Often times, actors and actresses are seen as having easy jobs. However, the complete opposite can be said for a lot of Hollywood’s top actors and actresses. Many roles can take a lot out of an actor or actress and demand a lot from them. This list is specifically comprised of actresses who went above and beyond to play a role in a movie.
Often times, actresses are given a workout regimen that they must follow before filming. It’s often not very strict and usually amounts to a weight limit they have to reach. However, many actresses want to be consumed by their role, meaning that they take it to the next level.
Many actresses will hire personal trainers to help them prepare their body for their role. A lot of these roles take place in superhero films or biographies in which the actress is attempting to resemble the character they’re portraying. Often times, this means doing anything possible to look exactly like that character. This can mean waking up at the break of dawn in order to hit the gym to lose weight and build muscle. The next time you see your favorite actress on screen, just remember it probably took a lot more effort than you may think at first.
15 Scarlett Johansson Prepares For Avengers
Scarlett Johansson is known for taking on physically demanding roles. She played the Black Widow in the Avengers and starred in Ghost in the Shell as a robot assassin. Unlike some actresses who just have to bulk up, Scarlett Johansson also had to learn the arts of fighting and using weapons. She was tasked with learning how to maneuver different guns for her role in Ghost in the Shell.
Johannson spoke on her training for her role in Ghost in the Shell and said, “a lot of repetition and then a lot of tactical training, which I’d never done before — with room clearing and all that stuff, to just be as efficient with the weapons as possible.” She stated that this role was a lot more fun to train for than her role in the Avengers, which she said was straight weightlifting.
14 Angelina Jolie The Tomb Raider
Angelina Jolie stole the hearts of many gamers by taking up the role as Laura Croft in the Tomb Raider films. However, Laura Croft is more than just a female protagonist; she is an expert at exploring caves, gunfights, and climbing. Jolie was very excited about the role and began to practice different forms of fighting. She also learned how to ride horseback for the film.
Angelina Jolie’s physically challenging roles didn’t end with Tomb Raider, as she would move on to play in the film, Salt. For this film, Jolie had to learn several new ways of hand to hand combat including Muay Thai and Krav Maga, according to her trainer. Jolie wanted to get the fighting style so down that she began to train on her lunch breaks during filming.
13 Alison Brie In Glow
Alison Brie is most known for her role in the hit TV show, Mad Men. However, when she took the role in the award-winning Netflix original show, Glow, she had to train hard for it. Glow consists of women who wrestle, so the role was very different from her role as a secretary. This role made her ditch her usual ways of preparing for a role and made her hit the gym and hit it hard!
Some of her workouts included insane workouts like lifting and tossing objects twice her size and even lifting her trainer and carrying him a distance. Her trainer spoke of the end result they wanted Brie to have saying, “Alison would be jumping off ropes and landing on people and flipping. I wanted to get her resilient so she didn’t run the risk of injury.” They wanted Brie to be ready to fight and be ready to take some punishment in the ring.
12 Demi Moore Gets Fit
Many people may have forgotten about Demi Moore’s role in the film, G.I. Jane, but we remember it purely for how much Demi Moore had to work to get the role. In the film, Demi Moore was to resemble a Lieutenant, so she had to look the part as well. Besides doing the normal workout routine for preparing for a role, she also sought the help of an actual Navy Seal trainer.
Demi was so committed that she even did most of her stuntwork. She spoke about doing the stuntwork in an interview, “I could have come in and asked to let the stuntwoman do the obstacle course, but I felt I would have walked away having missed an opportunity experiencing, first-hand, what these people actually go through in training; it’s the whole reason for doing this film in the first place.” She even went as far to seek more help in accurately representing a Lieutenant in the military.
11 Jennifer Lawrence Stops Snacking
Jennifer Lawrence is a staple of young adult book adaptations for the big screen. The film that landed her fame was The Hunger Games. In the film, she played a character known as Katniss Everdeen who was a survivor. Most of the film took place in an arena that resembled a forest. This meant that Lawrence had to learn how to run for long distances and even climb trees.
Jennifer Lawrence trained for six weeks in a typical gym but took it a bit further to recreate the character, Katniss Everdeen. In this, she would pretend like she was in the arena with other opponents, fighting for her life day in and day out. When asked about her workouts Lawrence stated her workouts included “rock climbing, tree climbing — and combat, running, and vaulting.”
10 Hilary Swank’s Intense Workout
Hilary Swank showed pure determination for her role in the award-winning film, Million Dollar Baby. Unlike many on the list, Swank had to change her whole life to revolve around her workout regimen for this part. Her workout was so important that even her sleep schedule changed to keep up with the insane workout. Swank obviously had something to say about the workout.
“My training was two and a half hours of boxing and approximately an hour and a half to two hours lifting weights every day, six days a week,” the actress stated. “The producers asked me to gain 10 pounds of muscle. I gained 19 pounds of muscle. I started at 110 and went to 129. And in order to do that, I had to eat 210 grams of protein a day. Now, your body can only assimilate so much protein, so I had to eat every hour and a half.”
9 Uma Thurman Prepares For Kill Bill
The docket for playing The Bride in Quentin Tarantino’s, Kill Bill, was a hefty one, to say the least. Uma Thurman landed the role but it wouldn’t have been as easy as when she starred in Tarantino’s other film, Pulp Fiction. The movie’s premise is about a woman who is to get revenge on those who tried to kill her, hence the name, Kill Bill. This means the character had to be physically fit and had to know their way around a sword.
Thurman describes what she had to learn as, “Three styles of kung fu, two styles of sword fighting, knife throwing, knife fighting, hand-to-hand combat, Japanese speaking. It was literally absurd.” No matter how absurd it was it paid off because Kill Bill and it’s sequel go down as some of the best films in history.
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8 Linda Hamilton In Terminator
Many people were blown away by the female lead in Terminator and how absolutely awesome she was as a character. The character of Sarah Conner was a hard one to replicate, which is why Linda Hamilton had to get jacked to play her. She was obviously very excited that she landed this role and took it very seriously, so seriously that she began training 13 weeks in advance of the film beginning to film.
She hired a trainer that may have went overboard with her training for the role. When speaking about this in an interview she said, “I learned to load clips, change mags, check out a room upon entry, verify kills. It was very vicious stuff. And it was sheer hell. He would have liked to have had me swimming in the ocean at dawn with a 50-pound pack. But I have a son who needed me too.”
7 Zoe Saldana’s Workout For Avatar
Zoe Saldana could probably take home the award for a person to work hardest for a role without their real face or body ever being shown on the screen. Zoe Saldana is most known for her role in the groundbreaking film Avatar. Zoe had to learn a whole slew of techniques in preparing for this role. Some of which included archery, horseback riding, and hand-to-hand combat.
It didn’t end there, however, as Zoe had to learn the fictional language that was used in the film known as Na’vi. Zoe spoke on learning the fictional language by stating, “I had such a fun time getting to know the language, trying to find it within me to find the tonality, the pronunciation, everything.” Now imagine learning all of that while remaining in a tight uncomfortable motion capture suit.
6 Natalie Portman’s Intense Workout Preparing For Black Swan
Natalie Portman’s role in the Black Swan doesn’t look like it would be that physically demanding but when the actress speaks of it, everyone can see it truly was. “There were some nights that I thought I literally was going to die, ” the actress stated after recalling her training for the role. Portman had to learn everything there is about being a ballerina. This training took her a whole year to prepare for the role and would see her training upwards of five hours a day, every day.
Portman sought after help from professional ballerinas to perfect the art. When filming began Portman began practicing for upwards of 16 hours a day. It’s said that her rigorous training made Portman lose 20 pounds.
5 Daisy Ridley Becomes Unstoppable For Star Wars
Daisy Ridley landed the role of her life as Rey in the newest resurrection of Star Wars films. With this, the character would see a lot of physically demanding obstacles during the course of the film. In order to prepare for this role, Daisy underwent a lot of training. There are several documented videos of Daisy’s workouts that would make any athlete begin to sweat.
Daisy Ridley also had to learn how to wield a sword, as she would be seen using a lightsaber in the film. She had months of sword combat training along with her physical gym training. An interesting fact about Daisy learning to train with swords was the fact that she wasn’t allowed to disclose the information, as it would have been seen as a spoiler for the film.
4 Anne Hathaway’s Workout Regimen
Anne Hathaway is known for completely transforming her body into a role. In the film, Les Miserable, she slimmed down to dangerous weights. When Anne Hathaway was cast to play Catwoman in the third Batman film by Christopher Nolan she had to bulk up and quick.
Hathaway recalls her training by saying, “They’ve given me a martial arts exercise that I have to do all the time to teach me grace and proper stance and fluid movement. It looks so gentle, but when you’re actually doing fight choreography it’s ‘Oh my gosh, that’s actually a block. Oh, I’m hitting somebody’s throat right now.” She genuinely found it fun to learn the fighting aspects it took to become Catwoman. It’s said that her meal plan to prepare for the film was mostly vegan options.
3 Emily Browning In Sucker Punch
Emily Browning had one of the hardest roles in her life to fulfill when she starred in Zak Snyder’s, Suckerpunch. Reports say that Browning could be seen training for the role anywhere up to five hours of sword training alone, not to mention the fact that she also had to train in martial arts. She had a notable trainer on her side, Damon Caro, who was known to train actors in 300 and The Bourne Trilogy.
Browning had to work the hardest out of most people on this list to build mass and perform correctly. A co-star said, “I remember the first day I met her I was like ‘Really? This little thing?’ but she has incredible willpower and was willing to go the distance.” However, Browning shocked everyone and had one of the best performances in the film.
2 Gal Gadot Gets Ripped To Play Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot was, in many people’s eyes, the perfect choice to star in DC’s, Wonder Woman. She already had the perfect face that resembled Wonder Woman. However, it took weeks and weeks of hardcore training to get her in peak shape to resemble Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot first showed herself as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice but it wasn’t until the hero’s standalone film that Gal Gadot had to start taking the gym more seriously.
Gal Gadot came out and said in an interview that she was unable to even do a single pull-up. Now, after nine months of hard work at the gym, Gal Gadot is completely ripped. The time between when Gadot was cast and filming started, she put on 17 pounds of pure muscle. In an interview with Glamour, she said, “I feel so much better now. When you feel strong, it changes everything — your posture, the way you walk. I look at photos from five years ago and think, Whoa, I was too skinny.”
1 Emily Blunt’s Hard Workout Routine
Emily Blunt was tasked with taking the role of a professional dancer in the film, The Adjustment Bureau. Blunt was determined to succeed in the training for this role, telling the director himself that she’d do whatever she had to do to prepare for the role. To prepare for the role as a ballerina, she would train for several hours six days a week. That still wasn’t enough for Emily Blunt and she decided to start taking ballerina classes, which took two hours every night for five nights a week.
Emily Blunt was shocked at the outcome that her body had taken. She completely transformed for the role and stated, “My back looked like there was a barrel of snakes in it. I had an eight-pack!” This wasn’t the only role in which Emily Blunt had to transform herself. She also did a similar workout to prepare her for the summer blockbuster, Edge of Tomorrow.
References: thelist.com, youtube.com
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