IMDb Polls

Poll: There's Method in the Madness

Method acting is a technique of acting in which an actor aspires to have complete emotional identification with a part. It has been called mad and pretentious by some, and yet inspiring and necessary by others.

Which of the following actors, renowned for extreme measures they takes in preparing for film roles, do you feel to be the best method actor?

Discuss the list here

See also: Daniel Day Lewis' Insane Method Acting

See also: Robert De Niro's Insane Method Acting

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Marlon Brando

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Confined himself to a hospital bed for a month to get into his paraplegic character's psyche for The Men

  2. Vote!

    Daniel Day-Lewis

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Refused to leave his wheelchair and had crew members carry him around the set. He also insisted that all of his meals would be spoon-fed to him for My Left Foot

    Trained for 1½ years to be a professional-standard boxer with former heavyweight champion Barry McCuigan for The Boxer

    Taught himself how to live as a survivalist and learned how to hunt animals for food, refusing to eat anything he hadn't killed for Last of the Mohicans

  3. Vote!

    Heath Ledger

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Holed himself up in hotel rooms for weeks at a time, where he stayed in character and kept a diary as the Joker for The Dark Knight

  4. Vote!

    Rooney Mara

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Endured at least 12 piercings (including her nipple) in one day to fully immerse herself in the role for The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo

  5. Vote!

    Dustin Hoffman

    Notable Method Techniques:

    His constant running to portray sleep-deprived character prompted co-star Laurence Olivier to famously ask "Why don't you just try acting?" for Marathon Man

  6. Vote!

    Christian Bale

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Lost 60 pounds to portray a haunted insomniac by consuming just an apple a day and coffee for The Mechanic

    Immediately gained over 60 pounds for Batman Begins

    Spent hours in the gym each day and refused to talk to anyone on set for American Psycho

  7. Vote!

    Robert De Niro

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Gained 60 pounds to play the older Jake LaMotta after having gone through intense physical training in order gain the muscle mass to play the younger LaMotta for Raging Bull

    He paid a dentist $5000 to make his teeth look bad, and then paid $20,000 to have them repaired for Cape Fear

    He lived in Sicily for three to four months, learning the local language and way of life for The Godfather Part II

  8. Vote!

    Jared Leto

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Starved his way to a gaunt 114 pounds. Also he waxed his body and brows, and went grocery shopping as a woman for Dallas Buyers Club

    Stayed in character throughout the shoot, going as far as to send odd gifts to his co-stars including a dead hog and a live rat for Suicide Squad

  9. Vote!

    Al Pacino

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Was so into character that he attempted to arrest a truck driver whilst playing an undercover cop for Serpico

    Took cold showers in order to express a demented state for Dog Dag Afternoon

  10. Vote!

    Eddie Redmayne

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Spend hours a day in a wheelchair with his body contorted, something that caused physical pain and sometimes affected his breathing for The Theory of Everything

  11. Vote!

    Shia LaBeouf

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Slashed his own face for Fury because he wasn't satisfied with the make-up, had his tooth pulled out, and didn't bath for the entire shoot for Fury

  12. Vote!

    Adrien Brody

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Practiced the piano for four hours a day until he could play Chopin flawlessly. Also got rid of all his possessions (including his girlfriend) for The Pianist

    Asked to be left alone on a gurney, restrained in his character's titular straitjacket for long periods of time for The Jacket

  13. Vote!

    Choi Min-sik

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Burned his own flesh and ate live octopus (repenting afterwards as it was against his religion) for Oldboy

  14. Vote!

    Hilary Swank

    Notable Method Techniques:

    Lived life as a man for at least a month, including wrapping her chest in tension bandages and putting socks down the front of her pants much the same way that Brandon Teena did for Boys Don't Cry

    Underwent a serious training schedule to prepare for this film. She gained nearly 20 pounds of muscle due to the workouts. She contracted a bacterial infection from a blister she developed on her foot during training that would have landed her in hospital for three weeks. Instead, she took a week off for medicated rest and didn't tell Clint Eastwood or the producers of the film about the injury, because she didn't believe it was in character for Million Dollar Baby

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