A Madness to Method (Acting): Nine Times Actors Took Their Characters Too Far

Al Pacino gets waaay to into stuff.
By  · Published on June 8th, 2017

Al Pacino gets waaay to into stuff.

Method acting is a range of techniques developed by acting coach Lee Strasberg from the ideas of Constantin Stanislavski which are designed to achieve greater characterization, or, to put it more basically, it’s when actors stay in character full-stop, on screen and off. In our modern era, the most famous method actor has to be Daniel Day-Lewis, who got so into his role as Bill the Butcher in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York that he was actually provoking fights with people on set. In another instance, while filming The Ballad of Jack and Rose, which was directed by wife, Day-Lewis opted to live apart from her during filming in order to retain his characterization. Before you scoff, remember Day-Lewis has not one, not two, but three Best Actor Oscars; method works, apparently.

But, like the fisticuffs Day-Lewis instigated, sometimes method acting can go a bit too far, and in the following video from What Culture, nine of the most egregious offenders have been rounded up to reveal what extraneous measures they took in the name of characterization. Like when Al Pacino tried to actually arrest a dude while filming Serpico, or when golden boy Paul Newman developed an incredibly foul mouth as a result of his role in Slap Shot. These are just a couple of the insane lengths highly-paid professionals went to in order to give unforgettable performances. Check them out and let us know your favorite on Twitter.

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