War Movies That Ruined Actors Lives

By Jack Ripley | November 9, 2023

After 'American Sniper,' Bradley Cooper Checks Possible Threats On Entering Rooms

Are you ready for action? This captivating gallery reveals the grit, sweat, and occasional tears that have peppered the paths of actors while making some of the most memorable war movies in cinematic history. From tales of grueling boot camps that pushed actors to their physical limits, to on-set accidents that left more than just emotional scars, this collection showcases the commitment, endurance, and sheer determination that brought these intense roles to life. Each image and accompanying story highlights the reality behind the spectacle – a world far removed from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Discover the intense training that went into 'Platoon,' the unexpected typhoon that disrupted 'Apocalypse Now,' and the camaraderie that helped the cast of 'Saving Private Ryan' recreate the horrors of D-Day. So, grab some popcorn, settle in, and brace yourself for an inside look at the world of war movies that's as riveting as the films themselves.

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(Warner Bros.)

To embody Chris Kyle's character in American Sniper, Cooper had to undergo an incredible transformation, both physically and mentally. He reportedly gained around 40 pounds of muscle for the role, sticking to a rigorous diet and workout regimen that included consuming 6,000 calories a day and intensive weightlifting training. The making of American Sniper was also emotionally demanding for Cooper. One of the most stressful scenes he had to film was the phone call between Chris Kyle and his wife, Taya, while he was engaged in a firefight. Cooper has mentioned in interviews how difficult and emotionally draining it was to shoot this sequence, and how he felt that Kyle has never truly left him since:
 

After that, you're more aware of everything. He didn't really leave me.

Andrew Garfield Was 'Soothed' By the Spiritual Clarity of His Character In 'Hacksaw Ridge'

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(Lionsgate)

Directed by Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge tells the real-life story of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who served as a medic in World War II and saved dozens of lives during the Battle of Okinawa, all without ever picking up a weapon. Doss, a Seventh-day Adventist, refused to bear arms due to his religious beliefs, yet felt a profound duty to serve his country. This dichotomy - a man of peace in the midst of war - deeply intrigued actor Andrew Garfield. To prepare for the role, Garfield immersed himself in Doss's world. He studied the Bible and Doss's letters to his wife, and listened to recordings of Doss to grasp his southern accent . He also visited the locations where Doss grew up and spoke with people who knew him.
 

The character was so compelling—it was one of those stories that rang a bell inside me... I was so soothed spending time with Desmond because he managed to transcend or get underneath the pervading cultural attitudes through his faith and become a symbol of, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”; of, “I will sacrifice myself for my brother.” The fact that he was able to say, in the face of men with guns, with the innocence of a child: “I can’t do that.”