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Actors’ extreme weight experiments

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Tom Hanks lost 30 pounds for Philadelphia in 1994

Yo-yo dieting is no good. Just want you to remember it before reading this blog entry.

Actors are ready for basically anything to make the film brilliant and one of the kind. They’re ready to get bold, get fit, get rail thin or pretty plump. Anything the role requires, anything that helps an actor feel the part better is done to make you like the film and come watch it in movies.

So I was just thinking about actors who went to the extreme to portray their characters the best way possible. And the later often includes gaining or losing weight. A lot of weight, actually.

So here are my top 5 actors getting into extreme weight experiments for movie roles:

Christian Bale

Christian Bale lost a lot of weight for The Fighter

Remember the hunk Bale in The Dark Knight? Forget him. Christian is starring in the new movie, The Fighter, playing a boxer/trainer Dickie Eklund who turns into a drug addict. The filming is still on and photos from the set are kind of scary. Bale looks pale and thin and sallow.

The actor is known for easily transforming his body whenever the movie part demands it.

Renee Zellweger

renee Zellweger gained 28 pounds for both Bridget Jones parts

She’s our favorite neurotic Bridget Jones. Renee, known for her pretty thin frame, had to put on weight for both parts of the movie (and she’s doing it again, by the way).

Zellweger gained some 28 pounds for each of the first two parts of Bridget Jones’s Diary.

I had a panic attack with all the specialists talking about how bad this is for you long-term, putting on that much weight in short periods of time,” Zellweger told the Daily Mail.

For the first Bridget Jones movie, Zellweger gained the weight by eating as many doughnuts and cheese pizzas as her body could take. And no exercise, of course. For the second movie, she hired a nutritionist and gained the weight with a controlled, but high-calorie, diet.

Losing the Bridget Jones weight after both parts wasn’t a piece of cake either. Zellweger said that she felt like she had a toddler strapped to her back while running around the track.

However, it always took her no more than two months to get to her regular shape.

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks is ready to shed as many pounds as necessary if his movie role requires it

Tom Hanks seems to enjoy gaining and losing weights for his roles. In 1992 he gained 30 pounds to play ladies-baseball coach in A League of Their Own. Then in 1994 he shed 30 pounds for his Oscar-winning role in Philadelphia. And later he shed 50 pounds for Cast Away.

However, his obvious weight loss in Philadelphia is definitely the most extreme.

In the movie Hanks played a homosexual lawyer Andrew Becket dying of AIDS.

I wanted to understand what the weight loss meant, when lesions start to appear, specific stuff like that,” said Tom, who went on a medically supervised diet and exercise regime to lose the pounds. “At times I was nothing but hungry and other times I was nothing but tired. Then you just get to this point where you can’t imagine living any other way than eating this tiny amount of food.”

Matt Damon

Matt Damon gained 30 pounds for The Informant

For his role in The Informant Matt changed his toned physique for a “doughy” body. So when filming the movie last summer Matt didn’t looks his regular fit self.

Damon said he gained between 20 and 30 pounds for the role.

It wasn’t necessarily that I needed to be fat,” he said. “It was that I needed to be ‘doughy.’ ”

Matt said to gain the weight he stopped working out and “basically just ate whatever I wanted” including a lot of junk food and beer, of course.

Glad Matt is back to his pre-Informant body.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal (2001)

Remember Gwyneth in 2001’s Shallow Hal?

Ok, she wasn’t fat for the movie. I’m just kidding. But for modern technologies Gwyneth would have to try really hard to look that much overweight as her character in the popular comedy.

July 28th, 2009
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