Adrien Brody Faced Terrible Emotional And Physical Challenges For His Oscar-Winning Role


March 22, 2018 14:11 By Fabiosa

Little do we know about the struggles actors may have during their transformations into the characters they play. Some of them were so devoted to portraying their characters as authentically as possible that they had to pass through some terrible emotional and physical challenges.


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Devoted actor

Adrien Brody, 44, won an Academy Award for his dedicated work and outstanding performance in The Pianist (2002) when he was only 29 years old. Adrien became the youngest actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. He portrayed Władysław Szpilman, a Polish pianist and composer of Jewish descent who lost everything he had, but survived the German occupation during WWII and Holocaust.

© The Pianist (2002) / Focus Features

Sacrifices and transformations

Determined Adrien brought Method acting to a new level. To understand and feel Władysław Szpilman, the actor changed his life completely:

I gave up my apartment, I sold my car, I disconnected the phones, and I left. I took two bags and my keyboard and moved to Europe.

© The Pianist (2002) / Focus Features

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Brody learned how to play the piano in everyday practice. He even learned specific passages by Chopin. However, that was not quite enough.


For the last scenes in the movie, he had to play-starved Szpilman who finally felt safe on the streets of Warsaw Getto. The actor lost 30 pounds in order to achieve the most authentic effect.

There is an emptiness that comes with really starving that I hadn’t experienced. I couldn’t have acted that without knowing it. I’ve experienced loss, I’ve experienced sadness in my life, but I didn’t know the desperation that comes with hunger.

© The Pianist (2002) / Focus Features

The actor continued:

I was missing everyone and everything good. But that put me right in character. I want to feel that I’m experiencing something, I want to feel the journey, and I felt it. However, there were times when I was concerned that I might not be able to get out of it sane because I didn’t realize how far it had taken me.

© The Pianist (2002) / Focus Features

The Academy Award

Luckily, after the shooting, Adrien was able to get back on his feet and returned to his ordinary life. However, the ordinary life lasted not that long, as the actor won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Watch his sincere emotional speech:

It is really warming to know that there are such dedicated and empathetic actors who are trying to get into the character, to know him and portray for us, viewers, at any cost. Bravo!

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