Plenty of actors from Matthew McConaughey to Renee Zellweger have undergone dramatic weight-loss for a role. But how many film directors would deny themselves food in sympathy with their cast as Angelina Jolie is said to have done while filming Unbroken?
The Oscar-winning actress-turned-director “didn’t eat much” on the set of her war film as she wanted to support the actors who were playing prisoner of war inmates and who had to lose weight in order to appear authentic.
"She came to the set every day, giving advice to the actors, and she actually didn't eat much [either],"Japanese pop star Miyavi, real name Takamasa Ishihara, who stars in the film as ruthless prison guard Matsuhiro Watanabe, told the Radio Times.com.
"She was so thin because most of the actors were not able to eat because they're prisoners in the camp. So she was close to us.”
Unbroken is about Olympic runner and US airman Louis Zamperini who spent 47 days living on a raft after a plane crash and survived two years as a Japanese prisoner of war.
Jack O’Connell, who plays Zamperini, was among the actors who had to lose weight for the film.
Miyavi said Jolie also tried out all his stunts before he did, including holding a heavy wooden plank above her head.
Angelina Jolie on screen
Angelina Jolie on screen
1/11 Changeling -2008
Angelina Jolie plays a grief-stricken mother in this 2008 period drama
2/11 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - 2001
Jolie stars in the blockbuster film based on the video game adventurer
3/11 Hackers - 1995
Jolie stars alongside Johnny Lee Miller in the 1995 film about a computer hacker who writes a computer virus
4/11 Girl, Interrupted - 1999
Jolie won an Oscar in 2000 for her supporting role as diagnosed sociopath Lisa, alongside Winona Ryder
5/11 The Tourist - 2010
Jolie stars alongside Johnny Depp, who plays an American tourist visiting Italy in a bid to mend a broken heart
6/11 Maleficent - 2014
Jolie stars in the lead as the vengeful fairy Maleficent, who is driven to curse the young princess in Sleeping Beauty
© Disney Enterprises, Inc.
7/11 Mr & Mrs Smith - 2005
Jolie stars as assassin Jane Smith alongside Brad Pitt. The two met and began an affair while filming the movie
8/11 The Bone Collector - 1999
Jolie plays Denzel Washington's detective partner as the two hunt down a serial killer
9/11 Wanted - 2008
The actress plays a second in command assassin alongside James McAvoy
10/11 Salt - 2010
Jolie stars as CIA agent Evelyn
11/11 Unbroken - 2014 (director)
Jolie with the late Louis Zamperini in her new film Unbroken about the Olympian turned World War II prisoner's life
He has previously spoken about the physical and emotional toll the film – his debut as an actor – had taken on him, saying he passed out twice, vomited and “couldn’t stop crying”.
He was encouraged by Jolie to immerse himself into the mindset of a man accustomed and desensitised to violence. In one scene, Miyavi's character brutally beats Zamperini.
"It was awful torture for me to hate the other actors," the 33-year-old told Vanity Fair. "I had to have hatred for them. When I had to beat them, I had to think about protecting my family.
"At the same time, I didn't want to be just a bad guy. I wanted to put humanity in this role. [Matsuhiro] was both crazy and sadistic, but also weak and traumatised."
Jolie signalled earlier this year that she is moving away from appearing in films in favour of directing them.
Her appearance as Cleopatra in an impending biopic of the Egyptian queen is likely to be her last acting role.
“It's one of those [roles] that you think maybe that's the one you put everything into and that's where you end it, that's where you finish - in a great way. What could you do beyond that one?" she said, speaking to BBC Radio Five Live, in June.
Jolie, who met Zamperini shortly before his death at the age of 97 last year, fought to make the film, the rights of which were sold to Universal Pictures more than 50 years ago.
When the director told her husband, the actor Brad Pitt, that she was interested in the script, he said: “’Oh, honey, that project has been around forever.’ ”
Jolie said: “I fought for it for months... I felt I needed to go on that journey, that it would make me a better person if I could. I was begging not only to be the director— I was begging to have the opportunity to spend two years of my life focused on Louie Zamperini.”Reuse content