6 Starlets Who’ve Gone Through Extreme Training For Roles

Vanessa Hudgens has broken the shackles of teenybopper, sweetheart typecasting to join the predominantly female cast of “Sucker Punch.” The action movie is set in the ’50s and has been described as “‘Alice in Wonderland’ with machine guns.” For the role, Hudgens has spent months training with Navy SEALS. “I was bawling my eyes out because they push you so hard,” she said. “But it’s amazing what you find from it. When you go so far you find a certain zen within that and you know you can do anything. It’s very empowering.” [People]

After the jump, other female stars who’ve gone to extremes for their art, from hard-core training to surviving on an apple and a can of tuna a day.

  1. For “G.I. Jane,” Demi Moore also trained with former Navy SEALS, along with the rest of the cast. According to the film’s military technical adviser, her training “encapsulated a 17-week course into two weeks, so those actors were harassed to hell.” The cast was forced to be in perfect physical condition, which meant that by the end of training they could run long distances, swim 400 yards (including 30 underwater), and do hundreds of sit-ups, push-ups, and squat jumps. While some actors might have left the physical hardships up to a stunt double, Moore felt it was a privilege. “I felt I would have walked away having missed an opportunity experiencing, first-hand, what these people actually go through in training,” she said. “It’s the whole reason for doing this film in the first place.” [Film Scouts]
  2. For her Oscar-winning role in “Million Dollar Baby,” Hilary Swank spent two hours a day in boxing practice with trainer Hector Roca. Some of the routines included something called “training beyond failure,” where Swank lifted weights just beyond breaking point, moved on to slightly lighter weights and went just beyond breaking point again. Another fun training game was called “pushing the truck”—where Swank was literally pushing an SUV in neutral across a parking lot. Director Clint Eastwood was proud with Swank’s progress and the fact that her “rippling back muscles” on the posters weren’t Photoshopped. Swank gained 20 pounds in muscle over the course of training for the role. [Seattle Times]
  3. Mila Kunis trained for three months for her role in the upcoming flick “Black Swan,” co-starring Natalie Portman. Kunis described the experience to Fox News: “I’ve been studying for the past month, seven days a week, four to five hours a day of doing ballet, cardio and pilates and I have two more months before choreography begins,” she said. “This ballet I’m doing, you can’t fake it. Your body has to be structured differently, your hips have to be turned out, your shoulders have to be turned in, everything in your body is not natural, so I’m learning every day.” [Fox News]
  4. Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai allegedly lost 22 pounds in three days of extreme training for her movie “Dhoom 2.” Her fitness guru trained her by waking the actress up at 4 a.m. and between shooting, the actress worked out an ungodly amount. One source says, “She has been working 16 hours a day for the film and is exhausted by the end of the day.” Her manager concurred, “Ash is a very dedicated actress and she is working hard to get under the skin of her role.” Although I doubt the plausibility of that woman having an extra 22 pounds to lose, I’m more offended that they couldn’t give her more time to do it! [CBS News]
  5. Angelina Jolie likes to do a lot of her own stunts, as she has been for the upcoming movie “Salt.” For the role, Jolie had to disguise herself as a man and believed she should lose her curves altogether. According to a source, Jolie used the Martha’s Vineyard Detox Diet, which consists of consuming liquids every two hours. Jolie lost eight pounds in the early days of shooting, but was apparently trying to lose about 20 pounds in 21 days for the role. In preparing for her “Tomb Raider” role, Angie went on a high-protein diet and trained for 10 weeks with martial arts and weapon experts. Jolie said of the training, “I liked the intense training because there is only one way to do something and for me it’s in extremes.” [Screen India, Examiner]