Christian Bale lost 63 pounds to play
Daniel Day Lewis lived in solitary confinement for six months to play a prisoner.
Nicolas Cage ate a live cockroach, but that was probably because he just felt like it.
And it's rumored Angelina actually contracted AIDS to play Gia.
Yeah, that's just a rumor - but these are the stories that inspired Alexandra Barreto and Chad Crone to write Method .
They wanted to focus on something they could relate to... an actor's struggle. It quickly became a discussion between Alex, Chad and Rider Strong about the ridiculous lengths actors go to in order to succeed, and the fine line between persistence and simple delusion. And, well, since they were very familiar with the subject, within two days the script for Method was born.
Acting is a bit masochistic. Actors stretch their emotions, their voices, and their bodies to extremes. Usually, they do this in the service of a great role. But just as often - in tiny casting offices throughout Hollywood - people are killing themselves to get a part on a crappy TV show.
Which is really tragic. But kind of funny, too.
Our challenge as directors of Method was to make sure it stayed funny. As far as what actually occurs in the film, Method could just as easily be a gritty drama about an acress' downfall. We discovered early on the the key to the comedy lay in making our lead character, The Actress, as optimistic as possible. As long as she was all right with what she was doing, the audience could feel comfortable laughing at the situation.
For instance, the central scene of the film is one in which she is, um, exploited in a very real way. But the joke lies in the fact that she never recognizes this: in her mind she's exploiting the guy who thinks he's exploiting her. She's using him to find her character. When we realized this, the movie became, oddly enough, empowering. The Actress is simply taking the delusion that art demands - namely, "I am great, I can do anything" - and pushing it to an absurd level.
As actors-turned-directors, Method was a perfect fit for our third short film. We're definitely making fun of something pretty close to home. In fact, almost every single person on our crew has been an actor - and we've all felt like The Actress at one point or another. To highlight this fact, we made our closing credits a montage of our cast and crew's real, most embarrassing headshot. We shot Method guerilla-style. Shiloh did double-duty as both Co-Director and Director of Photography. We shot on the Canon 5D camera with almost no lights. We never got a permit. We stole shots on Hollywood Boulevard in the middle of the night, sending Alexandra Barreto out on the street in costume. We took over a real sleazy hotel room in the valley where they extorted money from us and didn't ask questions.
In a way, our filmmaking process was as much a subversion of Hollywood as the film itself. And just like The Actress, we insist on a pretty delusional idea: that a tiny group of friends with a still camera can make a real movie.