An actor’s dedication is seen for his craft from the amount of prep he puts into acing a certain role. When we talk about going above and beyond in order to get into the skin of the character, Adrien Brody work for the role of Wladyslaw Szpilman in Roman Polanski’s The Pianist is among the top. Read on to know the limits the actor went to for the Holocaust drama that released in 2002.
The Pianist is inspired by the real-life Polish-Jewish concert pianist Władysław Szpilman. He spent two years hiding in the ghetto of Warsaw during the German occupation of Poland in World War II. To feel exactly how his character did, the actor got rid of all materialistic things and broke up with his girlfriend.
Besides practising the piano for four hours daily – on the insistence of director Roman Polanski, Adrien Brody felt that the only way he could understand what it felt for a man to lost everything was to strip his things away from his own and go down to its absolute basics. In an interview with the BBC in 2003, Brody spoke about his prep for his Pianist role.
Adrien Brody told the publication, “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.” Check out this snippet from The Pianist here:
Not just that, given that Władysław Szpilman had been forced to scavenge for food in Warsaw’s ruins, Brody went on a crash diet to lose weight fast. The actor lost 30 pounds in around six weeks by consuming just two boiled eggs for breakfast, a little chicken for lunch, and a small amount of fish or chicken with steamed vegetables for dinner. At one point, he weighed just 130 pounds.
Adrien Brody’s commitment to playing Szpilman paid off, and he became the youngest person ever to win the Oscar for Best Actor. He took home the trophy in 2002 at the age of 29. He also won a César Award for the same performance.