Shia LaBeouf might not get an Oscar for taking LSD for his role in the upcoming film The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, but he might get us to consider buying a ticket. “I’d never done acid before. I remember sending Evan tapes. I remember trying to conjure this and sending tapes. And Evan being like ‘That’s good, but that’s not but, that is,’” LaBeouf told MTV about dropping acid to prepare for his character’s drug trip. “You reach out to friends and gauge where you’re at. I was sending tapes around and I’d get 50 percents from people and that just starts creeping me out. I was getting really nervous toward the end. Not cause I wanted to be on drugs — I’m not trying to mess with the set or anything like that. It’s really just fear that propels people.” Maybe it was fear, but we’re betting Oscar gold played at least a tiny part in the other extreme things actors have done for roles…
10) James Franco, Unspecified Movie
You didn’t think we would have forgotten that time James Franco watched a gay prostitute entertain a client to prepare for a role as a gay sex worker, did you? The fact he told James Lipton about it on Inside The Actor’s Studio is the one thing we still like about that guy!
9) Joaquin Phoenix, I’m Still Here (2010)
The Master actor grew out his beard, acting crazy on Letterman and basically committed to pretending his life was falling apart in order to film a faux documentary about his downward spiral. It didn’t exactly “work” per say, but we appreciate the lengths he went to in order to almost pull it off.
7) Adrien Brody, The Pianist (2002) and The Jacket (2005)
In addition to learning to play Chopin and dropping down to 130 lbs to play a Holocaust victim Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist, Brody spent hours in a sensory deprivation tank to prepare for the horrors of The Jacket. All of which makes us so, so bummed to see that he is in that InAPPropriate Comedy.
6) Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (2008)
Heath Ledger deeply immersed himself in the role of the Joker in The Dark Knight. “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,” he told Empire Magazine. Anyone who has seen the movie knows why Ledger got that posthumous Oscar.
5) Natalie Portman, Black Swan (2010)
Everyone made a big deal about how much weight Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis lost to play dueling ballerina in the 2010 horror movie. How about the fact Natalie Portman allegedly learned to be a professional dancer in less than 12 months? Especially when she probably hungry all the time?
4) Christian Bale, The Machinist (2010)
Oh, Christian Bale lost approximately 63 lbs to play the emaciated protagonist in The Machinist. No big whoop.
3) Daniel Day-Lewis, My Left Foot (1989)
Before he became Lincoln, the actor played Christy Brown, a writer born with cerebral palsy and limited to the use of his left foot. So just to clarify: Day-Lewis earned a Best Actor Oscar for his role using only his left foot the entire movie, not to mention his confinement to a wheelchair during the entire shooting of the movie.
2) Robert De Niro, Cape Fear (1991)
We loved him as Bradley Cooper‘s neurotic bookie dad in The Silver Linings Playbook, and he didn’t even have to file down his teeth like he allegedly did to play the ex-convince villain Max Cady in Cape Fear.
1) Chloe Sevigny, Brown Bunny (2003)
While the kids might know her as American Horror Story: Asylum‘s resident nymphomaniac Shelly, the Big Love actress took her method acting to the extreme by performing oral sex on Vincent Gallo in Brown Bunny. The movie was terrible, but Chloe’s dedication deserves an award of some kind.
[Photo: Magnolia Pictures/ Focus Features/ Warner Independent Pictures/ Warner Bros. Pictures/Fox Searchlight Pictures/Filmax Entertainment/Miramax Films/Amblin Entertainment/Vincent Gallo Productions]