8 Actors Who Went To Extreme Lengths For Films No One Watched

If an actor goes to insane lengths but nobody sees, did the performance even happen?

Charlie Countryman Shia LaBeouf
Millennium Entertainment

It's not uncommon for an actor to throw ever piece of their being into immersing themselves completely in a character's way of thinking, physicality, and life in general. Over the years, this level of insane dedication has often bordered on disturbing, it must be said, but it has also paved the way for some of the most captivating on screen work we've ever seen from dedicated thespians.

But, refusing to bathe for weeks on end, spending hours of your life learning a difficult new skill, or putting a ridiculous amount of pressure on your body through weight gain/loss for a much hyped project, guaranteed to have a ton of eyes on it come opening night, is hard enough. Now imagine going through all that hardship only for the feature you're working on to be seen by next to nobody. That must royally suck.

Well, the unfortunate entries on this list need not wonder. That's because these highly committed eight actors legitimately went to crazy lengths to bring characters to life in movies hardy anyone on the planet went out of their way to witness.

8. James Franco Shadowed A Gigilo - Sonny

Charlie Countryman Shia LaBeouf
Samuel Goldwyn Films

When James Franco decided to go full method for his role of Tommy Wiseau in 2017's The Disaster Artist, the star's good pal Seth Rogen even confessed he "couldn't deal with it, straight up, for the first two days." However, this wasn't the first time the star had gone out of his way to completely submerge himself in the world of another character.

When tasked with playing a male prostitute in 2002's Sonny, Franco decided he needed to get to know the world of gigilos a little better. So, the actor shadowed a real-life prostitute in a strip club beforehand.

Recounting the research to Inside the Actors Studio, Franco stated, "It went down. Everything went down, as you see in the movies and hear about. The eerie thing is, it was like a movie, but it wasn't a movie - it was the real thing, happening in front of me."

While the star's commitment to his performance in The Disaster Artist led to critical acclaim for Franco, his going of the extra mile whilst working on the Nicolas Cage-directed feature went pretty much unnoticed as next to no one caught the film in cinemas.


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