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5 Actors Who’ve Found Roles Very Emotionally Challenging

To be a great actor or actress, it can take a lot of emotional investment in a particular character and that must be quite draining for anyone to go through. Speaking on taking an emotionally challenging role that they personally found heavy in terms of how much they were forced to deal with, these stars have commented on how they tackled those difficult and challenging roles.

Jennifer Aniston


For her part in ‘Cake’, Jennifer had to battle her emotions and biggest fear as she filmed a scene under water: “It was the hardest day of my life,” I basically have a fear of going under water. As a kid I was with my brother and [I] was driving my tricycle around the swimming pool and drove my tricycle into the swimming pool and I didn’t let go. I can’t go under water and no one believed me. I’m like, ‘I honestly can’t.’ Just to get the one shot of me going under [water] with the weight, I think we did that 30 times.”


Jon Hamm

Jon admits he found his ‘Mad Men’ character quite draining: “Don is a difficult headspace to be in for a long time. Acting is not physically demanding necessarily, but it takes an emotional toll, especially when you’re playing a person who has a lot of emotions. You can have some sad days at work.”

Kerry Washington

Playing a slave in ‘Django Unchained’ was very difficult and Kerry said it was a daily struggle: “I found all of the scenes difficult. To wake up everyday and be told you’re not fully human is a challenging thing to embody.”


Leonardo DiCaprio

For his part in ‘Shutter Island’, Leo admitted it was one of his biggest challenges to date:  “By sheer necessity to survive the film-making process I do switch off when I go home because if I don’t, especially in roles as demanding as this… Look, ultimately I’m challenged by these types of characters. This is the most challenging one to date for me. Physically yes but emotionally more so.”

Theo James

Theo found his character, Four, had to show more emotional complexities for ‘Insurgent’ than in the first film, ‘Divergent’. He commented: “This film gave me even more emotional levels to play with Four. In some ways, he’s quite different from the first movie. In the first film, Four is this quiet, watchful person. You are not really sure of his intentions. Now, it’s nice that Four can show some vulnerability because there wasn’t a lot of room for that in the first film.”