It takes a lot of talent and dedication to create cinema that is believable and engrossing. Although any great film relies heavily on the craftsmanship of a writer and the vision of a director, the project can never reach its full potential until the actors on-screen bring in an element on realism to their roles. This is why method actors are so highly revered in the industry. Their professionalism and intense preparation helps create legendary characters that stay with us long after we exit the screens. Here is a list of 20 actors that have made a mark on the industry by using method acting to deliver on some epic performances:
Superhero films were considered a joke for the better part of their existence. ‘The Joker’, played by Heath Ledger, turned this notion around in ‘The Dark Knight’. The actor fully immersed himself into the role, locking himself up in a hotel room for over a month to understand the mind-set of a mad man. We all know what happened to Heath Ledger; some even questioned his level of dedication, calling it unnecessary. The character of ‘The Joker’ though will be forever etched in our memories, thanks to the maddening dedication of the actor behind the white paint and disturbing smile.
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro has played some memorable parts during his illustrious career, but a lot of them required more than just his dedication and skill. He had to undergo a lot of weight fluctuations to fit into many of his roles. For ‘Raging Bull’, De Niro not only had to build the physique of a boxer but also moved to Sicily in order to learn many Sicillian accents.
Daniel Day Lewis
Daniel Day Lewis has been known to be extremely picky with his roles. This is because he is considered one of the best method actors in the world at this point and he truly believes in diving head first into any part he undertakes. During his stint as Honest Abe, Daniel Day would never break from character and is known to have even signed off on text messages with just an ‘A’.
Marlon Brando has won numerous awards during his lifetime but according to those closest to him, none of these awards came easy. He was known to be the kind of actor that believed in high quality research before embarking on the journey of portraying a character. For his role as a paraplegic veteran in the 50’s classic, ‘The Men’, Marlon Brando confined himself to a bed for an entire month at a Army hospital in Birmingham.