Actress Jennifer Connelly lost 25 pounds to play a homeless woman in her husband Paul Bettany's directorial debut "Shelter". The "Noah" star not only researched to look convincing as Hannah in the film, she also learned how to use needles and drug paraphernalia for the role.
"There was so much to work to do about her (Hannah) and the circumstances of her life that I knew nothing about. I had a lot of practical research to do. Slowly, over months, I lost a lot of weight and ultimately lost about 25pounds," she was quoted as saying.
"I wanted to be quite comfortable with her and I had no experience of using needles, so I spent a lot of time working on that so I could be quite at ease; practising using the paraphernalia," she added.
She said Coalition for the Homeless in New York City and Lower East Side Home Reduction Center were very helpful.
"Also, my character is an intravenous drug user, so I spent a lot of time with people who are currently struggling with addiction, with doctors who are experts on addiction and some recovered addicts who shared their stories with me and worked with me closely on the script," she said.
But her research was also distressing, because she came face to face with the shocking homeless statistics.
"The sheer numbers are quite striking. For me it was quite revelatory to realise how many children are homeless in New York - 56,000 people each night in New York City are in shelters alone. So those numbers are quite staggering and that doesn't count for people who are sleeping rough, sleeping in the streets and not in shelters," she said.