Gallery: Actors Who Really Got Into Their Roles

Big Love star Chloe Sevigny is preparing to play axe murderer Lizzie Borden for an HBO miniseries — which is a great choice, considering her capacity for portraying deadly, emotionless women. Although screenwriter Bryce Kass is only halfway through the script, Sevigny is committed to the project: She’s even staying at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast in Fall River, MA, the town where spinster Borden hacked up her father and stepmother in 1892. (Sing the song with me: Lizzie Borden took an axe / Gave her mother 40 whacks / When she saw what she had done / She gave her father 41…)

Not all actors would go that deeply into a role, but there are many who share Sevigny’s work ethic. Some specifically follow Lee Strasberg‘s Method acting, the process of becoming totally immersed in a persona while shooting. Others are willing to alter their bodies for a role. While not all of these stars identify as Method actors, the physical and psychological preparations they made speak volumes.

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