From Daniel Day Lewis' method acting to Robert De Niro's professional boxing bouts, these actors showed tremendous commitment to their roles offscreen.

It's no coincidence that actors playing historical figures clean up at the Academy Awards. They have a responsibility to be as authentic as possible and, while they aren't impervious to the pressures that go along with it, they often respond with a tremendous amount of commitment to their character. The result is an embodiment of their character that goes far beyond simply playing a part.

Here, 10 actors who lived and breathed their iconic role.

Chaplin (1992)

Robert Downey Jr. as Charlie Chaplin 

Photo: David Benedict/Flickr

The film chronicles the turbulent story of English comic Charlie Chaplin and his rise to fame during the era of silent film. While the film wasn't particularly well-received, Robert Downey Jr. was praised for his uncanny portrayal of the iconic actor.

Behind the scenes:
Downey credits much of his success in this role to Richard Attenborough who told him he was born to play Charlie Chaplin. That confidence in then-27-year-old actor was also reflected in the recourses he provided Downey, which included two dialect coaches and two more for movement training. Downey also studied Chaplin's facial expressions from large digital print-outs. "There were so many subtleties," he told the Chicago Tribune.

Pushing his character study to its limits, Downey insisted on learning to play tennis left-handed as Chaplin did. "I didn't have to, but it was an opportunity to really go for broke and nail the character as much as I could," he said.

Next: Jamie Foxx

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