Well-Known Actor Poisoned on Set During Filming of New Movie

It is absolutely amazing what people will put themselves through for a movie.

They gain weight, lose weight, cut their hair, develop accents, learn languages, how to box, how to dance.

One of the most dramatic transformations might be when Charlize Theron gained 30 pounds to play a prostitute and serial killer in the movie Monster.

You think that’s drastic?

How about poisoning yourself? [Well, some may say eating donuts on a regular basis is poisoning yourself–but that is beside the point].

Gary Oldman got nicotine poisoning from the number of cigars he smoked during the filming of the new Winston Churchill movie, Darkest Hour.

According to the Independent:

Gary Oldman is unrecognisable in new film Darkest Hour, a biopic in which the British actor plays Winston Churchill in a performance that’s placed him at the forefront of the coming awards season’s Best Actor race.

The film – directed by Joe Wright – follows the Prime Minister’s early days as Hitler closes in on Britain during World War II.

Oldman’s dedication to the tole was commendable spending more than 200 hours in the makeup chair for a shoot which lasted 58 days to transform into the cigar-smoking PM. In fact, Oldman smoked so many cigars in character as Churchill that it ended up taking quite an extreme toll.

“I got serious nicotine poisoning,” Oldman told The Hollywood Reporter. “You’d have a cigar that was three-quarters smoked and you’d light it up, and then over the course of a couple of takes, it would go down, and then the prop man would replenish me with a new cigar – we were doing that for 10 or 12 takes a scene.”

For his scenes, Oldman smoked at least 400 Romeo y Julieta Cubans which saw almost £15,000 of the film’s £22.4m budget go into the cigars alone.

I know some people who would have loved to have smoked 400 Romeo y Julietas.

But, all jokes aside, nicotine poisoning is a very, very serious issue. And one possibly not even worth all the awards in the film industry.

Nicotine affects the heart and central nervous system. Symptoms of nicotine poisoning include, “nausea, vomiting, increased blood pressure, abnormal heart rate, dehydration, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue, dizziness, headache, gas, anxiety, hearing and vision changes.”

The worst cases of poisoning can even lead to death.

According to Healthline:

Severe cases of toxicity can lead to heart failure or death. Young children are at a higher risk of fatality. According to the AAPCC, 4,024 cases of nicotine exposure were reported in 2014. This number dropped to 2,886 cases by 2016. However, it’s still significantly higher than the 460 cases reported in 2012. Take measures to ensure you don’t use more than one source of nicotine at a time, and keep nicotine and tobacco away from children.

So my question…is it worth it?

Is any profession worth this sort of health risk? Should people really go to these lengths to win an Academy Award?

Why is excessiveness and extremes rewarded? Sure, learn how to box to play Muhammad Ali, take a singing lesson to make your role as Johnny Cash more convincing…but smoking, gaining weight?

What are your thoughts?