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Robert Pattinson Masturbated To Completion On Set, And 17 More Wild Things Celebrities Did For Their Movie Roles

Daniel Day-Lewis refused to get out of his wheelchair while he filmed My Left Foot and damaged two ribs because of it — he insisted that the crew spoon-feed him.
Daniel Day-Lewis refused to get out of his wheelchair while he filmed My Left Foot and damaged two ribs because of it — he insisted that the crew spoon-feed him.

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Daniel Day-Lewis refused to get out of his wheelchair while he filmed My Left Foot and damaged two ribs because of it — he insisted that the crew spoon-feed him.

Because real-life artist Christy Brown, whose memoir inspired the film, could only control his left foot, Daniel also learned how to paint using a knife that he held between his toes. 

Hilary Swank tried to
Hilary Swank tried to

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Hilary Swank tried to "pass as a boy" by cutting her hair, binding her breasts, speaking in a lower register, and putting socks down the front of her pants while she prepared to play transgender man Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry.

Hilary went on to win an Oscar for her performance in the film, but in 2020 she said she felt a trans actor "would obviously be a lot more right for the role."

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga

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Lady Gaga "lived" as Patrizia Reggiani for a "year and a half" and only spoke in an Italian accent for nine of those months while filming House of Gucci.

She told British Vogue, "It is three years since I started working on it, and I will be fully honest and transparent: I lived as [Reggiani] for a year and a half. And I spoke with an accent for nine months of that. Off camera. I never broke. I stayed with her.”

Will Smith admitted he
Will Smith admitted he

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Will Smith admitted he "went too far" while working on Emancipation and got stuck in literal chains. He said he "wanted to feel the degradation of slavery" but was on the "hyperventilating edge" when the prop master lost the key to the chains.

He told Kevin Hart, “Just bringing it up, I start to get teary. I wanted to feel the degradation of slavery, and I went too far in. That level of human brutality… I had the chains on my neck and we were working. I wanted the real weight of them. I wanted real chains. They put it on my neck and they were fitting it for size, and the prop master went to put the key in and it didn’t work."

He added, “I’m standing there and they’re running around, and they couldn’t get me out of it. I’m standing there in those chains, right on that hyperventilating edge.”

Jamie Foxx wore prosthetic eyelids so his eyes would be glued shut for 14 hours on filming days while he played Ray Charles in the movie Ray.
Jamie Foxx wore prosthetic eyelids so his eyes would be glued shut for 14 hours on filming days while he played Ray Charles in the movie Ray.

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Jamie Foxx wore prosthetic eyelids so his eyes would be glued shut for 14 hours on filming days while he played Ray Charles in the movie Ray.

He told the New York Times that he experienced panic attacks during the first two weeks of filming before he became accustomed to the "unsettling, claustrophobic feeling." He even shared that cast and crewmates often forgot that he couldn't see, and they'd accidentally "leave him sitting alone at a table after lunch on the assumption that he could get back to the set on his own."

Leonardo DiCaprio slept inside an animal carcass, ate raw bison meat, and was on the brink of hypothermia while playing Hugh Glass in The Revenant.
Leonardo DiCaprio slept inside an animal carcass, ate raw bison meat, and was on the brink of hypothermia while playing Hugh Glass in The Revenant.

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Leonardo DiCaprio slept inside an animal carcass, ate raw bison meat, and was on the brink of hypothermia while playing Hugh Glass in The Revenant.

However, in real life, Leo is reportedly a vegetarian, and at least a supporter of veganism. 

Robert Pattinson masturbated on set to completion while portraying Salvador Dalí in Little Ashes.
Robert Pattinson masturbated on set to completion while portraying Salvador Dalí in Little Ashes.

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Robert Pattinson masturbated on set to completion while portraying Salvador Dalí in Little Ashes.

When asked why he didn't just fake it for the camera, Robert shared, "[It} just doesn’t work, so I pleasured myself in front of the camera."

Ashton Kutcher gave himself pancreatitis and was hospitalized twice (!!!!) while preparing to play Steve Jobs in Jobs.
Ashton Kutcher gave himself pancreatitis and was hospitalized twice (!!!!) while preparing to play Steve Jobs in Jobs.

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Ashton Kutcher gave himself pancreatitis and was hospitalized twice (!!!!) while preparing to play Steve Jobs in Jobs.

Steve Jobs was known to be a "fruitarian," living on a mainly fruit diet, which Ashton tried to replicate. His wife, Mila Kunis, explained, "He was so dumb. He ... only ate grapes at one point ... we ended up in the hospital twice. With pancreatitis ... it was really dumb!" 

Charlize Theron wore dentures, shaved off her eyebrows, had her hair thinned out and fried repeatedly, and gained 30 pounds to play serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster.
Charlize Theron wore dentures, shaved off her eyebrows, had her hair thinned out and fried repeatedly, and gained 30 pounds to play serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster.

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Charlize Theron wore dentures, shaved off her eyebrows, had her hair thinned out and fried repeatedly, and gained 30 pounds to play serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster.

She said, "This wasn't a game we were playing called 'Let's try to make Charlize look ugly.' I didn't want it to look like a caricature. I just wanted it to look like Aileen."

Forest Whitaker stayed in character even off set while playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland — it was so intense that his family stopped speaking to him.
Forest Whitaker stayed in character even off set while playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland — it was so intense that his family stopped speaking to him.

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Forest Whitaker stayed in character even off set while playing Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland — it was so intense that his family stopped speaking to him.

He also learned how to speak Swahili and primarily ate mashed bananas and beans.

Margot Robbie trained in ice-skating for five hours a day, five days a week, for five months to play Tonya Harding in I, Tonya — she worked herself so hard, she got a herniated disk in her neck.
Margot Robbie trained in ice-skating for five hours a day, five days a week, for five months to play Tonya Harding in I, Tonya — she worked herself so hard, she got a herniated disk in her neck.

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Margot Robbie trained in ice-skating for five hours a day, five days a week, for five months to play Tonya Harding in I, Tonya — she worked herself so hard, she got a herniated disk in her neck.

She said, “When you’re a kid, you’re fearless, but starting at 26 years old, I had a lot of fear.”

Joaquin Phoenix totally abandoned his own sense of self, refused to talk to his family, and lived only as Johnny Cash for the entirety of the Walk the Line filming.
Joaquin Phoenix totally abandoned his own sense of self, refused to talk to his family, and lived only as Johnny Cash for the entirety of the Walk the Line filming.

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Joaquin Phoenix totally abandoned his own sense of self, refused to talk to his family, and lived only as Johnny Cash for the entirety of the Walk the Line filming.

He said, "I abandon my life when I work. I don't wear the clothes or listen to the music that defines who I am. I don't communicate with friends or family. It sounds intense, but it's the process of getting there that is really hard."

Jennifer Lopez slept in Selena Quintanilla's bed while she prepared to portray the singer in Selena.
Jennifer Lopez slept in Selena Quintanilla's bed while she prepared to portray the singer in Selena.

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Jennifer Lopez slept in Selena Quintanilla's bed while she prepared to portray the singer in Selena.

"I soaked up everything, I watched every interview that I could," she said. "I slept in her bed at home. I talked to the whole family. I spent time with them. It can be melancholy and beautiful at the same time."

Adrien Brody gave up his apartment, sold his car, disconnected his phones, and lost 30 pounds on a crash diet in order to play Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist.
Adrien Brody gave up his apartment, sold his car, disconnected his phones, and lost 30 pounds on a crash diet in order to play Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist.

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Adrien Brody gave up his apartment, sold his car, disconnected his phones, and lost 30 pounds on a crash diet in order to play Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist.

"I was missing everyone and everything good," he told BBC News. "But that put me right in the character. I want to feel that I'm experiencing something, I want to feel the journey, and I felt it." Even after the film, it took him "over half a year" to get settled again.

Gary Oldman gave himself nicotine poisoning after smoking $20,000 worth of Winston Churchill's favorite cigars for Darkest Hour.
Gary Oldman gave himself nicotine poisoning after smoking $20,000 worth of Winston Churchill's favorite cigars for Darkest Hour.

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Gary Oldman gave himself nicotine poisoning after smoking $20,000 worth of Winston Churchill's favorite cigars for Darkest Hour.

Gary even went on to say, “You can’t have Winston Churchill without a cigar.”

Colin Firth developed headaches, a pinched nerve in his arm, and a stutter of his own after portraying George VI in The King's Speech.
Colin Firth developed headaches, a pinched nerve in his arm, and a stutter of his own after portraying George VI in The King's Speech.

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Colin Firth developed headaches, a pinched nerve in his arm, and a stutter of his own after portraying George VI in The King's Speech.

"I had to learn to stammer and then play someone trying desperately not to. It put my left arm to sleep — it was very peculiar. I must have been locking something, pinching a nerve. It was a semi-paralysis that would last for three or four days," he explained. "Derek Jacobi said to me, 'You could find it affecting your speech patterns for some time afterward. When the job's over, don't worry, it will go away.'"

Val Kilmer got so immersed in playing Jim Morrison in The Doors that he needed to get therapy just so he could come out of character.
Val Kilmer got so immersed in playing Jim Morrison in The Doors that he needed to get therapy just so he could come out of character.

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Val Kilmer got so immersed in playing Jim Morrison in The Doors that he needed to get therapy just so he could come out of character.

Fans and even bandmates mistook Val for the real Jim Morrison on numerous occasions, and some even have tattoos of him. He said, "It still boggles me to this day to see people with a tattoo of me playing him and not knowing it isn't Jim. Happens more than you think.”

And finally, Christian Bale got a $3,000 neck exercise machine so he could thicken his neck to look like Dick Cheney's for Vice.
And finally, Christian Bale got a $3,000 neck exercise machine so he could thicken his neck to look like Dick Cheney's for Vice.

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And finally, Christian Bale got a $3,000 neck exercise machine so he could thicken his neck to look like Dick Cheney's for Vice.

Given the former vice president's history of cardiac episodes, Christian also learned a bunch about heart attacks while preparing for the role, and his research actually saved director Adam McKay's life during one.