Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming biopic ‘Elvis’ recently strutted its way up the Cannes Film Festival red carpet for its world premiere which was greeted by explosive applause inside the Palais.

Filming for the movie was originally slated to begin in Australia in March 2020. However, just just days before the shoot started one of its stars, Tom Hanks, was hospitalized with COVID. 

Also Read: ‘Elvis’ trailer shows king of rock and roll in flashy glory

Due to the pandemic, the production of the movie was halted indefinitely. But Austin Butler declined the invitation to be flown back to his home in Los Angeles.

1) Austin Butler In Elvis

The actor instead decided to stay back in Australia and use the lockdown as an opportunity to fully immerse himself in all things Elvis. According to British GQ, the actor converted his apartment into what was effectively a “detective scene” as he dug as deeply as possible into the real-life character that he was portraying.

The shooting of the movie began six months later, and in that time, Austin had learned everything that there is to know about the legendary singer having dedicated himself to listening exclusively to the star’s music and reading only about his life. 

Also Read: A history of walkouts: Crimes of the Future, Crash and Cronenberg at Cannes

However, the impact of giving so much of himself to the role for such a long period of time ended up having serious consequences, and the day after the project wrapped in March 2021, Austin was rushed to the hospital as his body began “shutting down.”

Austin, however, is not the only one who went too deep into his character. 

2) Heath Ledger in The Dark Night

In 2008, actor Heath Ledger’s death cast a shadow on the film The Dark Knight, in which he portrayed the legendary Joker opposite Christian Bale’s Batman. Rumours at the time suggested that portraying the iconic villain had affected the actor.

In an interview with The New York Times,  Ledger said that portraying the Joker was ‘physically and mentally draining’. It also affected his already troubled sleep, with the actor saying that he could manage just around two hours of sleep on certain days.

Ledger famously locked himself away in a hotel room and maintained a diary to prepare for the role. He told Empire in a 2007 interview, “It’s a combination of reading all the comic books I could that were relevant to the script and then just closing my eyes and meditating on it. I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices — it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts. He’s just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown.”However, Ledger is not the only one who got way too deep into their character. 

3) Christian Bale in The Machinist

Welsh actor Christian Bale is for famous for undergoing extreme physical transformations for his roles. In an interview with GQ, the actor admitted to committing himself too much to his character in The Machinist.    “The weight loss in Machinist is a clear example. I would say in hindsight that perhaps I went a little too far,” Bale said. “Not in a way that was particularly dangerous but it certainly got, shall we say, interesting, in ways that friends and family noticed – and didn’t particularly enjoy.”  

4) Robert De Niro in The Taxi Driver

The next one in the list Robert De Niro.  Martin Scorcese’s 1976 groundbreaking crime drama Taxi Driver follows Travis Bickle, a New York City taxi driver and Vietnam War veteran who is struggling with his deteriorating mental state and begins to feel the urge for violent action. Acting legend Robert De Niro portrays the troubled Bickle, and to fit into the role, he obtained a taxi driver’s license and listened to a taped reading of the diaries of criminal Arthur Bremer. De Niro lost 30 pounds, took firearm training, and religiously studied the behaviors of taxi drivers; he also would give people a ride in between filming breaks while remaining in character. The Washington Post called de Niro’s epic role his “landmark performance” and he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Since its release, Taxi Driver has gone on to be considered one of the greatest films ever made. 

5) Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant

We cannot complete the list without Leonardo Di Caprio. He played the role of frontiersman Hugh Glass in the 2015 western survival drama The Revenant. It follows fur trapper Glass as he fights for his life after being mauled by a bear and is left for dead by members of his own hunting team.  To prepare for the grueling role, the actor ate a raw slab of bison’s liver and slept in animal carcasses, resulting in the actor catching hypothermia.  

“I can name 30 or 40 sequences that were some of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. 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 hyperthermia constantly, ” he said.