director).”

Reese Witherspoon

Reese could have worn a wig for her role in ‘Water for Elephants’ but she decided to dramatically cut and dye her hair instead: “I debated about whether or not I was going to wear a wig. Ultimately, after lots of discussion and screen-testing, I decided, ‘I’m just going to cut my hair. I’m just going to dye it white. I’m just going to do it.’ It was really transforming for me. I didn’t even recognize myself. It’s a real gift, as an actress, to have people around you, who are artisans that are the best at what they do, creating period costumes for you and set design. It’s a very collaborative medium. You’re only as good as the people that you collaborate with, so we were very lucky to have the best people in the business designing the film.”

Sean Bean

When preparing for his part in ‘Accused’ in which he played a man going through a sex change, Sean decided to see what it was really like by heading out in women’s clothing: “(I got into character) by walking round in high heels in the kitchen at home… and one night I went out … arm-in-arm with my middle daughter. I wanted to find out what it felt like, whether I’d be able to pull it off and have the bottle to function in that situation. I must have been pretty good, no pictures turned up in the press. Someone even complimented me on my shoes. I’ve still got four pairs of size-10 heels lying about my house. I forgot to give them back.”