3 Iconic Roles That Landed Their Actors in Therapy

3 Iconic Roles That Landed Their Actors in Therapy
Image credit: Disney Enterprises, Inc., United Artists Releasing, Tri-Star Pictures

Some characters are dangerous to health to be played with dedication.

Actors often undergo both mental and visible changes related to their appearance, voice and behaviour to get closer to their characters, see Christian Bale ’s commitment in losing 62 pounds for his role in The Machinist or Austin Butler ’s specific accent for Elvis.

It’s sometimes challenging to go back to how things were, especially if a role requires embodying a criminal or an evil creature, so that actors can turn to psychiatric help. Here are three examples when it was necessary.

Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison in The Doors

Famous for his roles in Top Gun and Batman Forever, Val Kilmer couldn’t even imagine he would be destroyed by playing a drastically different character, The Doors’ eccentric frontmen Jim Morrison.

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He took it so seriously he tried to imitate the singer in every possible way, both visually, having lost enough weight to play a slim drug addict, and conceptually, in terms of Morrison’s eternal search for the spirit.

The crew even called him Jim while filming. Later it was admitted that after finishing the movie Kilmer consulted a therapist, trying to find a way out of this complicated character.

Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci

When the singer and actress Lady Gaga appeared in a dark role of a cunning woman, who killed her own husband, Maurizio Gucci, which really happened in the past, she put herself into her character so much she became feeling like she was Patrizia herself, as she confessed in the interview at Variety.

It put a lot of pressure on her, so she was ending her work under this movie with a psychiatric nurse being near, as it felt “safer”.

Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies

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Knightley became the star of the pirate franchise at a very young age and she wasn’t ready for it at all. Years later she opened up about her struggle with fame in a Variety interview where she also mentioned she has undergone “many years of therapy”.

Nowadays she works with young actresses mentoring them how to deal with scrutiny.