20 INSANE Actor Transformations For Roles

How difficult can acting be? Many of us have certainly fantasized about being a budding star who, with a little luck and a little help learning the lines, could easily play the role of a leading man or woman. However, as actors are well aware, it is a vocation that requires tremendous ability and dedication. It often goes beyond simply sliding into character to deliver a few lines here and there.
Would you be willing to give up your figures in exchange for excessive weight gain? Or to die for months in order to achieve a role-appropriate weight loss? Or, in some circumstances, to endure an agonizing muscle-building regimen that necessitates six hours a day at the gym? After all, it's not easy to become a famous actor.
We have decided to pay tribute to those notable celebrities who went to extremes with their bodily transformations, those who went to great physical and mental lengths to embody their characters as truthfully and accurately as possible. Scroll down to discover and learn about the significant transformations these stars had to go through for their art!

#1 Matt Damon, The Informant!


Damon estimates that he gained between 25 and 30 pounds in preparation for Steven Soderbergh's film 'The Informant.' Even though the weight increase was essential for the part, Damon's buddies mocked him severely.

#2 Taylor Lautner, Twilight: New Moon

Source: Jeff Vespa,

Taylor Lautner isn't inherently powerful, yet his career is dependent on his becoming so. His character evolved into a formidable werewolf between the first and second Twilight flicks. That means gaining 30 pounds of muscle in a year. That he did.

#3 Colin Farrell, The Lobster

Source:, Michael Kovac

Colin Farrell says gaining 40 pounds in two months for his new part as a father of two in the satirical comedy The Lobster wasn't difficult—it just meant he had no portion control. Farrell committed to losing weight as soon as the film was finished.

#4 Kit Harington, Pompeii

Source: sweatelitetraining,

Kit Harington suffered from body dysmorphia (extreme concern over one's physical appearance) while training for this part. He claimed he became utterly consumed with it, going to the gym three times a day, six days a week.
He was exhausted, and his trainer eventually intervened to keep him in check. However, he stated that he was proud of what he accomplished in the end.

#5 Rooney Mara, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Source: Angela Weiss

Rooney worked out constantly for her role as "pale, emaciated" Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She, too, was on a diet.

#6 Matthew Fox, Alex Cross

Source:, WENN Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

To play the emaciated villain in the heavy-duty thriller 'Alex Cross,' Fox lost roughly a fifth of his bodyweight. However, the former Lost star wanted to modify his body in an uncommon way: he wanted to do it healthfully. Whereas Bale merely increased his fitness regimen and reduced his calorie intake, Fox was determined to do it in such a way that he would have enough attention to work hard, think clearly, and be a functioning employee, husband, and parent. He trained hard but smartly, followed a strict but nutritionally balanced diet, and watched his physique gradually chisel itself down to nothing but lean, taut muscle.

#7 Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler

Source: Elisabetta Villa,

Jake Gyllenhaal lost 30 pounds for the film 'Nightcrawler.' Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom in the film, a wild-eyed paparazzo who hunts the moonlight streets of Los Angeles in quest of scandalous and shocking news. Although no one would describe him as bulky, the actor wanted to appear as gaunt as his on-screen alter ego, which meant eating kale salad and chewing gum while filming the role.
This diet, combined with all of the running, took a toll on the actor's physical and personal life, according to him.

#8 Emile Hirsch, Into The Wild

Source: J. Vespa,

To effectively represent Chris McCandless, a guy who wandered into the Alaskan wilderness and finally starved to death, Emile Hirsch had to endure severe weight loss for the film 'Into The Wild.'

#9 Ben Kingsley, Gandhi

Source:, Ron Galella

In his search for authenticity in his part as Gandhi in the film 'Gandhi,' Mr. Kingsley not only shaved his head and shed 20 pounds on Gandhi's vegetarian diet, but he also studied yoga, began to meditate, and learned to spin cotton thread on a wooden wheel, much like Gandhi.

#10 Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables


The 30-year-old actress was so dedicated to the role that she shaved off her distinctive long brown locks and lost 25 pounds for the film 'Les Miserables.' There were even allegations that she was on an extreme crash diet, consuming fewer than 500 calories per day in order to lose weight quickly. According to Hathaway's representative, the stories were "a massive exaggeration," adding that Hathaway was definitely on a special diet, but she was ingesting more than 500 calories per day.

#11 Christian Bale, American Hustle


Christian Bale gained 42 pounds to play New York con man Irving Rosenfeld in David O. Russell's 'American Hustle,' but he also shaved a portion of his skull to give Rosenfeld's pretty complex comb over more life. Bale even herniated a disc in his back as a result of his desire to give his character a slouched posture, which caused him to be three inches shorter in real life.

#12 Robert De Niro, Raging Bull

Source:,Michael Ochs Archives

DeNiro plays Italian-American middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta in the film, whose self-destructive conduct is recorded over several decades, and De Niro takes it upon himself to depict that wear through his true, physical appearance.
De Niro's 60-pound weight gain for the picture was the largest by any actor for a film part at the time of its release, but what makes the actor's physical alteration so extraordinary is the extremes he went through throughout the course of one shoot. De Niro was expected to keep the body type of a boxing contender for the bulk of the film, and only in the last sequences, which represent an older, overweight LaMotta, does De Niro swing wildly in the opposite direction.

#13 Zac Efron, Baywatch

Source:, justjared

To prepare for 'Baywatch,' the actor worked with fitness trainer Patrick Murphy four to five times a week for four to six months, while adhering to a strict, clean diet that included completely eliminating carbohydrates and carbs for days on end.

#14 50 Cent, All Things Fall Apart


In the Mario Van Peebles film 'Things Fall Apart,' Queens rapper 50 Cent lost over 60 pounds to play a football player sick with cancer. Fitty, who normally weighs 214 pounds, posted a photo of himself at a weak 160 pounds. The rapper claims he shed the weight by following a liquid diet and running three hours a day for nine weeks.

#15 Tom Hanks, Castaway

Source:, Ron Galella

To seem like a middle-aged guy, the actor had to gain 50 pounds (23 kg) during pre-production. They shot the parts of the film before the island scenes when Tom Hanks was in this form, then took a year off to allow Tom lose weight so he could resemble a real castaway. He didn't shave or cut his hair for weeks and lost 55 pounds in four months with a strict diet and fitness regimen.

#16 J.K. Simmons, Justice League

Source: aaronvwilliamson

J.K. Simmons endured extensive surgery to play Commissioner Gordon in Justice League. He wanted to get in the best form he'd ever been in. J.K.'s objective was to live a healthy lifestyle and never have to worry about health issues again.

#17 Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club


The extraordinary weight loss of actor Matthew McConaughey in the film 'Dallas Buyers Club' is an amazing part of the film. He lost nearly 40 pounds for the true-life story of AIDS patient Ron Woodroof, who challenges the US government to provide unapproved medication to other patients. McConaughey recounted how, despite warnings from others about the potential harmful impact on his health, he found he had enough energy - at least psychologically - to finish the relentless 25-day shoot.

#18 Chris Pratt, Guardians Of The Galaxy

Source:, starsurf/Splash News

Three or four hours a day of continuous work is how Chris Pratt, the star of 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' lost 60 pounds in six months. Pratt, well known for his role as Andy Dwyer on the sitcom 'Parks and Recreation,' was around 300 pounds when he auditioned for the Marvel film.

#19 Christian Bale, The Machinist


Christian Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a machinist with terrible insomnia, in The Machinist (2004). Reznik gets exceedingly skinny as a result of his sleep deprivation. Bale needed to shed a lot of weight to be fit for the character, thus he had to lose a lot of weight. He dropped from 173 pounds to 110 pounds. To shed these 63 pounds, the actor went on a famine diet, eating only one can of tuna fish and one apple per day for over four months.

#20 Chris Hemsworth, Thor


For the first film, Hemsworth worked out with trainer and former Navy SEAL Duffy Gaver, who took an old-school bodybuilding technique, focusing on Hemsworth's arms and shoulders. Thor, after all, is frequently sleeveless but rarely shirtless. Hemsworth gained 20 pounds in total, establishing the groundwork for a physique he's kept in peak condition for Thor's recurrent role in The Avengers and the solo sequel, Thor: The Dark World.
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