Adrien Brody set a record that has not been surpassed as of the year 2022 when he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the drama picture The Pianist at the age of 29.
He was the charming flirt who was set to date a number of prominent women in the industry. He was the leading man that everyone wanted to sign to their film. However, just when it seemed like he was about to have a meteoric rise, his path took a sharp turn, and within a few short years, he was nowhere to be found.
Today, Brody has carved out a space for himself that is one of a kind and yet still evokes memories of his early days as an artist. However, he would be the first to admit that it has not been a smooth ride thus far.
Adrien Brody dives into the events that unfolded after his unforgettable Oscar triumph in a feature article that appears in the enlightening magazine GQ.
His struggles arose from the exact role that revolutionized his position: Wadyslaw Szpilman, a Polish pianist and music composer who survived the Holocaust. Brody, being the method actor that he is, committed himself to a rigorous weight-loss program in order to appear the part he was playing.
This program included an unhealthy “crash diet” that brought him down to barely 130 pounds.
Not only was it a drastic change in his physical appearance, but the process also had an effect on his emotional state, leaving him with a “sadness that lingers still,” as stated in the profile.
The 49-year-old actor said that he struggled with depression in the days immediately after the performance and stated that he still can’t bring himself to watch the film.
Even while he does not necessarily regret the heart and soul that he poured into portraying the persona, he has a difficult time accepting the harm that it did on his physique.
As if the suffering weren’t already overpowering enough, Brody then had to contend with the intense attention of the media in the aftermath of his Oscar victory , “it was as though a hurricane rolled in, everything began blowing away—the life I knew.”
All of a sudden, he was being followed in the streets, recognized everywhere he went, surrounded, and forced into “strange” circumstances by fans and critics alike.
The sudden influx of fame and attention shed light on who his closest friends and family were, as he was forced to investigate whether or not people were approaching him for social gains or whether or not they genuinely found his company to be pleasant.
“It seems like I spent the last ten years trying to figure out who I am and where I belong. A lot of living and losing, both winning and losing. What were some of the things that really drove people? To put it simply, the list is rather extensive.”
He also painted, traveled, performed music, and grew his beard out, in addition to doing many other things. He purchased and refurbished a home in upstate New York.
Although he may have ‘disappeared’ from the public’s attention, he continued to have adventures throughout his life; in fact, it’s possible that his exploits became even more exciting and diverse over time.
In the end, he came to the conclusion that he did, in fact, want to go back into acting—however, he wanted to do it on his own terms. He didn’t want to be the leading man again, the brooding hero who aches and suffers and bleeds for the enjoyment of the audience.
Instead, he wanted to take up “character work,” in which he’d be able to quip, chew on scenery, and work with exciting filmmakers and actors.
This is one of the reasons why his return to the big screen has been such a breath of new air: he’s cropping up in roles that range from little to major, from the critically acclaimed HBO series Succession to Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch.
In the year 2022, he will be seen in two enormous projects: Blonde, a historical drama portraying the rise and fall of Marilyn Monroe, and Adam McKay’s HBO series Winning Time, a sports drama about the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s.
Both of these projects will be directed by Adam McKay. The comeback is well on its way to getting started, and it is one that he can, happily, feel good of.