in , ,

Actors Who Were Left Traumatized After Their Movie Roles

There are certain film characters that are so great that we can’t see anyone but a specific actor playing the role. That’s because certain actors have given so much to such movie roles that they’ve almost immersed themselves into the character. This is a great way to truly give a natural acting performance that audiences will never forget.

But…there’s a darker side to this. There are actors who were left traumatized after their movie roles. This might sound ridiculous at first, but there are actors who dedicated so much to embody a character that it affected their personal lives!

So what are some of the most notorious roles that had a profound effect on the actors who played them?

Join FactsVerse to learn a few actors who were left traumatized after their movie roles!


One of the greatest and most harrowing American films of all time is Deliverance. This film depicted a group of friends sticking together to survive in the mysterious, beautiful, and frightening wilderness of Appalachia.

The cast of the film all gave fantastic performances and both Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight have considered Deliverance to be one of the best roles of their careers.

But perhaps the best and most raw performance from the film was Ned Beatty’s portrayal of Bobby. His character is involved in one of the most difficult scenes in the film – where his character is sexually assaulted and told to squeal like a pig.

For any actor to play a victim in such a difficult scene is harrowing and not something you can forget about. Ned Beatty stated that for years after the film he’d meet people who’d discuss the scene with him – sometimes in a joking manner. He even wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times discussing sexual assault toward men.

Ned Beatty was arguably one of our best character actors and he was especially great in comic performances – perhaps most notably as ‘Dean Martin’ in Back To School. But his role in Deliverance showed what a fine actor he was and the difficulty of the “squeal like a pig” scene did traumatize him for some time.

While his character was shown to be a victim in that particular scene, Ned Beatty was rightfully lauded for his role in the film. Deliverance is a classic film and its one that can traumatize a viewer who isn’t prepared for its dark themes. Yet, perhaps no one can be shaken more than the actors who had to embody the roles of these men who had to become courageous in the face of the horrors in Appalachia’s hollers.

Before we tell you more about some actors who were left traumatized after their movie roles, please like this video and subscribe to FactsVerse for more great content and interesting stories on your favorite classic shows, favorite actors, and pop culture! Now, back to the video…



When Jack Torrance goes mad and starts chasing his wife with an axe – you as the audience member is frightened. But even though this is “just acting” the portrayal of Wendy Torrance left Shelley Duval traumatized.

Working with Stanley Kubrick is a challenge for any actor and for Shelley Duval, her role in The Shining was perhaps the biggest career challenge of her life. If you remember the scene where she’s walking backwards up the stairs – she literally did 127 takes of the scene!

The role required a lot of physical activity and the experience of working on a Stanley Kubrick film traumatized Shelley Duvall. Luckily for us, she continued to act until her retirement from acting in the early 2000s.

Without a doubt, her role as Wendy Torrance in The Shining is one of her best performances. While there have been other adaptations of The Shining and it’s prequel, Doctor Sleep, other actresses simply haven’t been able to match up to the great performance that Shelley Duval brought to the table.

Yet, she felt that the experience was harrowing, and we never saw her working with Stanley Kubrick again. Her role in the film shows the lengths and dedication that many actors go through to deliver a great role. The life of an actor might seem glamorous, but often the work on set is grueling!

The entire set of The Shining had to be disciplined and there was little joking around on set. It was even rumored that Stanley Kubrick made the cast watch David Lynch’s film Eraserhead several times as this dark film would get them in the mood to work on set.

For Shelley Duvall, she literally spent hours just yelling and screaming until Stanley Kubrick found the right take. When you watch The Shining make sure you show some appreciation for Shelley Duvall’s role – which is often overlooked and overshadowed by Jack Nicholson’s role.



Heath Ledger’s role as The Joker in The Dark Knight set a new precedent on how Batman films would be made. Gone were the days of the more clownish Joker played by Jack Nicholson. Heath Ledger won an Oscar posthumously for his role in the film.

But how did he react to his role in the film? The film left Heath Ledger traumatized and he really had to push himself for the role.

The film was released after Heath Ledger’s death and became his penultimate film. For his role as The Joker, he spent six weeks in a hotel room by himself. The isolation took its toll on him, and this helped him create a memorable character.

He barely got any sleep while working on the film and he couldn’t stop thinking about the role. No doubt this is what caused him to take an excess of prescription drugs to deal with the trauma.

The role will always be remembered but one wonders on how many great roles we have missed out on due to Heath Ledger’s pre-mature death. Heath Ledger’s tragic death has brought up conversations on how far an actor should go for a great role.

Yet, his role has inspired other actors to push themselves for a role – no matter how traumatic things may get. Joaquin Phoenix’s more recent portrayal of The Joker wouldn’t have happened without Heath Ledger’s role. But few of us would want to take upon such a role that might traumatize us.



Without a doubt, one of the greatest character actors of all time and one of the best comic performers in the history of cinema was Peter Sellers.

He had so many great characters and with every single role he gave 100% in his portrayal of the characters. To this day, one of the characters that we love the most from Peter Sellers was Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther films.

But Peter Sellers had a troubled relationship with the character whom he portrayed in several films. He and director Blake Edwards had many fights about the various films and his portrayal of the bumbling inspector.

While audiences and critics alike agree that Inspector Clouseau is one of cinema’s greatest comic creations and Peter Sellers is the perfect Clouseau, the actor himself was often frustrated with his portrayal of the film.

In later years, due to his failed marriages and troubled personal life his behavior on film sets became more erratic. He became harder to work with and according to him, his performances weren’t up to his liking.

Yet, many fans will agree that Peter Sellers never lost his spark as an actor. Every single performance of his was great. Yet, he was a perfectionist and would often be haunted by his disappointment in his roles. Couple this with his troubled personal life and you’re left with a creative genius who was sadly traumatized after one of his greatest roles.


Hannah Montana is one of the most popular Disney shows of all time and it’s the role we most associate Miley Cyrus with.

But, as with many child stars, Miley Cyrus has had a troubled adult life. Her public image today differs from the innocent image of Hannah Montana and this has shocked many fans.

But this is the fate of too many children who become famous when they can’t handle it. Miley Cyrus felt that people cared about her when she was Hannah and that the love stopped when the filming wrapped.

She felt that Hannah was almost a fictitious version of herself and this is something that many actors have had to struggle with – not being able to distinguish themselves from the characters they play. It might sound ridiculous at first, but it’s a serious issue that’s traumatized many actors.

Miley Cyrus is now a successful singer-songwriter and it seems that she’s recovering from the initial trauma of leaving behind a successful acting career. But this is a deeper conversation that we as a society need to have about child stars and the dangers of fame for everyone – but especially children who have grown up in the spotlight.

She’s been more outspoken about her early career and her experiences as a child star. We can hope that more child stars will speak about the difficulties of fame at a young age and how to cope with it as you mature.

Are you a fan of any of these actors and their roles?

Do you think that actors sometimes push themselves too much for a role? Or do you think this is necessary to create a great character and help contribute to a cinematic masterpiece?

Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.

If you liked this story, be sure to hit the ‘like’ button and Subscribe to FactsVerse for more great stories! Hit the bell icon to receive regular notifications!

We’ll see you in the next video!

Lauren Bacall Wished That Frank Sinatra Just Spit in Her Face

Classic Movies That Were So Obscene They Made Audiences Uncomfortable