Ben Foster Lived On The Streets Of L.A. To Prepare For 'Rampart'
Ben Foster slept rough on the mean streets of Los Angeles for two weeks to get into character as a homeless police informer for new film "Rampart."
The super-serious actor spent months growing a scraggly beard and picked up a wardrobe from a charity store before taking his cardboard sleeping mat to L.A.'s notorious Skid Row.
He tells WENN, "Just living in those clothes helped me, getting my stink in it. It was a great exercise in empathy and being present because everyone is reduced to, 'Well, there's no roof here,' if you're not getting into the shelter that night and it's raining. I was trading cigarettes for Fig Newtons.
"It's tough at night. There's violence there but there's also a beautiful community that tries to take care of their own. You have families sleeping next to families.
"I went out with a piece of cardboard, a knapsack and my wardrobe - bare bones. I was sleeping head to feet along the buildings and I took my experience back to (director) Oren (Moverman) and some things felt right. Like a journalist, you bring it (to) your editor/director and hope they don't cut the s**t out of it and they honor what you brought them."