Christian Bale Tops "Most Extreme Movie Roles" Poll
Christian Bale has topped a “most extreme movie role” poll for his part as Trevor Reznik in The Machinist (2004). The poll was published by LOVEFiLM (2011) and voted by movie fans. The 6’0 (183cm) actor famously lost 62lbs (28kg) for the role, crash dieting his body weight down to a skeletal 121lbs (55kg). Following The Machinist, Bale had to immediately bulk up for Batman Begins (2005). With the deadline of six months and the help of a personal trainer, he put on 100lbs (45kg) to play the muscular “Caped Crusader”.
Robert De Niro came in at second place for putting on 60lbs (27kg) and going through intensive boxing training for his portrayal of Jack LaMotta in Raging Bull (1980). De Niro is widely known for his dedication to the characters he portrays. For Taxi Driver (1976) he spent several weeks driving a cab around New York, and he had his teeth ground down by a dentist for Cape Fear (1991).
Charlize Theron is ranked third for her part as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003). In a transformation from her usual stunning beauty, Theron binged on junk food to stack on 30lbs (13.6kg), wore prosthetic teeth, bleached her eyebrows, ruined her hair and went through hours of make up sessions to degrade her looks.
Daniel Day-Lewis is positioned fourth, for the many hours he spent confined to a wheelchair while playing the paralyzed Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989). Day-Lewis insisted on staying in character even off camera, the crew had to push and lift him around the set in the wheelchair. He even ended up with two damaged ribs from the prolonged time he spent hunched over in the chair. Day-Lewis is one of the leading “method actors” in Hollywood and always demonstrates strong commitment to getting into the skin of his characters. For The Last of the Mohicans (1992), he spent an extended period of time living in the wilderness, learning how to hunt and survive off the land. He took lessons as an apprentice butcher for Gangs of New York (2002), trained in boxing for The Boxer (1997), and spent time in a jail cell for In the Name of the Father (1993).
Tom Hanks is placed fifth for losing 55lbs (25kg) for the role of island stranded Chuck Noland in Cast Away (2000). In an interview with talktalk.co.uk, Hanks also reveals he suffered a serious infection from a knee wound while filming, and as a result of coming near to blood poisoning, he had to undergo surgery.
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- More Extreme Movie Roles
Here are some more examples of actors that have shown extraordinary commitment to their roles.