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Life-Changing Movie Roles: 6 Stars Who Took It to the Next Level!

Life-changing movie roles – what does this mean?

When I was younger, I used to think that being a celebrity was easy-peasy-lemon-squizzy, and I thought that it was the dream job. Why did people complain about being actors? I used to ask myself each time I read some celeb news.

All they had to do was learn a couple of lines, move their bodies according to the scene, travel the world, party and have fun, meet other Hollywood stars, and when the job was done, get back home with millions of dollars on their cards.

There are so many benefits to being a famous person, so what could be so hard about this career? Well, a couple of years went by, I met some actors in real life, and my thoughts changed.

On the surface, it seems like being an actor is the greatest job that could ever exist, but when I heard about different life-changing movie roles that were given to actors, I started thinking that it was harder than I was expecting.

Speaking of that, I discovered that in order to make something seem flawless, sometimes actors need to put in more effort than it seems. They have to completely transform their bodies by losing or gaining tons of pounds, wearing heavy prosthetics or makeup that will leave their skin hurting, undergoing exhausting training, learning all sorts of tricks, and even isolating themselves from all the people they love in order to give life to their character.

If these aren’t some life-changing movie roles, I don’t know what are. However, I wanted to talk to you about these extreme changes actors were forced to go through, so if you’re just as curious as I am, keep reading!

life-changing movie role
Photo by Kathy Hutchins from

1. Joaquin Phoenix and isolation

Well, we’ll start this list on a strong note with a demanding and life-changing movie role. If you’ve watched the 2019 movie “Joker”, directed by Todd Phillips, you already know what a good job actor Joaquin Phoenix did.

He had to play the role of a psycho who didn’t have people he could count on, a man who was different from others and wasn’t understood by society. Quite a hard character to play, right?

Joaquin Phoenix wanted to give the character the best he could, so he decided to isolate himself for a couple of weeks before shooting to experiment with different voices and laughs so the character could be unique. The actor stated that he sat in a hotel room in beautiful London for roughly a month, wrote in a diary, and made some acting experiments.

In my opinion, this was indeed a life-changing movie role, but he’s done a wonderful job!

2. Leonardo DiCaprio and extreme temperature

You would say that actors are the biggest liars because they have to convince you that everything they do or say is as true as it can get, isn’t that so?

But that’s not always the case, because actors don’t want to pretend that they can feel something and make you believe them; they want to feel those things, experiment with them, and then convince you that they know what they’re doing.

That was the case with Leonardo DiCaprio, who said yes to a life-changing movie role that surely didn’t disappoint! When reporters asked him about how his role as Hugh Glass in the movie “The Revenant” was, the actor stated that there were at least 30 scenes in which he had a hard time.

He had to go in and out of frozen rivers dozens of times, sleep in animal carcasses, and eat terrible food on set. And the worst things that happened to him during the filming period were the fact that he was always cold and the possibility of hypothermia was always there. That’s a pretty life-changing movie role, isn’t it?

If you’re curious about this movie, you could watch it here!

3. Daniel Day-Lewis and his broken ribs

Was this a life-changing movie role, or was it a form of torture?

Would you consider playing in a movie if that meant having one or two broken ribs at the end of it? I surely wouldn’t want that to happen, so I would say pass. But actor Daniel Day-Lewis didn’t say no to the challenge, and he had an amazing performance in the movie “My Left Foot”.

Even though it was indeed a life-changing movie role, he fabulously played Irish painter and writer Christy Brown, an artist who was the victim of cerebral palsy and couldn’t control his right foot.

During the period he spent shooting, the actor remained slumped over, but unfortunately, that had some side effects on his health: two of his ribs broke, but at least he won his first Oscar in 1989 thanks to this life-changing movie role. That’s surely a level of dedication that I appreciate!

What do you think about this life-changing movie role? Did you watch this movie? It’s fantastic, so don’t miss it!

life-changing movie role
Photo by Tinseltown from

4. Robert De Niro and his cabbie job

Acting is a job, but sometimes, in order to properly do your job, you have to try another job for a while! At least this is what actor Robert De Niro had to do for his outstanding performance as Travis Bickle in “Taxi Driver”.

He wanted to have a taste of the actual job that he was supposed to perform in the film, so what do you think he did? Well, the actor didn’t let this chance pass by, so he bought himself a taxi and worked as a cabbie for a month to help him transpose into his character.

But you can’t be a cabbie without having the proper license, so he got that as well. Even though this was indeed a life-changing job, the effort wasn’t in vain because the character he gave life to helped him win an Oscar nomination.

5. Natalie Portman and severe ballet training

Did you watch the thriller movie “Black Swan”, directed by Darren Aronofsky? I think it’s a powerful and psychological one if I can say so and Natalie Portman did a magnificent job of portraying the determined and energetic Nina in this film.

However, this was a life-changing movie role, and the things the actress went through weren’t that easy. She was already a fit and good-looking woman, but in order to allow the viewer to enter the world of ballet, she went on an extreme diet and only ate almonds and carrots for a while so she could achieve a ballerina-like figure.

But the body of a ballerina won’t guarantee you an artist’s skills and talent, so she had to spend roughly 8 hours a day learning different ballet moves and rehearsing.

The entire experience was quite hard for the Hollywood star, so there were some nights when she thought that she was not going to make it. But she did, and she had a fabulous performance, don’t you think?

6. Robert Pattinson and sleeping in his clothes

How could you experience the sad life of a man if you lived a life that made you happy? Well, when there’s a life-changing movie role like this, you have to put your happy things on hold and go to the bottom for a unique experience.

Robert Pattinson wanted to do a good job in the movie “Good Time,” so he spent some time trying to understand his character. So he decided to put his real life on pause and try something different for the sake of acting. He moved into a tiny basement apartment and got a job at a random car wash.

The artist stated that he never opened his curtains, didn’t even change the sheets while he was there, and slept in the clothes he was wearing during the day. So, what do you think? Was this a life-changing movie role? I think it was, but leave a comment down below and let me know which one of these stories you think was the most extreme!

Until we talk about other life-changing movie roles again, here’s another good article for you: 7 Chilling Unsolved Mysteries America Is Obsessed With!

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