The 15 Best Instances of Enforced Method Acting

5. In order to get more genuine screams from Janet Leigh in the famous shower scene in Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock switched off the hot water and made it icy cold. Leigh (who died in 2004) denied it, but we do know for sure that Hitchcock also placed the “Mother” corpse around various locations on the set to test how well it actually scared people.

4. In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Kate Winslet was instructed to disappear in the circus scene. So when Jim Carrey‘s character is looking for her, you can see him say, “Kate?”

3. In Twilight, we see in flashback that Carlisle saves Edward from scarlet fever by biting him, and whispers something in his ear. Though Peter Facinelli would say “I’m sorry” or “My son” in previous takes, they didn’t have the desired effect. It was only when he whispered, “You’re sexy” in Robert Pattinson‘s ear that Pattinson freaked out appropriately.

2. While filming Blue Valentine, director Derek Cienfrance told Ryan Gosling (who was sharing a house with Michelle Williams to get more in-character) to go into Williams’ room and try to convince her to have sex. It didn’t work.

1. My personal favorite: When Billy Crystal is improvising the “there is too much pepper in my paprikash” scene in When Harry Met Sally, Meg Ryan laughs and glances off-screen at director Rob Reiner. He got her to keep going, and kept in the shot because it made her character much more endearing. Interestingly, this was the exact moment when the main characters start to fall in love.

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    • Lucia Peters

      Alfred Hitchcock once told child actor Bill Mumy (Will Robinson from Lost in Space) that he’d nail his feet to the floor if he didn’t stay still. He stayed still, and he was appropriately terrified. Everybody wins!

    • Frederick Rubin

      Stanley Kubrick directing Shelley Duvall in The Shining.

    • Alex Proff

      Lucy Liu wasn’t in “Tomorrow Never Dies”, the actress was Michelle Yeoh.

    • Araf Karsh