Method Acting: Are Actors Taking it Too Far?


Actor’s do some crazy things to prepare themselves for their roles. We’ve seen Matthew McConaughey shed pounds for The Dallas Buyers Club, Anne Hathaway become extremely skinny for Les Miserables, Christian Bale lose around 65 pounds for The Machinist, and many more.

INF Photo
INF Photo

One of the most recent cases of this has been with Jake Gyllenhaal. To prepare for his new movie Nightcrawler, he lost about 30 pounds. He would either spend the day not eating or he would only snack on some crackers and/or kale salad or some chewing gum to become the image of his character. He took becoming his character to an extreme though. Not only did he lose weight, but he shunned himself from his friends for the entire month he was filming. They would ask him to go out and eat, but he would always come up with an excuse. He occupied most of his free time with jogging, fifteen miles each day, back and forth from his home to the movie set. He later stated that he didn’t realize how much he became his character until after filming:”I don’t think I was aware. I don’t think I was aware until a few months ago and we were going through all the cuts, and you start to separate from the character and go ‘Wow,’ you know?” (People Magazine).


Another recent case of an actor going to the extreme while preparing for a role is Shia LaBeouf. Recently, all we’ve been hearing about him is how he’s pretty much gone crazy. He’s been arrested for disorderly conduct because during a performance of “Cabaret” he smacked actor Alec Cumming’s butt, he wore a paper bag over his head on the red carpet, and fought with Alec Baldwin. LaBeouf is blaming his antics on method acting: “My whole goal was to intimidate the f**k out of Baldwin. That was the role. And it wasn’t going to be fake. I wanted him to be scared… So I went about doing that for three weeks of rehearsal” (The Inquisitr News). He was also allegedly sleeping in the park at the time and claimed he was out of his mind. As for his arrest at “Cabaret,” LaBeouf has said, “I was reading about performance art of the ’60s and ’70s and so I thought… we’re all involved here. It’s not just your stage. We’re all in here and we’re all part of this. I was wrong” (The Inquisitr News). It is hard to say whether or not his actions are truly a result of method acting, but either way his actions seem a little extreme.

The big question here is; are actors becoming a danger to themselves when preparing for roles? In one case you have Jake Gyllenhaal losing a lot of weight and then physically harming himself during filming, and then you have Shia LaBeoug acting out, to the point where he was arrested, because of his method acting. Where do you draw the line between becoming your character and losing yourself?




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here