Most Extreme Movie Performances
542 6.5 6.71. The Witches (1990)
1754 6.5 6.32. Patch Adams (1998)
217 6.5 6.43. Jungle Fever (1991)
3352 8.6 94. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
150 6.2 6.55. Music of the Heart (1999)
3996 6.5 6.76. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Robin Williams transforms himself into a pension-grabbing nanny, boobs and all. It took over four hours of prosthetic-applying to accomplish. Apparently Williams tested out the credibility of the costume by going into an adult bookstore and buying something smutty – without even raising an eyebrow.
2306 8.3 8.67. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Wo... (1964)
355 6.4 6.88. The Crucible (1996)
1381 7 7.49. Man on the Moon (1999)
Jim Carrey was reported to be obsessed with playing the comic idol. Carrey seemingly paralleled Kaufman’s weird ways during the entire shoot. His unusual antics on the set included his refusal to be called by his real name throughout production. He insisted on being dealt with only as “Andy Kaufman” on and even off the set. He also insisted on doing many of the dangerous wrestling stunts himself. Then there was the supposed issue with Jerry Lawler who played himself in the movie. Jerry had a memorable “beef” with Andy in real life.
395 7.4 7.610. Marathon Man (1976)
3392 7.7 8.111. 12 Monkeys (1995)
142 6.7 6.912. Don't Move (2004)
481 6.8 6.813. Gia (1998)
3221 7.6 8.114. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Swank’s rigorous training schedule saw her shed 20lb. Not only that, but she was almost hospitalised for three weeks after a blister from training got infected – something she kept secret from Eastwood. The training was worth it, though. “That's part of my job,” she says. “If I'm going to play a boxer, I better look like a boxer.”
109 6.6 715. The Boxer (1997)
1 0 6.416. Glitterati (2004)
This film was shot non-stop over a fifteen day period throughout Europe, with Pardue remaining in the character of Victor Ward the entire time. The characters in the film, with the exception of Kip Pardue, are all non-actors. Apparently, the entire film was improvised, with Pardue remaining in character as Victor Ward 24 hours a day. The people he met during his travels (mostly models) through over 15 cities "fell into the movie" and became part of it without knowing that it was a movie.The movie was never released.
2166 6.5 717. Tropic Thunder (2008)
597 7.1 7.418. Rescue Dawn (2006)
500 7.5 819. Sling Blade (1996)
3382 8 8.120. Black Swan (2010)
A press furore engulfed Portman’s transformation into a ballerina for Darren Aronofsky’s dark drama, as her dance doubles claimed they did most of the work. Still, there’s no doubting the actress’ dedication – she lost 20lb for the role, swam a mile a day, dislocated a rib during filming and underwent exhaustive ballet training.
1219 7.2 7.721. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
185 6.6 5.522. Vampire's Kiss (1988)
3571 7.4 7.923. The Bourne Identity (2002)
In preparation for the iconic franchise kickstarted by helmer Doug Liman, Matt Damon spent two weeks running around crowded train stations, hiding behind columns, and beating the hell out of people using only rolled-up magazines. Damon spent 6 months training in boxing after director Doug Liman suggested that he needed to “walk like a fighter”. He also did extensive training with a former Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T) shotgunner.
494 7.5 7.824. My Left Foot (1989)
Day-Lewis remained wheelchair bound between takes, resulting in two broken ribs from being continuously hunched over. He spoke in character at all times during the shoot whilst remaining in his character’s wheelchair and insisting on being spoonfed by an understandably flabbergasted cast and crew. He also won an Oscar.
2122 8.1 8.125. There Will Be Blood (2007)
So that he could hone his chops for the role of soulless oilman Daniel Plainview, Day-Lewis spent the year before that just being a total d*ck to everyone he knew. He’s such a method actor that it was really the only way. He went to restaurants and tipped 11%, would bring his girlfriend to poker night, and would get into his car parked at crowded malls, then take forever to back out of his space for the waiting car.
727 7.8 7.926. The French Connection (1971)
To prepare for the role of Popeye Doyle; Hackman and co-star Roy Scheider actually spent a month in a patrol car on the beat with genuine New York detectives Grosso and Egan. In doing so they truly got a feel for their characters. Interestingly, Hackman reportedly became disgusted at some of the more off-putting sights he saw during these patrols. During one incident he even had to help restrain an unruly suspect and get him into the squad car.
1403 7.2 7.527. Boys Don't Cry (1999)
3178 7 7.528. Gangs of New York (2002)
2375 6.2 6.329. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
With an eye on detail to the specifics of the car theft subculture, the producers behind Gone in 60 Seconds wouldn’t let any actor join the cast until they had stolen five cars. Nicholas Cage famously placed himself outside Morton’s during the Vanity Fair Oscar party, stealing Helen Mirren’s Lamborghini and Jonathan Lipnicki’s Escalade.
387 7.2 7.630. Sophie's Choice (1982)
The film was about a Polish immigrant, Sophie, who was a survivor of Nazi concentration camps. Meryl put other actors and actresses to shame with her dedication for this particular role. She cut off her hair and lost 25 pounds specifically for a scene in Auschwitz. She also learned how to speak German fluently and learned a Polish accent.
3643 8.2 8.531. Taxi Driver (1976)
3047 6.4 7.332. Borat (2006)
4166 7.7 8.633. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Linda Hamilton went from poofy-haired wallflower in The Terminator to ball-busting warrior in T2. She trained for 13 weeks, three hours a day with former Israeli commando Uzi Gal. Her training included lifting weights, Judo and learning to pick locks. It was so extreme that she refused to do it all again for T3.
3787 6.4 7.334. King Kong (2005)
A master of motion-capture, Andy Serkis prepared for his role of King Kong in Peter Jackson's CG remake by befriending real gorillas in London Zoo. One female gorilla, Zaire, took such a liking to him, when Andy and his wife later visited her, the ape squirted water on her love rival to ward her off.
700 7.5 7.835. Serpico (1973)
1317 7.4 7.736. The Last King of Scotland (2006)
In preparation for his Academy Award winning portrayal of Ugandan General Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland, Whitaker immersed himself in research about the charismatic but ferocious dictator. He studied books, documentaries, TV interviews and recordings of Amin’s speeches, and learned Swahili to be able to imitate Amin’s accent. While shooting on location in Uganda he met with members of Amin’s family, including some of his Government and Army officials and even the country’s King. He also learned to play the accordion and gained 50lbs (23kg) to embody Amin’s bulky physique.
5949 8.4 937. The Dark Knight (2008)
Heath Ledger lived alone in a hotel room concocting every little twitch and idiosyncrasy of The Joker’s unique physicality.According to Heath himself, “I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices – it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath – someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts. He’s just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown, and Chris Nolan has given me free rein.” What Heath accomplished in his role as Joker will live on not only in the memories of comic book fans but film enthusiasts alike for many years to come.
80 7.1 7.138. The Men (1950)
831 7 7.639. Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
1040 6.1 6.440. Rocky IV (1985)
1736 7.8 7.841. Blue Velvet (1986)
In David Lynch’s cult film Blue Velvet, there is the infamous scene depicting a disturbingly abusive sexual encounter between Dorothy Vallens (Rossellini) and Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper). In part of the scene, Frank inhales gas through an oxygen mask while kneeling on the ground and looking between Dorothy’s open legs. In a behind the scenes interview, Rossellini reveals that she was actually naked underneath her robe for scene, because underwear would’ve been visible on camera. The day of shooting this scene happened to also be the first day she and Hopper met.
483 8.8 8.242. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
For Maria Falconetti, the performance was an ordeal. Legends from the set tell of Dreyer forcing her to kneel painfully on stone and then wipe all expression from her face--so that the viewer would read suppressed or inner pain. He filmed the same shots again and again, hoping that in the editing room he could find exactly the right nuance in her facial expression. There is an echo in the famous methods of the French director Robert Bresson, who in his own 1962 "The Trial of Joan of Arc'' put actors through the same shots again and again, until all apparent emotion was stripped from their performances. - Roger Ebert
2987 8.1 8.643. Apocalypse Now (1979)
205 5.8 4.944. The Brown Bunny (2003)
964 6.7 745. The Jacket (2005)
1279 6.9 7.346. Cape Fear (1991)
658 7.2 7.647. Malcolm X (1992)
To prepare for this role Denzel talk to more than a dozen of Malcolm X's living relatives and friends, read prison and FBI records, attended classes that shared information about the Fruit of Islam (which Malcolm X was apart of), and even fasted. Washingon would only eat one meal a day to follow the way Malcolm X lived during shooting the film for 16 whole months! "I just tried to make a spiritual connection," he says.
1765 7.2 7.548. Up in the Air (2009)
As someone who has only flown private for the past 15 years or so, Clooney had to prepare for his role as an unencumbered frequent flier by reading hundreds of in-flight magazines, studying back issues of SkyMall, and practicing rolling his eyes and muttering under his breath when he learns that his flight is delayed.
4466 8.4 8.849. Inception (2010)
This was a more scientific undertaking than it was a psychological problem. Whenever DiCaprio and Gordon-Levitt were in character, explaining the “levels” of dreams to other characters onscreen, their ears and eyes would begin hemorrhaging blood. It was never enough that Christopher Nolan or the crew would fear for their safety, but it was enough to require frequent costume and makeup changes.
3201 8.1 8.550. The Pianist (2002)
Adrien Brody became the youngest person to date to win the Best Actor Oscar when he starred as Wladyslaw Szpilman in Holocaust drama The Pianist, and all he had to do for the role was shed 31lbs and, in order to evoke the same feeling of loss and isolation felt by his character, he got rid of his apartment, sold his car and, worst of all, avoided television.
People who voted for this also voted for