Movie Stars Changing Their Weight for Roles
As we all struggle to maintain normal weights and deny too much food indulgence, some stars’ ability to lose and gain weight has garnered them way more attention than the role itself. Here are
Of the much-buzzed-about weight loss of Deena Jones, Beyonce’s character in the film Dreamgirls, she said to ABC News, "I actually gained a little bit, but then I lost 20 lbs when I went from young Deena to old Deena.” By way of the lemonade and cayenne pepper drink of the Master Cleanse, coupled with fish and veggies, B reportedly filmed the skinnier Deena in two weeks time. However, the weight loss didn’t last long, she adds "As soon as it was over, I gained the weight back." And for Cadillac Records, where she plays blues songstress Etta James, she gained weight. She told InStyle, "I gained almost 15 lbs to play the role. It was way easier – and tastier – than having to lose so much weight for Dreamgirls."
Tom Hanks went to weight extremes both ways for Cast Away. Of initial filming for the role of Chuck Noland, a FedEx employee stranded on an island after a plane crash, he told the Guardian, "I was 40lb over. Just horribly fat… certainly for the first half, I didn't do anything. Literally, I did not do a thing except eat." Yet, a break from filming meant losing between 55 and 60 lbs to transform to what was to be perceived as four years in isolation. He called his transformation, “Back-breaking. No fun for anybody. Just arduous and difficult and backbreaking." The food he missed most during the intense weight loss was, “…those FFs, man. Those fries from France.” He also famously lost about 30 lbs to play an AIDS patient in the film Philadelphia.
Charlize has lost weight for multiple roles, including Sweet November and Head in the Clouds. Of her strategy for losing for Sweet November, she said to People, "Don't eat any starches, don't have any dinner, don't have anything after 5, no alcohol," recalls the actress, who lost about 16 lbs for the part. Her exercise consisted of, "a lot of yoga, a lot of running." But apparently the results were less than fun for her, she told a reporter, “There's something that happens to your body—you just don't feel as strong. I'm usually around a size 8, which I love." The filming of ‘Clouds’ immediately followed her 30 lb weight gain for her Oscar-winning performance in Monster. It took her three months to pack it on. But she told aboutfilm.com that the weight gain was about portraying the best character, “It wasn't about getting fat. It wasn't that she was fat. She was just [strong].”
People magazine named Matt Damon sexiest man alive in 2007, but soon after he completely changed his body and facial features for The Informant. Damon played Mark Whitacre, a government informant. How’d he do it? “I ate pizzas, In-N-Out burgers and drank dark beers. I felt great for a while.” But he dreaded not working out, “With me, the first 20 lbs were fun and then it started to really wear on me because I couldn't exercise.” However, his weight loss for Courage Under Fire was more than a nuisance and caused him to get sick. He told Starpulse.com, "I went too far. I got sick… I didn't have to act at all - I was a wreck. I was getting dizzy spells and hot flashes. He admits to eating chicken breast, egg whites, and one plain baked potato a day with lots of coffee and cigarettes. The also ran over 12 miles a day to hasten the weight loss. He says the weight loss resulted in damage to his adrenal glands.
One of most shocking transformations for a role was Christian’s portrayal of the emaciated Trevor Reznik in "The Machinist," a role for which Bale lost more than 60 lbs. He told the BBC, “I had been to a nutritionist and when I had got down to what she had told me was a healthy weight, I just went: 'You know what? I can go more than this. I can keep going.' So I lost another 20 lbs below what she said I should stop at." However the actor does say he would not try something so hard on his body again. He reportedly got down to about 120 lbs for the role. Yet, right after filming ended for that movie, Bale reportedly endured a 100 lb weight gain in just five months before he played the lead in "Batman Begins."
How do you think the actors' weight changes affect their fans?