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John Wick star Keanu Reeves and 10 other actors who went to extreme lengths for their roles!


Keanu Reeves is back on our screens, bringing a world of pain to some unfortunate baddies in magnificently violent sequel John Wick: Chapter 2.

In case you were in any doubt over the actor's commitment, a video has surfaced showing his behind the scenes weapons training, an explosive indication of how fully he immersed himself in the role of the stylishly attired badass that is John Wick. And he's not the first actor to have gone the whole hog for their art...

Shia LaBeouf

He may attract more headlines now for his bizarre offscreen activities, but let’s not forget that Shia LaBeouf is also a supremely talented, and extraordinarily committed, actor. Typical of his dedication is his prep for the WWII drama Fury.

The day he he got the job, the actor joined the US National Guard, ripped out one of his own teeth, knifed his own face and refused to shower for the duration of the four-month shoot. His behaviour reportedly upset his fellow actors so much he was moved to a different hotel.

Robert De Niro

In preparation for his role as Travis Bickle in the 1976 classic Taxi Driver, the 33-year-old De Niro worked 12-hour cabbie shifts, with punters seemingly oblivious they were being driven by the Oscar-winning star of The Godfather Part II. So it’s nice to know that, even if this acting lark doesn’t work out for the seventysomething actor, he’s got a backup career to fall back on.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Watching The Revenant was pretty gruelling, but that’s nothing compared to what the actors had to endure while making it. Leonardo DiCaprio won the Best Actor gong for his role as frontiersman Hugh Glass in the Alejandro G. Inarritu-directed movie and we think he earned it!

"I can name 30 or 40 sequences that were some of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do," DiCaprio said in an interview. "Whether it’s going in and out of frozen rivers, or sleeping in animal carcasses, or what I ate on set. [I was] enduring freezing cold and possible hypothermia constantly!" That’s dedication.

Charlize Theron

It goes without saying that Charlize is one of the world’s most beautiful women. So it was a surprise to see her taking on the role of trailer trash serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a woman who absolutely wasn’t. The normally svelte Theron threw vanity of the window by putting on 30 pounds, shaving her eyebrows off and wearing prosthetic teeth. Thankfully for her, all that effort helped her win the Best Actress Oscar in 2004.

Adrien Brody

Brody’s character, Polish-Jewish pianist Władysław Szpilman in Roman Polanski’s The Pianist, is someone who loses everything as the Nazis storm through Warsaw. In order to fully understand his character’s pitiful existence, Brody gave away virtually all his possessions, including his prized Porsche. Of course, he was always rich enough to buy everything back, but still…

50 Cent

Well, here’s a name you didn’t expect to be on this list. Better known as a rapper, the man otherwise known as Curtis Jackson went to extreme lengths for his role as a cancer sufferer in the 2011 film All Things Fall Apart. Normally broadly built and muscular, the hip hop star went on a liquid diet, losing 54 lbs in the process. It was almost as if 50 Cent had become, um, 30 Cent. (Sorry.)

Jared Leto

Having recently gained notoriety for dedicating himself to the insane Joker in Suicide Squad, actor/musician Leto has actually made a career out of such transformations. He won an Oscar for his powerful role as a transgender woman in the acclaimed Dallas Buyers Club opposite Matthew McConaughey, dropping his weight to 114 pounds by not eating.

Steve Carell

Famed for his comedy roles, both visual (Anchorman) and verbal (the Despicable Me series), versatile Carell has demonstrated his dramatic chops on more than one occasion. His most extraordinary transformation came for his chilling role as murderous millionaire John DuPont in Foxcatcher, for which he spent three hours every day being outfitted with prosthetics. His subsequent demeanour was so creepy, co-stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo were said to have avoided him like the plague whilst on set.

Cate Blanchett

She may be one of the world's greatest actresses but a few eyebrows were raised when it was announced Cate would be playing music god, Bob Dylan. Her androgynous, eerily convincing performance as 60s Dylan in Todd Haynes' surreal anti-biopic I'm Not There came about after losing a "great amount of weight" to better represent his spindly frame. She also pored over documentary footage endlessly to assimilate his characteristic drawl and stuffed socks down her front in order to "better walk like a man". Now that's acting.

Daniel Day Lewis

One of the actors who redefined 'method', Day Lewis is famous for disappearing into his roles, whether it's a ruthless oil prospector in There Will Be Blood or the American President in Lincoln. The first indication of how utterly committed Day Lewis could be came in 1989, when he portrayed cerebral palsy sufferer Christy Brown in My Left Foot. The actor spent the majority of filming hunched over in a wheelchair, remaining in-character between takes, the end result being two broken ribs. Still, he claimed his first Oscar so all was well.

Which of your favourite actors have we missed off our list? Send us your choices @Cineworld.