Method actors be crazy. Everybody knows that Christopher Walken devours six live doves before each take, and that Daniel Day-Lewis owns and makes liberal use of a time machine to research all of his roles. But there's nothing that says method acting always pays off: Sometimes you fall in love with a role, take a big gamble and sacrifice huge parts of your time, life, and career to living in that role, and then end up starring in Hope Floats.
Here are a few actors who went all out for the part when, in all honesty, they probably could have showed up in their pajamas to read straight from the teleprompter and achieved the same results. (We call that the Sean Connery School of Acting.)
Jamie Foxx Has Cosmetic Surgery for a Movie Nobody Saw
If you were suddenly ripped from your old life in the 1990s and dropped into the present day, you would probably pine for the more innocent time of colorful pants and Roller Blades. You would also go completely mad and surely be institutionalized. While staring at the screen of the communal room's television in a drugged haze, you might also be very surprised to learn that Jamie Foxx, the guy who played cross-eyed, buck-toothed Wanda from In Living Color, turned out to be a hardcore method actor.
20th Century Fox Television
And the reason Eddie Murphy keeps the company he does.
For instance, in his performance as blind musician Ray Charles in Ray, Foxx wore prosthetics over his eyes to blind himself for real and had to employ assistants to guide him around the set. Foxx won an Oscar for the role, then leaped into his next project with equal vigor: This time he was playing schizophrenic cellist Nathaniel Ayers in The Soloist. The problem was that Foxx was a fine hunk of suave man-meat, gently cured and grilled to perfection by decades of Hollywood trainers, while Ayers was a mentally unstable homeless dude. To more fully embody his part, Foxx visited a dentist in order to have his teeth chiseled down and made crooked, which probably violated every single tenet of the Dentist's Code.
Foxx reportedly earned three Strawberry Shortcake toothbrushes for being such a good patient.
Unfortunately, the extreme levels of dedication didn't work out as well for The Soloist as it did for Ray. The film was a financial bomb, getting back only half of its $60 million budget. If only he'd pursed his lips and crossed his eyes like Wanda, maybe he could've saved himself some needless torment.
Adrien Brody Nearly Drives Himself Insane for a Low-Budget Thriller
Warner Independent Pictures