A lot of people probably wished they could be actors at some point in their life. Who doesn’t want to get paid to pretend to be someone else? It sounds easy. But the truth is, there’s a lot of preparation actors and actresses go through when preparing for a role. We only see the finished product.
Actors push themselves to their limits in order to portray their characters as accurately and authentically as possible. In some cases, actors even put themselves at risk to become these characters. Hover over our list to see the various ways your favorite Hollywood stars and starlets shed blood, sweat, and tears to become the characters we know and love.
Becoming A Professional Ballerina
Actress: Natalie Portman
Movie: Black Swan
For her portrayal of Nina Sayers / The Swan Queen in the 2010 Oscar-nominated film Black Swan, Natalie Portman endured a punishing schedule to transform into a professional ballerina. For starters, she lost 20 pounds (9 kgs) by eating little more than carrots and almonds, while spending eight hours a day in rehearsals.
Hiding The Pain
After wrapping up filming, Portman revealed in an interview that, “There were some nights that I thought I literally was going to die.” She admitted that the film left her both physically and emotionally drained, “It was the first time I understood how you could get so wrapped up in a role that it could sort of take you down.” The actress even dislocated a rib during rehearsals.
Following her experience, Portman had a newfound appreciation for ballet dancers. “All dancers are always dancing with an extreme injury. Not just a sore muscle, they’re dancing on a sprained ankle or with a twisted neck or something. You’ll see them do incredible stuff and then limp off stage, straight to a bucket of ice. Part of the art is hiding all the pain.”
The pain paid off as Portman won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her starring role.