While us mere mortals may consider losing weight as part of a health drive (or possibly to fit into a dress we love or to get ready to appear poolside), Hollywood stars can be faced with a very different set of circumstances: the requirement to lose a significant amount of weight for a role.
While the compensation of their multi-million dollar salary may make it a little difficult to feel sorry for these stars, let’s still salute their efforts as we look at the major league actors that were required to shed the pounds for a film role.
Lily Collins – To The Bone
The daughter of legendary singer and drummer Phil Collins, Lily has now made a name for herself in Hollywood, starring in a slew of blockbusters movies and critically acclaimed films. However, the actor’s starring role in the Bone caused consternation with audiences and critics – and not in relation to her acting abilities.
Lily plays a character battling anorexia; the star lost a huge amount of weight for the role in order to look both extremely thin and unhealthy. Although the exact amount of pounds Lily shed hasn’t been disclosed, there is no doubt that she would have been on an extreme diet to look as she did in the film.
Anorexia is a condition that affects both men and women of all ages – but it can be overcome with the right support in place. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with issues around eating or self-image, then it’s really important to seek help and support as soon as possible to get back on track and start enjoying a rich, healthy lifestyle once more.
Christian Bale – The Machinist
Christian Bale’s weight loss for this movie is legendary, with more people being more aware of his drastic drop in size for the role than have actually seen the film. Bale is known for approaching all his roles with seriousness, conviction, and commitment, and it was this drive that led to the star losing more than sixty pounds for the movie; his lowest weight was one hundred and twenty pounds which, when you’re over six feet in height, makes you extremely thin indeed. Bale has said that he wanted to convince filmmakers that he had what it took to play the part.
Fortunately for Bale, his next role was as Batman, and it’s reported that he bulked up again using an ice cream and pizza diet. This sounds like an eating plan I could get behind. However, if you’re looking for a healthier and more sustainable way to lose weight, have a look here for the best weight loss plans that could help get you on the road to a healthier lifestyle. Most celebrities who lose weight in a less extreme fashion do so by following a plan that incorporates optimizing their diet, cutting out (or back on) things like sugar, fast food, and alcohol, and getting plenty of exercises, for long-term results that are kind on the body, too.
Tom Hanks – Castaway
Playing the role of a man stranded for years on a desert island, Tom needed to lose a lot of pounds to look like someone surviving on…desert island stuff for months on end. The actor lost about fifty pounds to play the part – having previously been required to gain additional weight for a role in the movie, A League of Their Own.
Hanks was, later in life, diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes; the star says he believes the condition was brought on by his regular need to either diet or put on weight for his film roles.
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Another actor that is determined to thoroughly inhabit a role, Jared Leto, slimmed down to one hundred and sixteen pounds for his part in this movie. The star plays Rayon, a trans woman who is addicted to drugs and suffering from HIV; Leto later claimed that the extreme diet he undertook for the role changed everything about him, even down to the way he spoke and walked.
Leto’s weight loss was so unhealthy that he was on the verge of needing medical treatment.
Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables
The star has since spoken about how she wanted to lose weight for the role of Fantine in Les Miserables in order to look as frail and impoverished as the character. She shed twenty-five pounds to this end, saying how she wanted to look ‘near-death.’
Although Anne’s extreme diet was – thankfully – short-term, movie producers had medical professionals keeping an eye on her throughout filming.
50 Cents – All Things Fall Apart
You may not have heard of this made-for-tv drama film, but it starred 50 Cents in the role of a popular and much-loved football player who falls ill to cancer; the star lost fifty pounds for the movie on a nine-week diet that included three hours a day of running on a treadmill.
50 Cent has said in interviews that he based his character on one of his own childhood friends who had died of cancer and wanted to look as emaciated as possible in the role for authenticity.
The movie also starred Mario Van Peebles and Ray Liotta and premiered at the 2011 Miami International Film Festival.
Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy
Previously best known for his role in the tv comedy series Parks and Recreation, Chris Pratt has said how he had to give up eating junk food and drinking beer whenever he felt like it to get the physique required for the role of Star-Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy films.
As well as shedding the pounds, Chris also needed to bulk up on the muscle to play the unlikely superhero in the hit movies.
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman, to look the part for her starring role in this critically acclaimed film, had to diet and undertake a strict training regime to be believable as a prima ballerina: Natalie was required to train for between five and eight hours a day to get the physique needed for the part.
Luckily, the star returned to a healthy weight after filming finished and has said how she incorporates some of the dance exercises she learned for the movie into her regular lifestyle.
Adam Driver – Silence
And finally, playing the role of a Jesuit priest who travels to Japan on a mission to meet his mentor, Driver was required to lose a significant amount of weight to make it convincing that his character had traveled from Portugal, taking two years to reach his destination.
The star has spoken in interviews about how he’d never needed to lose so many pounds for a movie before, saying that the hunger and attendant tiredness made him feel as if he only had the energy to complete tasks on a basic level.