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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 apocalypses for recruits and a skilled user of a sword in 2016's X-Man: Apocalypse.
To prepare for that role, Munn endured six 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 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 three months preparing. It's the most I've ever prepped for a six-minute section in a movie.
We went over Christmas and new years so I had all that time to let it just stay.
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 five 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 / 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 Lovers.
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 eight years old so he's been working on the same tricks every single day, eight 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 composer Władysław 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 two 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 of Oscar 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 mohawk 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 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 one minute, but she trained herself to hold her breath for five,
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 five.
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?
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10 Crazy Skills Actors Had to Learn for Movie Roles

13916 Folder Collection
Sabrina Hsu published on December 25, 2016    Sabrina Hsu translated    Colleen Jao reviewed
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