Beefing Up: 10 Actors Who Underwent Remarkable Physical Transformations For Their Roles


Robert De Niro For Raging Bull


Regarded by many as the original king of method acting, Robert De Niro never showcased his dedication more than in Raging Bull. This was the role that set the standard for the majority of the other actors on this list. It showed what dedication can do to a human body, and what incredible results it can have on a performance.

The film had to be shot in two parts to show the stark contrast between the lean, cut boxer, and the pudgy older Jake La Motta. During the break in filming De Niro gained 60 pounds to beef up for the older La Motta. His diet was mostly Italian food. And a lot of it.

Director Martin Scorsese said that the scenes with a fatter De Niro were filmed quickly, with less takes than the rest of the movie due to the extreme physical strain that was put on the actor’s body. Like Theron though, it was all worth it, as the result was an Oscar for Best Actor as well as a nomination for Best Picture and a permanent spot on almost every top films and performances list.

Tom Hanks For Cast Away

Tom Hanks was no stranger to losing weight for roles, having lost 26 pounds for Philadelphia, but it was for Cast Away in which Hanks took his transformation to another level.

Following the Raging Bull model, the filming was split into two parts with a one year break in between in order for Hanks to make his drastic transformation. Except, Hanks pulled a reverse De Niro and instead, shed weight. Over the course of four months he lost an incredible 55 pounds.

To lose that much weight you need to eat like you’re literally on a deserted island, which Hanks did, saying his daily meals could fit in the palm of his hand. Entertainment Weekly asked Hanks what it was he missed most during to his limited diet, and he said the following:

”Oh, those FFs, man. Those fries from France… The only thing I did not give up was coffee…”

Hanks’s performance didn’t go unnoticed and like so many others on this list, he was recognized by many critics, as he won a Golden Globe award and was nominated for an Oscar for the role.

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