It is no surprise that many actors go to extremes when portraying certain characters on film. Not only do they need to get inside the character’s head but they also have to physically portray the part as well. Physical transformations don’t come easy and often actors have to go on extreme diets in order to lose the pounds for certain parts. Here are just a few famous actors who had to go to extremes when it came to losing weight for a role.
Bale is known for being the type of actor who can drastically transform physically to portray a character. Bale lost over 60 pounds to shoot The Machinist. On his drastic weight loss for the part, Bale stated, “I had a stupid kind of feeling of invincibility, like, “I can do it, I can manage it”. I really did feel like I hit this point of enlightenment.”
Portman, who is already a thin actress, dropped another 20 pounds to portray a professional ballerina in Black Swan. Portman opted to lose the weight with the help of a nutritionist and ate small portions combined with a grueling schedule of strength and ballet training a full year before filming began. Referring to the training and weight loss, Portman stated “I think the most important thing is coming to work as prepared as you can be every day and working as hard as you can every day.” Her hard work paid off as Portman took home a best actress Oscar for her role in the film.
Damon portrayed an opiate-addicted soldier in Courage Under Fire and lost 40 pounds over the course of 100 days before shooting his scenes. Though many actors gain and lose weight in a healthy manner, Damon admits that he was so desperate to break into show business he embarked on an unsupervised diet in order to nail the part. He later revealed that after he finished filming he went to a doctor who told him that his heart could have shrunk permanently.
A two-time Academy Award winner, Hanks is no stranger to the physical demands that actors have to go through to play certain roles. In Cast Away, Hanks had to lose 50 pounds to play the lead role. He lost the weight by following a strict diet of mainly fish, veggies and a little fruit and a workout regimen that consisted of two hours of cardio training six days a week.
Most famous actors will commit to any role no matter what the demands are for their appearance. Actors want to be convincing in the roles they play including any physical demands on their body. These four actors are examples of committing their jobs, even if it meant losing a large amount of weight to get the role.