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  • Acting, by its very definition, involves performing a fictional role.

  • When performing a fictional role and pretending to be somebody else,

  • an actor has to project that character's traits, which range from their speech and intelligence to their body language and skills.

  • The latter of those traits, the skills, can often be difficult to convey, which is why in a lot of cases,

  • actors actually have to learn new skills to convincingly become another person on screen.

  • In this video, we'll take a look at just some of the skills that actors had to become proficient at in order to portray certain characters on the big screen.

  • Here are 10 crazy skills actors had to learn for movie roles.

  • Olivia Munn, sword skills for "X-Men: Apocalypse."

  • The very beautiful Olivia Munn played the mutant Psylocke, one of apocalypse's 4 recruits and a skilled user of a sword in 2016's "X-Man: Apocalypse."

  • To prepare for that role, Munn endured 6 hours of daily sword-fighting training and she became incredibly skilled in the art of wielding a blade.

  • She showed off her impressive skills in an Instagram video alongside Ryan Reynolds,

  • who played Deadpool in the Merc with a Mouth's titular movie, which was also released in 2016.

  • Although Reynolds also trained with a sword for that role, he was no match for Munn in the video, as his sword was made of balloons.

  • Channing Tatum, tap dancing for "Hail Caesar."

  • If you've seen "Step Up" and "Magic Mike," you'll probably understand why the Coen brothers assumed that

  • Channing Tatum could tap dance when they cast him in 2016's "Hail Caesar."

  • They were wrong to do so, however. And Tatum spent months preparing for his role as actor and dancer Burt Gurney in the movie.

  • About that preparation, Tatum said, "I spent about 3 months preparing. It's the most I've ever prepped for a six-minute section in a movie.

  • We went over Christmas and New Year's so I had all that time to let it just stick.

  • I let it sink into my bones over the holiday break. When I'm nervous about something, I drill it to a point that is probably unhealthy.

  • But as long as it works even halfway, I'm happy at the end of the torturous day.

  • Natalie Portman, ballet for "Black Swan."

  • Natalie Portman played the ballet dancer Nina Sayers in the brilliant 2010 psychological thriller "Black Swan,"

  • and the American Israeli star actually learned ballet for the role.

  • She trained for at least 5 hours each day whilst working on other projects at the same time.

  • Portman told the "New York Times," it was a rude awakening to get there, and to be like,

  • I don't know what I'm doing. If I had know how not close to ready I was, I never would have tried it.

  • I'm glad I was a little ignorant slash arrogant, the training definitely paid off for her, however.

  • The actress won the Academy Award for best actress for her performance in the film.

  • Robert Downey Jr, the violin for "Chaplin."

  • Long before Robert Downey Jr. was Ironman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the actor played an equally iconic figure for the real world,

  • that being English comic actor Charlie Chaplin in 1992's "Chaplin," and he had to learn a very interesting skill for the role.

  • To accurately portray the actor, Downey Jr. learned to play the violin as well as a little bit of tennis, incidentally.

  • And he had to do so left handed.

  • His performance in the role earned him an Oscar nomination for best actor,

  • but he was ultimately and unfortunately beaten by Al Pacino for his performance in "Scent of a Woman."

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt, tightrope walking for "The Walk."

  • In 2015, Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrayed real-life daredevil Philippe Petit in "The Walk."

  • A movie about Petit's tightrope walk between the twin towers in New York City.

  • Gordon-Levitt actually worked with Petit to learn tightrope walking for the role, a challenge he enjoyed and benefited greatly from.

  • Gordon-Levitt told "Entertainment Weekly," "he's such an optimist, Philippe, he's such a positive thinker

  • and when someone believes that you can do something, then you yourself believe you can do it.

  • And that's when you can actually do it. When you believe in yourself."

  • The actor still struggled a little with the height, however.

  • Jennifer Lawrence, chopping wood and skinning squirrels for "Winter's Bone."

  • Jennifer Lawrence is currently the hottest actress in Hollywood

  • and she has her breakout role in "Winter's Bone" to thank for her rise to the top.

  • The 2010 drama saw Laurence playing Ree Dolly, a teenage girl who looked after her whole family in rural America

  • while teaching them basic survival skills like hunting and cooking.

  • For the role, Lawrence learned how to chop wood and how to skin a squirrel.

  • If you haven't seen the scene in which she does the latter, we don't recommend it. It's really not very pleasant on the eyes.

  • Jesse Eisenberg, magic tricks for "Now You See Me."

  • In 2013 heist thriller "Now You See Me," Jesse Eisenberg played Danny Atlas, aka, The Lover.

  • Atlas was an arrogant illusionist street magician and a member of the magic group known as The Four Horsemen.

  • And Eisenberg actually learned some magic and sleight-of-hand tricks for the movie.

  • About what he had learned, Eisenberg said, "I'm better than I was before the movie started but not good enough to do them in public.

  • My character has been practicing since he was 8 years old, so he's been working on the same tricks every single day, 8 hours a day.

  • To get as good as my character is, I would have to start 20 years ago."

  • Adrien Brody, the piano for "The Pianist."

  • Given the plot and indeed the title of 2002's "The Pianist,"

  • it should come as no surprise to learn that the movie star, Adrien Brody, had to learn to play the piano

  • for his role in the movie as polish pianist and classical composeradysław Szpilman.

  • What might be surprising is the extent he went to learn it. Brody went fully method for the role,

  • telling BBC, "I gave up my apartment, I sold my car, I disconnected the phones and I left. I took 2 bags and my keyboard and moved to Europe."

  • His effort certainly paid off as he won the Academy Award for best actor for his performance.

  • Daniel Day-Lewis, tracking, hunting and skinning animals for "The Last of the Mohicans."

  • Daniel Day-Lewis is, of course, known for his method acting.

  • It's the main reason he's won 3 Best Actor Oscars after all.

  • But the English Irish star went above and beyond to perfect his performance for the 1992 adventure drama masterpiece "The Last of the Mohicans."

  • Day-Lewis actually lived outdoors as a survivalist, as an extreme form of preparation to play Nathaniel Poe,

  • aka Hawkeye, the white adopted son of the last chief of the Mohawkan tribe.

  • In the movie, the actor picked up a very useful skill in the process as well, he learned how to hunt his own food.

  • Margot Robbie, holding her breath for 5 minutes for "Suicide Squad."

  • There's a scene in 2016's "Suicide Squad" in which the Joker's purple Lamborghini ends up in some water with him and Harley Quinn still inside.

  • He escapes, but Harley is left halfway through the windshield sprawled across the bonnet

  • and Batman has to swim to the bottom of the water to rescue her.

  • The scene only required actress Margot Robbie to be underwater for 1 minute, but she trained herself to hold her breath for 5,

  • telling Jimmy Fallon, "it's all about lowering your metabolic rate, you kinda like meditate underwater.

  • It's what freedivers do, but it's amazing. I got to 5 minutes and I was like, you know what,

  • this is above and beyond what I thought I'd get to. I'm good, I'm good with 5."

  • Thanks for watching our video about 10 crazy skills actors had to learn for movie roles.

  • Did you enjoy the video?

  • Which other skills you know that actors were taught for their movie roles?

  • Have your say in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to our channel for more great videos like this one.

Acting, by its very definition, involves performing a fictional role.

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10 Crazy Skills Actors Had to Learn for Movie Roles

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    Sabrina Hsu   posted on 2016/12/09
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