Hilary Swank: Boys Don't Cry
Hilary Swank was only 24 — and a relative unknown — when she portrayed Brandon Teena, a woman living as a man, in the acclaimed 1999 film Boys Don’t Cry. The Best Actress Oscar she won for the role turned that around, and its all thanks to her intense prep.
A couple of months before filming, Hilary began to dress like a man, wrapping her chest and putting socks down the front of her pants. She also worked out hard and brought her body fat down to a dangerous 7 percent. Her new look fooled her Santa Monica neighbors, who thought she was “Hilary’s brother James.” The actress later revealed to the New York Times, ''Once I got into it, I was fully there. I felt like I lost every ounce of my femininity.''
And she didn’t even do it for an obscene paycheck: Hilary earned a mere $75 a day during filming — $3,000 total!