Many of the Hollywood stars practiced method acting at least once or twice in their career. They used it to polish their acting skills and create an authentic performance. Of course, it’s one thing to “method play” a spoiled billionaire or a hooker, and it’s a whole other story when you need to convince the audience that you’re a drug addict, even if they’ve never seen one. This can be especially tricky, as actors can’t just do drugs all day long to see how it feels. So how do they do it?
John Travolta in Pulp Fiction (1994)
Let’s start with one of the most iconic performances of the 90’s – Pulp Fiction. The movie featured 3 separate but interlocking stories involving two gangster killers: Vincent Vega, a heroin addict, played by John Travolta, and a bada$$ Jules Winnfield, played by Samuel L. Jackson.
There’s a scene where Travolta’s character was supposed to get shitfaced on drugs, right? So, an ex-addict, a friend of Quentin Tarantino, tells him how to come close to what a heroin high might feel like. He says: get plastered on tequila while relaxing in a hot bath. And guess what? Travolta did just that together with his wife. Were you fooled by his performance?
Heath Ledger in Candy (2006)
Remember Heath Ledger’s amazing performance in 2006 film “Candy”? Ledger, played the poet Dan, and he had to put surfing life aside for this role. Heath intentionally avoided the sun, and hid in darkness, to achieve the pale look of a junkie. But that’s not all. Heath actually hung out with a real junkie in Sydney, who showed him (on a prosthetic arm) the best ways to inject. That’s some dedication right there!