Thomas Jane recently admitted that he turned tricks on Santa Monica Boulevard when he was a struggling young actor. This stint as a male prostitute probably gave him the edge when auditioning for his current role as a male prostitute on the HBO series Hung.
This made us wonder about what other films and roles might have been preceded with some distasteful or otherwise unpleasant preparation. As it turns out, the list is pretty daunting. We take for granted that actors must really submerse themselves in roles that require them to pretend to know how to fire a rifle or be sexually attracted to Jack Black.
Here’s our take on one of the darker sides of Hollywood.
All actors playing characters that were part of the centipede had to complete a rigorous three-week camp in Morocco at which they had to complete countless trust exercises, centipede observation, and pooping in each others’ mouths.
Said one actor, who requested not to be identified, “It was the best three weeks of my life.”
In order to “sell” the role of real-life baseball GM Billy Beane, Brad Pitt thought it best that he train himself to be able to discuss baseball without instantly passing out due to boredom. It’s Hollywood’s worst-kept secret that he developed a pretty serious crystal meth habit just so he could stay awake to read lines about OBP, slugging percentages, and balks.
Halfway through filming, he learned a trick from Bob Costas, who inserted a tack into Pitt’s right shoe, instructing him to step down on it, causing enough pain to keep the user alert while engaged in a conversation about pennant races at the All-Star break. It is supposedly the same trick that Freddie Prinze Jr. used while filming Summer Catch.
This was a more scientific undertaking than it was a psychological problem. Whenever DiCaprio and Gordon-Levitt were in character, explaining the “levels” of dreams to other characters onscreen, their ears and eyes would begin hemorrhaging blood. It was never enough that Christopher Nolan or the crew would fear for their safety, but it was enough to require frequent costume and makeup changes.
Initially, Nolan spent the better part of nine months putting the cast before dream experts and physics professors to explain the plot, but when even the academics’ eyes started to spew blood, Nolan cut his losses and simply cleared out all the blood in post-production, courtesy of Industrial Light and Magic.