#3. The 40 Year Old Virgin -- The Painful Chest Waxing Scene Is Totally Real
One of the most memorable scenes in The 40 Year Old Virgin is the one where Steve Carell's character, Andy, gets his ridiculously hairy chest waxed. The process is so unexpectedly painful that he starts yelling out insults at the waxing lady.
There are many hints that what you're seeing isn't real, like the aforementioned rug on Carell's chest (probably an unused Chewbacca suit from Star Wars), or the fact that the waxing lady apparently attempts to wax his nipple right off without taking any precautions (surely a professional wouldn't do that). Also, that amount of pain would probably be worth it if you're doing, like, an intense art film with Kubrick deep in the jungle, but not for a three-minute sequence in some dumb, largely improvised comedy.
Which would explain why they used a "serious emoticon" on his torso.
But nope: The waxing is completely real, as is the pain -- director Judd Apatow and Carell himself decided it would be fun to do an actual chest waxing and film that shit. They put four cameras around Carell, since he couldn't re-grow his hair if they needed to repeat any shots, and captured every second of his delicious suffering.
Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd's barely concealed arousal was also not acting.
In the behind-the-scenes video, you can see Carell jokingly saying he doesn't think the scene is gonna hurt, and later confirming that it totally fucking did. A lot. So, yeah, that's Carell's real hair (or was before they tore it off), and as for the nipple ... well, apparently the waxing lady didn't have so much experience removing hair from that particular part of the anatomy. There's an interview where Carell says you can actually see blood in some of the shots.
#2. Oldboy -- The Vegetarian Actor Ate a Real Live Octopus
In Oldboy, the 2003 Korean remake of Spike Lee's upcoming joint (when are you going to get your own ideas, Asia?), a drunken businessman called Oh Dae-su is locked away in a room with nothing but a TV to keep him company for 15 years and goes somewhat crazy.
"And now, we continue our special 15-year marathon of The Lawrence Welk Show."
After being released from the room, he seeks bloody vengeance on all who have wronged him ... but before that, a nice meal. Since Oh Dae-su wants to eat something completely different from the same food he's eaten every day for the last 15 years, he goes to a sushi restaurant and we see him eat a live octopus in what has to be the second most disgusting thing involving tentacles to ever come out of Asian cinema.
You've probably guessed by now that this wasn't CGI, or a rubber model, or Warwick Davis in a squid suit or anything -- that's a real, live, squirming squid that the actor Choi Min-sik ate, and what makes it even worse in his case is that Choi is actually a Buddhist and devout vegetarian in real life. Before the scene, he even told the squid he was sorry ... and apparently the little guy forgave him, because look, in this part it's totally trying to hug him:
Swallowing even a dead animal would have been disgusting enough for the actor, let alone one that you can feel fighting you as it goes down your throat. On top of that, he had to do it twice, once for the camera rehearsal and then again for the actual shooting. So you could say that, yes, this guy definitely is acting (you can tell because he's not screaming through the whole thing), but in a sense he isn't, since he's performing the actual bodily function of eating a live squid. We're gonna go ahead and say that counts.
#1. Every Sly Stallone Movie -- Stallone Acts by Breaking His Body
Sylvester Stallone's acting method is pretty simple. Step 1: Roll the camera. Step 2: Do something terrible to his own body and record the results. Case in point:
Remember that scene in First Blood where John Rambo jumps off a cliff and uses a tree to break his fall? While most actors would throw this at a stunt double and sip a cappuccino in their trailer, Stallone said "fuck it" and decided to jump off a real cliff and into a tree to break his fall. The result? He broke his ribs on impact ... and kept filming the rest of the day.
The tree went to the emergency room and later sued the producers.
The craziest part is that Stallone actually did that jump three times before he decided his insides hurt just enough to call it a success. Then there was the scene where Rambo gets smacked in the back by a cop and collapses -- that one took 19 freaking takes, and according to a crew member, "Sly was black and blue by the time it was over." We'll remind you now that Stallone wrote this movie and was the one insisting that the cast and crew inflict real pain upon his body.
Stallone ended up fine, but the cop has traumatic flashbacks to this day.
But this was when Stallone was still an eager young actor trying to make an impression in Hollywood; by now his movies are probably all full of boring stuff like CGI, stunt doubles, and "safety regulations," right? Apparently not: While shooting a fight scene with Stone Cold Steve Austin in The Expendables, Sly kept pushing Austin to hit him harder and harder until the guy threw him against a wall and broke his freaking neck. Stallone ended up requiring surgery and metal plates to fix the damage. This despite the fact that, as a former wrestler, Austin is specifically trained to look like he's beating you while not actually doing shit -- he has said he "takes a lot of pride in not hurting people."
Geez, no wonder Stallone has been calling Bruce Willis lazy -- he probably found out Willis just pretended to jump out of an exploding building in Die Hard, like some sort of pussy.
Matthew's Twitter can be found here. Aaron has a movie-based blog where he talks about Nicolas Cage. A lot. You can read more from Amanda at Mannafesto or follow her on Twitter. Davidb is a terrible playwright for The Contemporary Theater Company. Miles DuBonnet sometimes does stand-up comedy and sometimes plays kooky characters!
Related Reading: Actors don't need to do their job to do their job. For further proof, check out this additional collection of incredible performances that weren't acted at all. You know the first Alien chestbursting scene? All those shocked reactions to it were genuine. With directorial trickery so rampant, it's no wonder Wesley Snipes tried to strangle the director of Blade 3. Before we spend too much time talking about how creative Hollywood can be, let's take a moment to remember the actors who look identical on every poster they do.