11 Most Extreme Body Transformations That Actors Have Made For Roles

The careers of Hollywood celebrities are full of physical demands and challenges. Sometimes, just having talent is not enough because an actor needs a specific appearance to fit certain roles. In fact, undergoing significant physical changes for a role is probably one of the most difficult things an actor has to go through. In the history of Hollywood, a number of stars have dramatically changed their physical appearance to perfectly portray their character.
For the role, they dramatically change every aspect of themselves. Sometimes it doesn't just need a wig and makeup, sometimes it comes at the cost of their own health. It means that they have to gain 60 pounds of muscle or lose 40 pounds in a short time. It's so crazy!
So, to honor those famous stars who made significant physical and mental sacrifices to portray their characters as authentically and accurately as they could. From Tom Hanks to Mark Wahlberg, here are 11 times that Hollywood stars have made the biggest body transformations for roles. Scroll down to see and learn more about the changes these stars underwent for their craft!

#1 Charlize Theron, ‘Monster’

Source: Monster

Charlize Theron completely transformed both herself and her physique to play real-life serial murderer Aileen Wuornos in the film. Theron altered her diet to gain more than 13kg. The actress said that for her, the transformation involved more than simply putting on weight; was about letting go of her regular strict regimen in order to fit the part. It was clearly deserved as Theron received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her efforts.

#2 Tom Hardy, 'Bronson'

Source: Bronson

In the movie "Bronson", Hardy plays Michael Gordon Petersona prisoner who is regarded as Britain's most violent offender. Due to his proficiency in bare-knuckle combat, he is given the nickname Charles Bronson. Here, Hardy sports his trademark mustache and total baldness. This role might be considered a career-defining one for numerous actors. However, for Tom Hardy, this is just another accomplishment to add to his long list of accomplishments. To play well Charles Bronson, Hardy tried to emulate the appearance of a "brawny bare knuckle brawler". Hardy visited a prison and spoke with the real Bronson, who had spent the majority of his adult life behind bars. Hardy gained almost 40 pounds in only five weeks to bulk up for the role.

#3 Jake Gyllenhaal, ‘Southpaw’

Source: Southpaw

Jake Gyllenhaal put on roughly 7 kg of muscle for his role as a middleweight boxer in "Southpaw". To prepare for the film, the actor trained for six hours a day over a period of six months in Floyd Mayweather's gym in Las Vegas. Talking about his transformation for the film, Gyllenhaal said: “The amount of time you have to put into it, the sacrifice that you put into your body, it's not something that you're eager to do again. It's a huge commitment.”

#4 Natalie Portman, ‘Black Swan’

Source: Black Swan

Natalie Portman shed about 10 kg to play a perfectionist ballerina in "Black Swan". Portman spent more than eight hours a day in rehearsals, during which she dislocated a rib, and subsisted on a diet consisting of little more than carrots and almonds. "There were some nights that I thought I literally was going to die," the actress said about her preparation for the role. "It was the first time I understood how you could get so wrapped up in a role that it could sort of taking you down."

#5 Christian Bale, ‘The Machinist’

Source: The Machinist

Bale's character in "The Machinist" is Trevor Reznik who suffers from extreme insomnia and loses severe weight. Bale adhered to a stringent diet for four months and shed close to 30 kg for the role. Bale accelerated the process further by engaging in a rigorous cardio regimen. Before being needed to pack on the muscle for his next role in "Batman Begins", Bale said the weight reduction had left him in a "zen" state of mind.

#6 Chris Pratt, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Source: Guardians of the Galaxy

In Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy", Chris Pratt played Peter Quill / Star-Lord, the half-human, half-alien leader of the Guardians. For this part, he lost 27 kg by following a diet and exercise routine designed by nutritionist Phil Goglia and personal trainer Duffy Gaver. The star said, “three or four hours a day of just consistent, ass-kicking hard work” and “I was peeing all day long, every day. That part was a nightmare”.

#7 Matthew McConaughey, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’

Source: Dallas Buyers Club

In the Oscar-winning film "Dallas Buyers Club," Matthew McConaughey played real-life Aids patient Ron Woodroof who fought the US government to allow other patients to get unapproved medication. For this role, McConaughey had a strenuous diet that included eating fish, egg whites, and tapioca pudding in order to lose 22kg for the part. "I did not torture myself. I was militant. The hardest part was making the damn choice," McConaughey said on an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience.

#8 Jared Leto, 'Chapter 27'

Source: Chapter 27

For his role as John Lennon's assassin, Mark David Chapman, in "Chapter 27", Jared Leto put on more than 30 kilograms. Pizza, pasta, and melting Haagen-Dazs ice cream blended with soy sauce and olive oil made up the bulk of his diet. After the movie, he got gout. "Towards the end of the shoot, one of the glaring issues was the pain I had with my feet," he revealed after the film premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2007. "I couldn't walk for long distances. I had a wheelchair because it was so painful. My body was in shock from the amount of weight I gained.”

#9 50 Cent, ‘All Things Fall Apart’

Source: All Things Fall Apart

Rapper 50 Cent is known for his typically lean figure. However, he shocked fans back in 2011 when playing a football player who had been stricken with cancer in "All Things Fall Apart". To prepare for this role, he followed a liquid diet and worked out on the treadmill for three hours each day for nine weeks to lose more than 24 kg. He also removed a few of his tattoos to "save time covering them".

#10 Jonah Hill, ‘Maniac’

Source: Maniac

Jonah Hill has undergone several transformations for various roles, but his most notable change is for the 2018 Netflix series "Maniac." After gaining weight for the role in "War Dogs", the actor lost more than 20 kg for this role. In an interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Hill revealed : "I gained weight for this movie War Dogs, and then I wanted to get in better shape, so I called Channing Tatum, and said, 'Hey, if I ate less and go to a trainer, will I get in better shape?'" Tatum's to-the-point reply: “‘Yes … of course, you will, it’s the simplest thing in the entire world’.”

#11 Christian Bale, 'American Hustle'

Source: American Hustle

Christian Bale makes the list again for another drastic body transformation. In contrast to "The Machinist," in 2013's "American Hustle", he put on 19 kg for his role as Irving Rosenfeld, which was based on the infamous American con artist Melvin Weinberg. In order to replicate Weinberg's comb-over, Bale also shaved part of his head. Due to his decision to give his character a slouched posture, Bale's real-life height was reduced by three inches. The actor also caused himself a herniated disc in his back.
Share this article