Would you eat raw bison, sleep in an animal carcass and endure freezing temperatures with the threat of hypothermia?

Well, method actor, Leonardo DiCaprio did while shooting the film The Revenant.

He plays a guy who gets attacked by a bear and then treks across a frozen wilderness to take revenge of Tom Hardy’s character that left him for dead.

Apparently, the filming was very tough with cast and crew enduring freezing conditions. One poor actor was allegedly dragged 200 feet across an icy lake naked!

(Ouch, who said acting was glamorous?)

Now, on the point of Leo eating raw bison and sleeping in carcasses, did he really have to do this?

Probably not, I’m sure they could have found him a synthetic, fluffy lined carcass look-a-like and found a raw bison substitute to eat.

Leo is one of the biggest actors of all time and let’s face it, he could have been snuggled up in his trailer with a bowl of M&M’s (blue ones taken out) but no, he chose the hard route.


He cares about his characters. He knows that his portrayal of this character will be better if he goes through the pain and discomfort of the conditions mentioned above.

It’s like Robert De Niro (another method actor) driving a cab in preparation for Taxi

Driver. They don’t need to do these things, but method actors choose to in order to get the best possible work done.

That’s the lesson here. I know you may not be able to go to these lengths in some of your character creation, but you can certainly apply the principle. Do whatever you can to create a full history and knowledge of your character. It pays off in the end.

Case in point:

Leo won a BAFTA for his performance in The Revenant and thanked someone very special to him:

“I want to thank one more person. I didn’t grow up in a life of privilege. I grew up in a tough neighbourhood in East Los Angeles and this woman drove me three hours every day to a different school to make sure I had a different opportunity. To my mother, it’s her birthday today, this is for you!”

If you want to learn method acting like Leo and make your Mum proud, then I have a mega easy first step for you.  

I have put together a FREE online video Method Acting course that lasts seven days.

To get your hands on it, all you need to do is click the link below and follow the instructions:
Brian Timoney