Actresses Who Did Serious Training For A Role

Actresses Who Did Serious Training For A Role


In an era where action flicks and superhero
stories are Hollywood’s bread and butter, it’s not enough for the female stars of these
films to be talented and beautiful; they also have to clock some serious hours working out. From soldiers and spies to intergalactic assassins
and psychotic ballerinas, these women put in maximum effort before the cameras ever
began rolling! Gal Gadot Gal Gadot already had the face to play one
of the DC’s most notoriously gorgeous girl heroes when she was cast as Wonder Woman in
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — but it took some challenging work in the gym to
turn her runway model-body into an Amazonian temple of power for Wonder Woman’s stand-alone
flick. “I had five months of doing horse riding and
martial arts and a lot of body work.” Gadot, who was unable to do a single pullup
at the start of her training, spent nine months bulking up for the role, and gaining seventeen
pounds. She told Glamour, “It’s all muscle. I feel so much better now. When you feel strong, it changes everything
— your posture, the way you walk. I look at photos from five years ago and think,
Whoa, I was too skinny.” Scarlett Johansson Between playing Black Widow in the Iron Man
and Avengers franchises, and a cyborg assassin in Ghost in the Shell, Scarlett Johansson
has had to stay in peak physical condition since 2010. But for the latter, she had to know how to
handle a wide variety of lethal objects, too. Johansson described her training regimen as
“a lot of repetition and then a lot of tactical training, which I’d never done before — with
room clearing and all that stuff, to just be as efficient with the weapons as possible.” Hardcore, for sure, although it still sounds
like a lot more fun than the strict weight-lifting and diet routine she followed for Avengers,
which involved, as she put it, “Workout like a dude, eat like a rabbit.” Alison Brie Until recently, Alison Brie was best known
for playing Trudy on Mad Men — a role which required serious acting chops, but no stunt
work. So when she landed a starring role in Netflix’s
GLOW (that’s Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), she had to train like a madwoman to get into
fighting shape. Sometimes that meant intense workouts in the
gym, or carrying weights across the floor, and sometimes, it meant carrying her 220-pound
trainer, Jason Walsh, around the room on her back. Walsh claimed his goal was to turn Brie into
someone who could dish it out, and take a hit, saying, “Alison would be jumping off
ropes and landing on people and flipping. I wanted to get her resilient so she didn’t
run the risk of injury.” Jennifer Lawrence In order to play Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger
Games franchise, Lawrence had to whip herself into peak physical condition and acquire a
slew of survival skills. Lawrence’s six-week training regimen included
the usual time in the gym, for sprints and cardio — and of course, she had to learn
to hold a bow like a pro. But when the actress was asked about her workout
routine, she ticked off some unusual items, too, “Rock climbing, tree climbing — and
combat, running, and vaulting.” Hilary Swank Few actresses have ever gotten into the kind
of shape that Hilary Swank did for her Oscar-winning role as a champion boxer in Million Dollar
Baby. For the role, Swank overhauled her entire
lifestyle and adopted a tightly regimented routine in which workouts, meals, and even
sleep were all planned, down to the minute. She said, “My training was two and a half
hours of boxing and approximately an hour and a half to two hours lifting weights every
day, six days a week…I gained 19 pounds of muscle.” Swank also described drinking ten egg whites
per day and sleeping nine hours per night — but with a midnight alarm so that she
could get up and drink a protein shake in the wee hours of the morning. Demi Moore For her role as a soldier in G.I. Jane, Demi Moore famously got in such peak
physical condition that she was able to do one-armed pushups. To nail the part, Moore trained with an actual
Navy SEAL and did her own stunts, even for the movie’s most intense scenes. She said, “I could have come in and asked
to let the stuntwoman do the obstacle course, but I felt I would have walked away having
missed an opportunity experiencing, first-hand, what these people actually go through in training;
it’s the whole reason for doing this film in the first place.” Uma Thurman In order to play Beatrix “The Bride” Kiddo
in Kill Bill, Uma Thurman had to be able to kill Bill in several dozen different ways
— and at least two languages. Thurman described the litany of skills she
had to train for, listing, “Three styles of kung fu, two styles of sword fighting, knife
throwing, knife fighting, hand-to-hand combat, Japanese speaking. It was literally absurd.” Thurman said, of her grueling regimen with
martial arts master Wu Ping, “They trained me five days a week for three months from
nine in the morning until five o’clock at night and we were not to be late and I never
got to leave early.” Linda Hamilton While some folks were swooning over the then-awe-inspiring
special effects in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, others were far more impressed by the
musclebound guns of its leading lady. Linda Hamilton trained like a maniac for her
return to the role of Sarah Connor, putting in thirteen weeks of work before shooting
even began — a regimen that saw her doing loads of cardio, weight training, weapons
training, and judo, as well as eating a very 90s-healthy diet: no fat. ​Angelina Jolie Angelina Jolie doesn’t just accept physically
demanding roles; she seeks them out, and then searches for ways to make them even more hardcore. In a special feature on Tomb Raider: Cradle
of Life, writer James V. Hart revealed that Jolie came on board looking to gain new skills. “Angelina had a list of things that she wanted
to do on the film.” “She wanted to ride a horse. She wanted to have an underwater sequence.” Seven years later, she’d do it all over again,
for the title role in Salt. Stunt instructor, Simon Crane, explained,
“For her fight training, we got her learning a combination of Muay Thai and Krav Maga very
early on. The training, at the early stages, took up
about three to four sessions a week, lasting approximately two hours each. When we started filming, we trained during
lunch breaks or on the weekends.” Zoe Saldana Even though her actual face and body never
appeared onscreen, Zoe Saldana endured a serious training regimen for her performance as Neytiri
in Avatar. Not only did the actress need to learn archery,
martial arts, and how to ride a horse bareback, she also had to learn in Na’vi, the fictional
language featured in the movie. And the six months she spent mastering those
skills were just the beginning, as she then had to learn how to do it all, while wearing
a motion capture suit and head camera. All together, Saldana spent a whopping eighteen
months preparing for the role. Natalie Portman Portman herself probably sums up her training
regimen for Black Swan best, when she says, “There were some nights that I thought I literally
was going to die.” To prepare for her role as the star of Darren
Aronofsky’s thriller about a mentally unbalanced ballerina, Portman spent a full year developing
the basic ballet skills required to execute the film’s choreography — dancing for five
hours a day, every day. But once production kicked into gear, those
five hours of daily dancing turned into sixteen, which, in combination with an ultra-restrictive
dancer’s diet, saw Portman shed twenty pounds from her already-thin frame. The dedication is real Despite Hollywood’s reputation for “smoke
and mirrors,” there’s nothing fake about the effort these actresses put in to prepare for
these physically demanding roles. So the next time you’re watching a superhero
movie, or an on-screen dance-off, be sure to take a moment to appreciate all the hard
work that went into it before the cameras ever started rolling. Thanks for watching! Click the List icon to subscribe to our YouTube
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9 thoughts on “Actresses Who Did Serious Training For A Role

  1. 2:32 handle a bow like a pro, huh? well, that's NOT how you handle an ACTUAL bow. that's how you handle bow in sport

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