"Method actors" will do all sorts of crazy shit to get into character, because acting is hard and it's easier to just subject yourself to actual pain than figure out how to fake it. But there's a limit to what they're doing: You can force yourself to, say, lose a bunch of weight to portray a sick person, but the difference is you're still doing it by choice.
Well, the people in these roles didn't have to pretend ...
6Dorothy Gibson Filmed Saved From The Titanic A Month After Being Saved From The Actual Titanic
Question: How soon would be too soon to make a movie about a disaster in which 1,500 people died horribly? A few years? At least?
Well, Saved from the Titanic is a 1912 silent film about the sinking of the famous ship that was released less than 30 freaking days after the disaster. That shit was filming while the bodies of its victims were still warm and ... well, maybe not warm but the whole thing was still a giant dick move. Just who was so crass and greedy that they couldn't even wait until the end of the summer to profit off the victims?
"Has CGI been invented yet? I'd like to put more bodies in the water."
That would be Dorothy Gibson, co-writer and star of the movie, not to mention a real Titanic survivor. It turns out that Gibson was aboard the very first lifeboat launched from the sinking ship, probably because she wanted to get a head start on filming a fictionalized version of her story before someone with even less of a conscience could beat her to it. The character that she'd specifically written for herself even wore the actual clothes Gibson had on when she was rescued.
Eclair Film Co.
Weird. You'd think all that brass would have sunk the lifeboat she was on.
Unsurprisingly, putting oneself through a realistic re-enactment of a horrible maritime disaster ended up destroying Gibson mentally, and she never acted again. As for Saved from the Titanic, the only known print of the movie was lost in a studio fire two years later. And, although it was never proven, we have a hunch that the previous two sentences might be connected.
Eclair Film Co.
Keep in mind, she was one of the highest-paid and well-regarded actresses
of the era when she gave the industry the middle finger.
5A Schindler's List Extra Was An Actual Holocaust Survivor
It's impossible to make a non-depressing movie about the Holocaust (though we're guessing Jim Carrey turned down at least one such project in the '90s). But even then, Schindler's List is so bleak and haunting that during filming, director Steven Spielberg would ask Robin Williams to tell him jokes over the phone to keep him from having a breakdown (take a moment to contemplate the cruel irony there). But hey -- if your Holocaust movie is authentic, it should cause everyone in the vicinity to sink into a black pool of despair.
And Schindler's List was authentic as hell. For instance, all the soldiers were played by native Germans, some of whom were descendants of honest-to-God Nazis. The only way to get more authentic than that would be to ... oh God no.
Yes, another way that Schindler's List stayed true to history was by employing an extra who actually survived the Holocaust, to come and relive the whole thing in front of the cameras. There is a sequence in the movie when a bunch of women are being stripped and led to the camp showers. According to Spielberg, that was the most difficult thing for him to shoot, because one of the actresses in that scene was born in a Nazi concentration camp in Czechoslovakia.
She's the one that looks crushingly sad.
Sure, the woman was only a year old when her camp was liberated, but she'd heard enough stories from her mother, and seen enough photographs, to make the shoot too much for her to bear. She and several other actresses ended up having complete psychological breakdowns during filming, which was probably known to the on-set doctor as "Code Duh."