Anne Hathaway is known for being a phenomenal actress who often plays extremely different characters from film to film. If you remember her from her ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ days, you were probably shocked when you saw her playing Fantine in 2012’s ‘Les Miserables’. Some say that Hathaway got a bit obsessed with the role, deciding to shave her head and lose 10 kilos on a strict oatmeal-only diet.
Hathaway wanted to embody the suffering of Fantine, and she certainly looked like she was. The actress later admitted that the role took a considerable physical and psychological toll on her. Obviously, her performance was outstanding.
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Leonardo DiCaprio is known for being a method actor, completely committing to his roles in every film he's been a part of, and 2015's 'The Revenant' was no exception. DiCaprio played Hugh Glass, a tough frontiersman that is badly injured by a bear attack and abandoned by his crew to survive in the wilderness on his own.
To fully embody the character, DiCaprio decided to stick to a purely raw meat diet (which was especially hard, considering he's a vegan) and sleep in real animal carcasses. Now, that's commitment.
Adrien Brody – The Pianist
'The Pianist' is a masterpiece of a film; gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, and unforgettable. A big part of that is Adrien Brody's stellar performance as Wladyslaw Szpilman. Of course, playing the part of a Jewish musician during WWII in Nazi-occupied Poland is not an easy character to portray, and Brody went the extra mile to make it as realistic as possible.
The actor dedicated his every moment to learning the role - he lost 12 kilos, broke up with his girlfriend, sold his phone, his car, and his apartment, and basically made sure that he was as miserable in real life as he is in the film. It worked, though, since Brody became the youngest actor to ever win an Oscar for Best Actor, at the age of 29.
Michelle Williams – My Week With Marilyn
Michelle Williams got to play the one and only Marilyn Monroe in the 2011 film, 'My Week With Marilyn". Obviously, this was a very important role, and Williams wanted to get it just right, so she decided to tie a belt around her legs in order to pull off Monroe's famous walk.
Williams spent weeks learning about Marilyn's life and inner persona. So much so that she even admitted that she had a feeling that Monroe had "taken over".
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Actress Natalie Portman pushed herself right to the edge when it came to the film "Black Swan." Not only did she explore the psychical state of a mentally disturbed ballet dancer, but she also transformed herself physically too. The actress lost 20 pounds for the role making her pretty dangerously thin. While she did have a double, she did practice ballet with a number of dance instructors in a very demanding program.
The actress claims to not belong to the method school of acting and does not use past experiences when channeling certain emotions during her acting but that doesn't mean she didn't go through a lot for this role. Portraying a disturbed ballerina is no walk in the park.