10 Actors Who Made Real-Life Changes AFTER Movie Roles

When playing a particular movie role goes a lot further than an actor ever imagined...

Bad Teacher Cameron Diaz
Sony Pictures

It's not uncommon for a thespian to completely immerse themselves in a character for the duration of a shoot. After all, this level of relentless dedication is generally required in order to authentically bring another human being to life on the big screen.

Yet, more often than not, once the director calls "CUT!" for the final time on the last day of production, an actor will shed the skin of the role and move onto whatever project they have ahead of them next, taking with them only the memories, accolades, and not too shabby paycheque accrued along the way.

However, every now and again, a role has such a monumental impact on a thespian that they have no choice but to drastically alter their lives in the wake of performing as this specific character on screen. Whether through physically altering their own body via surgery or diet, or going out of their way to change the world for the better, each of the following ten performers all found themselves being deeply inspired either by or due to a character they played in a feature film.

10. Mickey Rouke Quits Acting To Become A Boxer After Homeboy

Bad Teacher Cameron Diaz
Carolco Pictures/David Hogan

Now it's pretty common knowledge that actor Mickey Rourke found a lot of success as an amateur boxer long before he set foot in the world of make believe. However, he would eventually find himself back in the ring on a number of occasions in a professional capacity after starring in a project very close to his heart.

After writing his first screenplay for the movie Homeboy, the story of down-and-out brain-damaged boxer Johnny Walker, Rourke would star in the feature. Seemingly rediscovering his passion for the sport after appearing in the film and feeling as though he "was self destructing" at this point in his life, a few years later the actor would return to the world of boxing.

The star would remain undefeated across his eight professional fights, winning six times and drawing twice. However, the facial injuries he suffered during his 1991-1994 run led to the actor requiring reconstructive surgery and left him looking notably different to the Rourke we'd seen in the late '80s.

Not content with calling time on his in-ring career, though, Rourke would return once again to boxing in 2014, besting a 29-year-old at the age of 62 in an exhibition match in Moscow.


Lifts rubber and metal. Watches people flip in spandex and pretends to be other individuals from time to time...