17 Thoroughly Unhinged Things Actors Have Done To Get Into Character For A Role

1.Recently, Jacob Elordi — who plays Elvis in the upcoming Priscilla movie — revealed that he ate about a pound of burned bacon daily to prepare for the role, because the real-life Priscilla told the film's director, Sofia Coppola, that Elvis really enjoyed eating burned bacon.

split photos of him in real life and him in the movie
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2.Speaking of celebs who played Elvis, Austin Butler also had his own specific list of things he did to get in the zone to play the titular character of Baz Luhrmann's Elvis. This included not seeing his family for three years, drinking melted Häagen-Dazs ice cream, and eating dozens of donuts to gain weight.

closeup of him at an event and then of him in character as elvis
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3.Austin got the melted Häagen-Dazs idea from Ryan Gosling, who would drink the stuff whenever he was thirsty in preparation to play the father in The Lovely Bones. He gained 60 pounds for the role, but unfortunately, the director and producers disagreed with his vision of what the character should look like and dropped him from the project before production began. Ultimately, Mark Wahlberg played the father.

closeup of ryan showing off a greta gerwig shirt
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4.For her to get into character as Barbie and for Ryan Gosling to get into character as Ken, Margot Robbie gave Ryan a pink present with a pink bow every single day on set. Because Ken's job is beach, every item was beach-themed, like puka shell necklaces.

the two on the red carpet and then the two in the movie wearing cowboy outfits
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5.Robert De Niro got a taxi driver's license and allegedly worked as a real-life taxi driver for a short time to get into character for his role of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver in 1976.

him currently and him in the movie driving a taxi
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Twitter: @nyctaxi

6.Tom Hiddleston not only spent a day with a forensic pathologist to prepare for his role in High-Rise — he even sat in on an actual autopsy. He described the experience to The Telegraph, saying, "I watched them cut a man open...I couldn’t handle it. What overwhelmed me was the smell. I had to go outside and vomit."

side by side of him at an event and in the film
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7.In preparation to play Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci, Lady Gaga spoke in an Italian accent for nine months, stayed in character — on and off screen — for 18 months, and "wrote like an 80-page biography" about Patrizia to understand her inside and out.

side by side of her and her in character
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8.Ashton Kutcher converted to "fruititarianism" — a fruit-centric, vegetarian diet that Steve Jobs himself followed — while preparing for the titular role in Jobs. In doing so, he "drank carrot juice all day" and — according to his wife Mila Kunis — "only ate grapes at one point." He was hospitalized twice during the time for pancreatitis.

side by side of him in a suit and playing steve jobs working on a computer
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9.Leonardo DiCaprio slept in animal carcasses and ate an uncooked bison liver for his Oscar-winning role in The Revenant. In fact, you can see him eating the raw liver in the final cut of the film, as director Alejandro Iñárritu kept it in.

side by side closeups of him and his character
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10.While filming The Lighthouse, Robert Pattinson did not shy away from bodily fluids to embody Thomas Howard. He told Esquire, "I spent so much time making myself throw up. Pissing my pants. It’s the most revolting thing." He perhaps embraced it too much, as it created some on-set drama with his costar Willem Dafoe, who was less than pleased by Pattinson trying to make himself actually gag, eyeing to director Robert Eggers that he'd leave set if he was thrown up on.

closeup of the two on the red carpet and on the film
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11.Rosamund Pike prepared for her character to kill in Gone Girl by going to a butcher and asking if she could use a box cuter on one of their pig carcasses to practice. She told Collider, "If you’re going to do something like that, you have to do it with a certain degree of accuracy. I had no idea how much force you needed to slice someone’s throat....They let me do it, so anyone buying meat that day would have seen me behind the counter, with serious intent, finding out the mechanics of doing that. That was purely for research purposes."

side by side of her and her character
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12.On the set of Ray, Jamie Foxx had his eyes glued shut for 14 hours a day and covered with prosthetics made to resemble Ray Charles's eyelids while playing the titular character, so he, too, couldn't see. He revealed that he had panic attacks due to it for the first couple weeks of filming.

side by side of him and him in character
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13.To play Mary Anning in the sapphic period piece Ammonite, Kate Winslet immersed herself in the life of the 1840s paleontologist by living in a cold cottage by the beach that often lost power.

closeups of her on the red carpet and her in character
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14.On an episode of The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Halle Berry revealed that, to prepare for her role first film role in Jungle Fever as a crack addict, she "didn’t shower or take a bath for like two weeks.”

side by side of her at an event and in the movie
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15.In preparation to play Władysław in The Pianist, Adrien Brody scaled back to only the necessities. He told BBC, "I gave up my apartment, I sold my car, I disconnected the phones, and I left....I took two bags and my keyboard and moved to Europe."

closeups of him in real life and him in character for the movie
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16.Jennifer Lopez did everything she could to get into character as Selena Quintanilla in Selena, including watching every interview she could find, talking with her family, and — oh yeah! — sleeping in Selena's actual bed.

j.lo as selena
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17.And finally, to prepare to play serial killer Paul Spector in The Fall, Jamie Dornan stalked a woman on the same train as him. He told the LA Times, "I, like, followed a woman off the train one day to see what it felt like to pursue someone like that. I really kept my distance and was aware, it was kinda half-hearted....She got off a few stops earlier than I was planning, so I said, 'Right, I have to commit to this.' So, I followed her around a couple of street corners and then I was like: what are you doing?...It felt kind of exciting, in a really sort of dirty way...I’m sort of not proud of myself. But I do honestly think I learned something from it, because I’ve obviously never done something like that."

closeup of him and his character
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Are there any other actors who did some wild, unbelievable things to get into character for a role? If so tell us about it in the comments below.