- Actors often go through physical changes after roles.
- But some actors feel the effects years after they’re done.
- From a fear of showers to a smoking habit, we rounded up some of the most notable ways roles have changed actors.
It’s one thing to pursue method acting by choice, but when a role has a major impact on the actor’s mental or physical health off-screen, long after the project has wrapped, that’s a whole other beast. From biographies to horror films and doctor TV dramas, actors endure many issues in their personal life caused by the roles they portray.
Here are seven actors who say they were changed by their roles.
Colin Firth struggled with a stutter after portraying King George VI.
Filming of “The King’s Speech” required a great deal of voice training for Firth to pick up on George’s stutter and various tics. He told the Telegraph months after the film’s release that he hadn’t quite knocked the habit in real life.
It took watching the final product of “Halloween” for child star Kyle Richards to fear Michael Myers.
Richards, who portrayed one of the children watched by Jamie Lee Curtis in the horror classic, has fond memories on set with Nick Castle. According to Bravo, seeing “Halloween” in full completely altered her perception of Castle, who portrayed the film’s villain.
“Seeing it for the first time all pieced together was a very, very different movie,” Richards said. “It was just really scary. And I really did sleep with my mum until I was 15 years old after that. I was terrified.”
Janet Leigh said she never takes showers after her iconic “Psycho” scene.
Marion Crane’s ill-fated shower at the Bates Motel might be one of the most memorable scenes of any horror film, but naturally, it came with some consequences. Janet Leigh, the actress who portrayed her, has steered clear of showers ever since.
“I stopped taking showers and I take baths, only baths,” she told the New York Times. “I make sure the doors and windows of the house are locked and I leave the bathroom door open and shower curtain open. I’m always facing the door, watching, no matter where the shower head is.”
Pretending to speak to cartoon characters led Bob Hoskins to some strange hallucinations.
The 1988 fantasy film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” had Bob Hoskins speaking to cartoon characters for hours. After the film wrapped, Hoskins said he continued seeing and hearing the characters even after the film wrapped.
He said, according to Express, “I think I went a bit mad while working on that. Lost my mind. The voice of the rabbit was there just behind the camera all the time, you just had to know where the rabbit would be at all times, and Jessica Rabbit and all these weasels. The trouble was, I had learnt how to hallucinate.”
Anne Hathaway shared her struggle to get back to “normal” after her role in “Les Misérables.”
Anne Hathaway went through a physical transformation to play the dying Fantine in “Les Misérables,” and it turns out her role also took a toll on her emotionally.
“I was in such a state of deprivation – physical and emotional. When I got home, I couldn’t react to the chaos of the world without being overwhelmed,” she told Vogue. “It took me weeks till I felt like myself again. The first time I really threw everything into a part, which was when I did Rachel Getting Married, there was no one waiting for me when I got back. This time, Adam was there. He gets what I do and who I am and supports me in it, and that’s pretty awesome.”
Sarah Paulson caught onto smoking after filming “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson.”
Paulson was never a chain smoker in real life, but when it came to playing her role as famed attorney Marcia Clark, she went all-in. As she said in an interview with Stephen Colbert, she got hooked.
“When we first started, I was coughing a lot,” Paulson explained. “But then eventually … I was ready for a smoke. It got me a little crazy for the ciggies.”
Pennywise the clown haunted us all during “It” – even Bill Skarsgård himself.
Skarsgård did the Stephen King classic justice with his creepy voice and smile, even to the point where it took a toll on his own mental health. He told Entertainment Weekly that portraying the evil clown lead to the character showing up in his dreams every night, even post-filming.
“It’s just like being in a very destructive relationship,” Skarsgård said. “People don’t really realise it until they’re out of it. All your friends go, ‘You need to dump this piece of sh-, he or she is destroying your life.’ And then once you’re out of it, you see, ‘I was so miserable.’ But I wouldn’t say I was miserable doing Pennywise because I had a lot of fun with it as well.”
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