Actors are kind of like children: give them a funny costume and an audience and they’ll run around like idiots until they pass out from exhaustion. Some are more dedicated to it than others though. Today we’re going to list the ten most hilarious things actors did while they were still dressed like the character they were portraying on screen.
10. Heath Ledger Skateboarded While Dressed as the Joker
Contrary to the many rumors online about him being mentally disturbed and distant, Heath Ledger was in remarkably good spirits during the filming of The Dark Knight. Now, you may have seen this image of Ledger doing a sick kickflip over Christian Bale while both men were in full costume and makeup. We’re incredibly sad to report that, that image is a fake. However, Ledger did indeed skateboard while dressed as the Joker — like, all of the time when he was on set, as this aptly named video will attest to.
Why 200 million people haven’t been sharing this is a mystery. In fact, according to this Reddit thread, some people even reported seeing Ledger casually smoking a cigarette as he boarded around, again, in costume. Sadly no image of that exists, because any camera trying to capture it would have probably caught fire the second the shutter closed.
9. Daniel Day-Lewis Texted People as Abe Lincoln
Daniel Day-Lewis is probably the most dedicated actor on this planet, period. There are so many examples of him refusing to break character that it’d be considered modern-day sacrilege if he ever phoned a performance in because he wasn’t “feeling it”. The guy is famous for essentially “becoming” his characters during a shoot.
One of his best bits of method acting occurred while he was on the set of Lincoln. According to some, Day-Lewis refused to break character virtually the entire time he was filming the movie and he had everyone, including Spielberg himself, refer to him as “Mr. President” because come on, who wouldn’t do that? But our favorite thing he did was text his friends and family in full character and even costume. He even ended his texts with “Yours, A.” Because even though Lincoln’s head would have probably exploded if he saw an iPhone, Day-Lewis still thinks he would have been polite while using one.
8. Ken Kirzinger Went to the Dentist Dressed as Jason Voorhees
If you’ve no idea who he is, Ken Kirzinger is one of many giant-ass men to have donned Jason Voorhees’ iconic hockey mask over the years, and a very accomplished stunt actor. Standing at an imposing, 6’5″, Kirzinger is the tallest and probably most terrifying man to have ever played Jason on screen.
So imagine how scared the people in the waiting room of Kirzinger’s local dentist were when he walked in for an appointment in full Jason costume and make-up. To explain: while filming Freddie Vs Jason, Kirzinger needed urgent dental work, but didn’t have time to take off the many layers of make-up that becoming the character required. So, instead of booking another appointment or asking for a day off or something sensible like that, he went to his appointment dressed like an actual murderer, sans the hockey mask because it kind of makes dental work difficult.
Apparently, the people in waiting room were so terrified that they almost called the police, believing that Kirzinger was actually an escaped serial killer, presumably right up until he sat down and started reading a magazine like a normal person who forgot his smartphone at home.
7. Viggo Mortensen Walked Around with a Real Sword While Dressed as Aragorn
According to virtually every source concerning the shooting and filming of Lord of the Rings, Viggo Mortensen was incredibly dedicated to becoming his character. Nowhere was this more evident than in how much Mortensen threw himself into his sword training. According to the on-set swordmaster (totally a real job, you guys), Mortensen was actually one of the most gifted swordsmen he’d ever trained.
In fact, Mortensen was so dedicated to his character that he point-blank refused to use anything less than a real sword for every scene he shot. This included fight scenes, so that his character would seem realistically tired after he’d finished swinging it around and lopping off orc heads. In order to better get used to the weight of carrying a real sword, Mortensen actually carried around a real sword while in costume, virtually the entire time he was on set. And sometimes, even when he wasn’t, because he just really liked carrying around a sword.
6. Sean Bean Hiked Up a Mountain Dressed as Boromir
Yes we’re putting two Lord of the Rings entries on this list. Have you seen how long those movies are?
But we digress. Along with being a walking spoiler (“oh, Sean Bean’s in this? Guess we know who’s dying!”) and the owner of a name that doesn’t rhyme even though it really looks like it should, Sean Bean is absolutely terrified of flying. The guy will get on a plane if he absolutey, positively, 10000% has no choice, but for the most part, he hates being off the ground.
This fear was so intense that, for scenes in the first Lord of the Rings movie that required him to sit in a helicopter to get to where they needed to film, Bean would refuse and choose to walk instead, even if it took him several hours. Because it was impossible to get hair and make-up people to these locations, Bean was forced to hike to such shoots, in costume. It wasn’t uncommon for the other members of the cast to actually see Bean from their helicopter hiking his way up the mountain on their way to set, which if you think about it, is actually kind of awesome.
5. Sacha Baron Cohen Avoided Arrest by Being Borat
When Sacha Baron Cohen becomes a character, he really becomes that character, regardless of how much danger doing so puts him in. For example, according to this Esquire article, Cohen managed to avoid being arrested for public indecency by remaining in full Borat costume and simply playing dumb with the police, even though doing so could have resulted in him being tasered half to death at like, any moment.
According to the interview, some local police were trying to arrest Borat Cohen for whipping out his wang in public. They got so frustrated with him pretending to not understand a single word they said, they let him go without charging him. It was that much easier than trying to arrest him.
So the next time you get pulled over, just think, “what would Borat do?” And then don’t do it because you are not Borat.
4. Andrew Garfield Played Basketball Dressed as Spider-Man
Regardless of what you think of the new Spider-Man movies, we can guarantee that after this entry you’re going to at least think that Andrew Garfield is a stand-up guy. As this Huffington Post article and accompanying video details, when rain put a stop to filming the second Amazing Spider-Man movie, instead of heading back to his trailer and playing Xbox, Garfield decided to play basketball with some local kids across the street, in full Spidey gear.
The best part was, Garfield wasn’t trying to impress anyone when he did this. The only footage of the entire event is amateur footage shot on some random person’s cellphone. Garfield just really wanted to shoot some hoops and show off his skills, and he just happened to be dressed like Spider-Man when he did it.
3. Ray Park Avoided Talking to Anyone While Dressed as Snake Eyes
There are two kinds of GI Joe fans in this world: those who like Snake Eyes and those who like Storm Shadow. Ray Park is one of the former, which is probably a good thing because he was the guy who played Snake Eyes in the live-action GI Joe movies.
But rather than just shooting his scenes and calling it a day, Park opted to keep his costume and mask on almost the entire time he was on set. Oh and he refused to speak to anyone while he had it on, because as well all know, Snake Eyes took a vow of silence when he was younger. As we’ve mentioned before, the thing that made this decision so brilliant is that Ray Park was the resident on-set Joe expert. In other words, he was the person people were told to go talk to if they had any questions about the movie. Which resulted in more than one awkward moment where an actor would approach Park to ask him a question, only to be completely blanked as he silently walked away, DRESSED AS SNAKE EYES!
2. Johnny Depp Averted a Mutiny at a School While Dressed as Jack Sparrow
When Johnny Depp received a letter from a young girl asking him to help her a organize a mutiny at her school, he could have sent her a nice letter back or even a signed photo and still made her day. But Depp isn’t the kind of person to half-ass anything. So, when he got that letter he responded to it, like a boss.
As the Guardian newspaper reports, the very next day after getting the letter, Depp rolled up to the school in full Captain Jack Sparrow paraphernalia and gave a rousing (in character) speech to the entire school about how it’s important to listen to your teachers. Because if scurvy pirates are known for anything, it’s ceaseless respect for authority
He then found the young girl who’d sent him the letter and gave her a big hug. We’d like to apologize to every guy reading this who just spontaneously grew ovaries.
1. James Earl Jones Used to Annoy Truck Drivers as Darth Vader
James Earl Jones is the owner of a voice so deep and authoritative he could bury you just by telling the ground beneath your feet to move. He’s the only person on Earth to own a voice-activated Nokia 3210 because it doesn’t have the heart to not do what he says.
Weirdly, it took until a 2014 interview for someone to finally ask Jones the question we’ve all wanted to know: does he ever do his Darth Vader voice when he talks on the phone? The answer, sadly, is no, but he did used to use it when he owned a CB radio. As Jones himself revealed, he once used the handle “Darth Vader” while travelling across the country and spoke, in character, to truck drivers just to see what would happen.
Apparently, the drivers would get so freaked out that Jones promised himself that he’d stop doing it. Which is kind of upsetting, because we think he’d make a killing recording himself doing that. Sometimes, however, we have to put our dreams away for the common good.