Some award-winning actors take months or even years to prepare for certain roles. This is to ensure that the character they are portraying is accurately and genuinely depicted. These ten Oscar winners prove that the Academy is obsessed with appearances, as all have gone through dramatic physical transformations to achieve recognition.
1. Robert DeNiro
Robert DeNiro showed tremendous dedication playing iconic boxer Jake LaMotta in 1980’s Raging Bull. To prepare for the role, DeNiro trained with Lamotta himself, packing on pounds of muscle. He even competed in three different boxing matches. Then, to portray LaMotta in his later years, DeNiro gained an additional 60 pounds of flab. DeNiro admitted that the drastic weight changes gave him rashes and breathing problems, but he did walk away with the Oscar for Best Actor that year.
2. Hilary Swank
Hilary Swank played Brandon Teena, a transgendered teen, in the heart-wrenching film, Boys Don’t Cry. To prepare for the role, Swank spent weeks researching stories of transgender teens and adults and even lived as a man for one month, cutting off her hair, putting socks down her pants and strapping down her chest. Swank’s sincere commitment to the role earned her the Oscar for Best Actress in 1999.
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