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

Tom Hardy For The Dark Knight Rises

Tom Hardy has never been slim, but in the photos and video clips of the actor in character as Bane, he looks absolutely massive. Fanboys have complained that Hardy doesn’t look like someone that can bench 1,500 pounds, but the actor has certainly thrown himself into the role, putting on over 30 pounds in just 3 months.

This isn’t the first time that Hardy has bulked up for a role, either. He looked absolutely ripped in Warrior and put on quite a bit of mass for his titular role in Bronson.

Hardy attributes his muscle gain to a diet very heavy in chicken and broccoli. He also said that all he did was lift weights, eat, and be careful not to run anywhere for fear of losing weight during his preparation for The Dark Knight Rises. Though his transformation may not be as extreme as some of the other ones on this list, it’s still impressive and definitely earns our respect.

Comments (198)

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  1. Christopher Martinezsays:

    I think Vincent Regan deserves a shout out for his role in 300. His transformation to the ‘Captain’ is staggering considering where he was prior to the movie. Also, thomas jane to the punisher size was pretty impressive.

  2. Michael Fassbender also lost a lot of weight and was skin and bone in Hunger, where he played Bobby Sands on his hunger strike. Even though he lost less weight than Bale (but then again, I think Michael was already thinner than Bale was pre-Machinist) it’s pretty impressive.

    1. Quick Silversays:

      Yes !! Fassbender ! Everybody talks about Bale when fassbender lost a lot more weight than Bale in Hunger.

      1. Jason C. Wilkersonsays:

        Fassbender lost less than half the weight for Hunger that Bale did for The Machinist. Bale actually holds the record for weight loss in a movie…

  3. Vincent D’Onofrio put on 70lbs for Full Metal Jacket……

    1. M40says:

      I was going to add D’Onofrio, but you beat me to it!
      He’s an INCREDIBLE character actor. Whether he’s Leonard the ‘disgusting fatbody’ in Full Metal Jacket, Edgar the ‘bug’ in MIB, Orson Welles, or detective Goren in Law & Order Criminal Intent, he pulls off some amazing transformations both physically and in his acting. It’s no wonder why he’s known as “The Human Chameleon” in the film industry, and it’s a SMITE of epic proportions to have not included him in this article!

      1. Mdknightmansays:

        Not to forget that at one time D’Onofrio was buff enough that he played the garage owner in “Adventures in Babysitting” that the little girl thought was Thor.

    2. Didn’t he put on some muscle for The Cell? His name came to mind when I read this list…Not just for The Cell, but also Men In Black…

  4. Marksays:

    You missed Meryl Streep in Sophie’ choice, her greatest role, and one of the best perfomances ever.

  5. Mikesays:

    Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver?

    1. They did cover that one.

    2. Raging Bull. Amazing transformation by De Niro!

  6. Danielsays:

    You didn’t give Bale quite enough credit:

    Gained muscle for American Psycho (2000)
    Lost weight for Reign of Fire (2002)
    Gained weight for Equilibrium (2002)
    Lost weight for The Machinist (2004)
    Gained weight for Batman Begins (2005)
    Lost weight for Rescue Dawn (2006)
    Gained weight for The Prestige (2006)
    Gained more weight for The Dark Knight (2008)
    Lost weight for Terminator Salvation (2009)
    Lost more weight for The Fighter (2010)
    Gained weight for The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

    I assume his next project will be playing a zombie. That dude’s body must hate him.

    1. Spoyntersays:

      It’s got to be one of the most impressive gains and losses in the industry.
      Here it is in an image, even more impressive when you see it.
      http://weeksj.tumblr.com/image/28198826305

    2. You actually have Reign of Fire and Equilibrium backwards. He went straight from Reign Of Fire, which saw him get truly beefed up for the first time in his career, to the Machinist. He lost weight for Equilibrium which had him playing a character who needed to look like he could dodge bullets.

      That said, you’re absolutely right. His body must hate him. He actually said he was done doing it after Terminator and then he signed on for The Fighter only knowing the story and not what his character looked like.

      1. Danielsays:

        A fair correction! I only posted them in order of their release dates per IMDB, so I knew I might have fudged something up. So then, it would be more accurate to order them like this:

        Gained muscle for American Psycho (2000)
        Lost weight for Equilibrium (2002)
        Gained weight for Reign of Fire (2002)
        Lost weight for The Machinist (2004)

        ?

      2. Yes. That is correct. He didn’t lose much for Equilibrium, but he was about 10lbs heavier in Reign of Fire than American Psycho. Then he lost ~60 for Machinist, gained 100 (and then lost 15-20) for Batman Begins, lost ~60 again for Rescue Dawn (which was actually shot backward so that he could gain weight in time for TDK), gained ~60 for TDK, lost ~50 for The Fighter, and gained close to that 50 for TDKR, though he was definitely smaller there than in TDK and BB.

        It’s also worth noting that he wore bulky clothes during portions of The Prestige to hide the weight loss he did for Rescue Dawn. He got lucky that that loss didn’t really affect his face like The Machinist and The Fighter did. The man has definitely mastered his body like few others before him.

      3. Danielsays:

        I’m still a little staggered that he got so beefy for Batman Begins that they had ask him to drop weight. I’ve always wanted to see pictures of him at that 230 weight, or Bearman as Bale called it. He must have been huge, even near Bane size…

    3. Cody Wsays:

      That cant be good for you long term, would suck so bad if because of his commitment/talent for acting that he left us early..just a negative thought…lol

    4. His body is magnificent to put up with him. Recommend all Christian’s movies on http://www.myreks.com.

    5. If you watch Batman Begins Making Of, It also tells you he gained too much weight originally so he had to lose weight in a very small amount of time.

    6. The next role as as an AIDS patient in the dark Reagan days.

      1. szoresays:

        What does Reagan have to do with it?

      2. Clarence Worleysays:

        Reagan was a little busy saving the world from Communism and creating a booming America. Besides, It’s not like AIDS was some long known about disease. It was brand new in the 80’s not many people even knew what it was. But being an ill-informed liberal I wouldn’t expect you to know any of that. Now get back to screaming at people for driving SUVs.

      3. Eduardosays:

        What’ u expect for a NAZI

      4. A booming America…….you mean a house of cards that was the beginning of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Then collapsed. Maybe he was just busy selling coke to the contras and dealing weapons to Iran. Not to mention buddying up to Saddam by supplying him WMDs. Yeah, the world today is a direct consequence to Reagan/Bush1.

      5. Clarence Worleysays:

        Well he was no George W. Bush. The greatest AIDS fighting president ever.

  7. Davesays:

    Brad Pitt Fight Club?

  8. Hazsays:

    No George Clooney for Syriana??

  9. Hilary Swank immediately came to mind for her transformations for “Million Dollar Baby” and “Boys Don’t Cry.”

  10. jared leto in “chapter 27”.

  11. Anikasays:

    Yes, you missed Mickey Rourk

  12. Anikasays:

    Oh, and you also forgot to mention the immortal Lon Chaney Sr.

  13. winstoncdumassays:

    I was kind of expecting Vincent D’Onofrio on this list, for gaining more weight than Mr. De Niro in Full Metal Jacket. Then again since I’ve said it already, no need for that, haha.

    1. Vincent D’Onofrio is 6’3″, De Niro is only 5’9″. Makes a difference.

  14. namesays:

    rene zellweger for bridget jones’s diary

  15. You can’t forget Emile Hirsch’s transformation for Into the Wild. By far my favorite movie.

  16. carriesays:

    Fassbender in HUNGER

  17. Elle McPherson looked stunning after she put on weight for Sirens.

    1. Haha, nice one. 😉

  18. HeatherSeebachsays:

    Don’t forget Eric Bana in CHOPPER. Incredible transformation!

    1. Also as King Henry VIII and in Troy… he was always a scrawny runt before that.

  19. “The weight they lost may not be as much as other actors on the list, but considering it put both of them well under 100 pounds, the percent of body weight lost was extreme.”
    Mmmm…nope. Not unless they started out around 175. And really- 95 lbs is “well under” 100? Have some more Kool-Aid, pally.

    1. Jason C. Wilkersonsays:

      Considering both Kunis and Portman lost 20 lbs for the movie when they were already slender, it’s quite impressive…

  20. Ceeceesays:

    Taylor Lautner put on 30 lbs. of muscle at the age of 16 for the Twilight movies. How was that forgotten?

    1. Jason C. Wilkersonsays:

      Because Twilight should be forgotten…

    2. Sonnysays:

      Give me a break, ho.

  21. Megsays:

    How about Daniel Day Lewis in, (well, everything) but mainly in My Left Foot?? He is beyond a method actor, he is THE method actor. He made people cart him around in a wheelbarrow for months and learned to do everything with his left foot just to play Christy Brown perfectly. At the end of it all he had lost a ton of weight and had broken multiple ribs because of how much he had contorted and not used his body during the length of filming. Insane. Love him.

    1. Sonnysays:

      He learned everything he knows from De Niro. Before Lewis, there was only De Niro in terms of method acting. Anyway, a lot of it is exaggerated.

  22. Marksays:

    Vincent D’Onofrio packed on pounds for Full Metal Jacket, but he’d been super buff for his small part in Adventures in Babysitting.

  23. Cody Wsays:

    Chicken and broccoli….got it

    1. Same thing Tom Cruise did for The Last Samurai and Chris Hemsworth did for Thor. I’m not sure how much muscle either one put on, but I remember Cruise saying he couldn’t wear any of his shirts because his arms were too big. Let’s also not forget Linda Hamilton in T2, she trained hard for that and had an amazing amount of muscle for a woman.

      1. Katherine Shambosays:

        YES Linda Hamilton was a great transformation and dedication to get there..I had heard she trained with Arnold to get that way! Glad you mentioned her!

      2. Robert Newsomsays:

        Cruise said that, take it with a grain of salt.

    2. truthhurtssays:

      don’t forget anabolic steroids.

  24. Bradsays:

    How about Edward Norton’s muscle gain for American History X

  25. irenie86says:

    Adrien Brody in the pianist lost a lot of weight as well.

    1. The Red Nomadsays:

      “To prepare for his title role in The Pianist (2002), he learned to play Frédéric Chopin pieces on the piano and shed 30 pounds off his already-thin frame. He cut himself off from his real life by giving up his car and apartment because he felt responsible to those Polish Jews who had suffered greatly and wanted to connect, to some small degree, with their hurt and despair.” (IMDB.com) He also beefed up for playing the role of Royce in Predators.

  26. Yanksfan2010says:

    I’m very surprised that Vincent D’Onofrio did not make the list. He gained 70 pounds for his role as Pvt. Pyle, breaking Robert De Niro’s movie weight-gain record (60 pounds) for Raging Bull. Then he was in Adventures in Babysitting where he was in great shape and lost all the weight shortly after making Full Metal Jacket.

    1. though, donofrio is ridiculously tall and deniro ridiculously short, so those similar numbers of pounds are very different for each of them

      1. Yanksfan2010says:

        Except for the fact that after D’Onofrio gained all the weight for Full Metal Jacket he shortly after took it all off and put on all muscles for Adventures in Babysitting. Their is only four inches in height that separate the two of them. Vincent 6’3 Robert 5’9.

      2. that’s half a foot difference, not 4 inches, and it makes huge difference. i am donofrio’s height and i can gain 20lbs and it isn’t visible in any way. at 5’9″, that same 20lbs would really show. 60lbs would make me paunchy; someone deniro’s height would be obese.

      3. that’s half a foot difference, not 4 inches, and it makes huge difference. i am donofrio’s height and i can gain 20lbs and it isn’t visible in any way. at 5’9″, that same 20lbs would really show. 60lbs would make me paunchy; someone deniro’s height would be obese.

      4. Sonnysays:

        De Niro couldn’t even breathe! D’Onofrio is a tall fellow.

        Also, De Niro packed on muscles for the film first, THEN he gained all those pounds and lost them quickly afterwards. D’Onofrio only did the opposite.

  27. Jeff Rittenoursays:

    Damn 50!!!!!???? He lookin like Dave Cahppelle…WOW

  28. Jeff Rittenoursays:

    and what about all the weight Eddie Murphy gained to play the klumps? 🙂

    1. barrysays:

      not funny, quit being lame

  29. MLewissays:

    Gotta mention Michael Fassbender again. His portrayal in Hunger had me terrified for his life in the last minutes of the film. And when you start praying for a character, you know the actor’s done an amazing job.

  30. Seethlawsays:

    I don’t know when this list was made, but Michael Fassbender needs a place in it. (Hunger)

  31. lazerdoomsays:

    What about Rooney Mara for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)? If you look at her as compared to her role in The Social Network, you would never guess it is the same actress!

  32. I’d add Will Smith for Ali, I believe he had to do a fair bit of bulking up to convince as the boxing legend.

    1. billskysays:

      STFU hippie

  33. Johnsays:

    “Tom Hardy has never been slim.” Are you fucking kidding me? Look at any pictures of him pre-Bronson and he was never bulky. That movie basically earned him a reputation for being able to gain mass for films, and since then he had to add weight for Warrior and Dark Knight Rises. Inception was filmed right after Warrior was finished, so he was still a bit bigger. His ‘normal’ look is quite thin – how he appeared in This Means War, actually. Hardy just came to U.S. recognition when he happened to be bulkier, so now people probably expect that of him. It’s worth pointing out his next film, Lawless, was filmed while he was bulking up to play Bane, so he’ll be pretty big in that, too.

    1. Guess they never saw him in Band of Brothers, he was very scrawny in that.

  34. Dustin Hoffman should be on this list.

  35. posterboysays:

    Tom Hardy has never been slim? Really? He played a heroin addict in Stuart: A Life Backwards, which came out only a year before Bronson. He was pretty skinny at that time.

    1. Andrewsays:

      He also looked pretty thin in Star Trek: Nemesis although the costume made it a little hard to tell.

      1. knifesedgesays:

        His photos from the film show his face is much thinner than he is now

    2. Chad Fullertonsays:

      Tom Hardy was tiny until Bronson. Remember him as Twombley in Black Hawk Down? He was the smallest dude on set. And that was his normal weight.

  36. I think Vincent D’Onofrio still holds the record for weight-gain for “Full Metal Jacket.” Compare that to his Norse God look in “Adventures in Babysitting.” Those are pretty old
    movies compared to what you’ve got here, but the difference is pretty amazing. Glad I don’t have to do that!

  37. Sergeisays:

    You missed Mickey Rourke!

  38. An honorable mention at least should go out to Gary Oldman. He dropped enough weight to play Sid in Sid and Nancy that he was hospitalised briefly.

    1. Alex Lowesays:

      Oldman has had some phenomenal changes. So many movies where he is basically unrecognizable.

      1. Mr Bsays:

        Thanks to accents, wigs and make-up mostly. He is great, but his face can easily be hidden.

  39. LYNNSOSERIOUSsays:

    VERY INTERESTING, THE ACTORS/ACTRESS SEEM TO BE VERY COMMITED , FOCUSED,AND HARD WORKING, VERY INSPIRATIONAL,AND I WOULD LOVE TO LIKE ON MY FACEBOOK.

  40. You totally missed Donny Walberg in the Sixth Sense! For such a small amount of screen time, his dedication to the role is one of the most amazing ever!

  41. I think with Christian Bale, you forgot to mention Rescue Dawn in which he had to put himself slim again (not the level of The Machinist) and put weight back on his body for the role in The Prestige.

  42. Debrasays:

    How about Adrien Brody for the Pianist?

  43. Jolene Johnson-Biebersays:

    This entire post focuses on how a celebrity must look to fulfill a role. Why are looks so DAMN important…. It’s sad that a person should “fast” and “eat enough food to fit in the palm of your hand” ..

    1. Tobysays:

      I’m confused as to why you think that their look isn’t important. The look is a huge part of the audience getting lost in the film. And it isn’t all about fasting, as written, some actors gorged themselves. And the article has nothing to do with “celebrities” it has to do with actors who are dedicated to their craft.

  44. leahblizzsays:

    Michael Fassbender for Hunger? Anybody???

  45. Courtneysays:

    I was hoping Jared Leto would be on this list. He may not be a very famous ‘actor’ but dedicated himself to his roles and did great.

  46. What about Jared Leto for ‘Chapter 27’? He gained so many pounds, just to look like that murderer of John Lennon!!

  47. Sonjyasays:

    Add Jared LETO!
    While preparing for his role as a heroin addict in the movie
    Requiem for a Dream. (2000), Jared lost 28 pounds, he starved himself. Leto admits that playing the part of Harry Goldfarb was “sadomasochistic… the hardest thing I’ve done”.
    He gained 62 lb for his latest role, playing Mark David Chapman, in Chapter 27 (2007). Then lost the weight by going on an all-liquid diet consisting of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water. He lost 20 lb in 10 days.Has been diagnosed with gout after undergoing dramatic weight loss. He packed on 62 pounds for his role in Chapter 27 (2007) [August 2006]

  48. what about Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight? granted it was more a mental change than a physical one, he did put on a few pounds though. and the mental strain of the character put him on even more medication than he already was on. and if you think of how he looked in that verses in The Imaginarium of Dr Parnasiuss which came a year later; that must have taken its toll.

  49. What about Ben Kingsley in Gandhi? By the end of the film he looked sick.

  50. reedsays:

    Vincent D’Onofrio. that is all.

  51. Missysays:

    You’re forgetting Michael Fassbender, Hunger.

  52. Missysays:

    You’re forgetting Michael Fassbender, Hunger.

  53. Svesays:

    Talking about Gaining weight-Loosing weight, remember Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” and Robert De Niro.
    De Niro gained about 60 pounds, to play La Motta in his later years.

  54. Jan Asays:

    One role I was always chilled by was Jennifer Jason Leigh in “Georgia,” where she had to lose weight to play the part of a drug addict … she says she was down to 89 pounds, and damn, she was convincing! Such extreme weight gain/loss isn’t healthy, of course, but I can’t help but be amazed at the dedication involved in getting into a role. On the other hand, I was always rather annoyed that Minnie Driver gained 25 pounds for “Circle of Friends” — she was pretty unknown at the time and I felt there must have been a naturally “curvy” actress who could have played the role… I’ve grown to like her since, but it bugged me at the time.

  55. Erinsays:

    Though maybe not as extreme as Christian Bale in The Machinist for the movie The Road actor Viggo Mortensen did lose quite a bit of weight. The scene with him and his son where he takes his shirt off and you see how scary skinny he is is pretty amazing.

  56. Vincent Dinofrio in Full Metal Jacket broke DeNiro’s record of 70 pounds by 10 pounds. Fuck Jared Leto, bad actor bad film

  57. Sonny Bsays:

    De Niro started it all. Even during the ’70s, he went from slim, to buff, to thin, to muscular.

    He also got fat again for “The Untouchables.” Then, nearing age 50, he got ripped and had only 5% body fat for “Cape Fear.”

    No one did it like him before…

    1. Ah, Brando gave it a good shot!

  58. Nathan Fieldssays:

    Toni Colette in “Muriel’s Wedding.” She had to balloon to play that character.
    Donnie Wahlberg in “The Sixth Sense” and “Dreamcatcher”–huge weight loss twice.
    Charlie Sheen in “Hot Shots: Part Deux”–huge muscle gain.

  59. guestsays:

    why isn’t stallone in the list

  60. Brandy Wohlfordsays:

    WHERE IS DONNIE WAHLBERG? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Hasn’t anyone seen Sixth Sense… great list, but WOW- disappointing!!!

    1. jessica mariesays:

      COMPLETELY AGREE. I enjoyed this article, but Wahlberg is a glaring omission. The most talked about thing from that movie, apart from the “twist”, was how completely unrecognizable he was!!!! He lost 40 something lbs for the role. VERY surprised he’s not on here.

    2. KIMsays:

      add Dream Catcher to the Donnie Wahlberg list…I didnt know it was him!!!

    3. We are talking about people with acting talent that is why he is not on the list

      1. Tequilasays:

        But 50Cent is?

  61. Norton231says:

    Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote.

  62. nicolangotsays:

    you missed out on Renee Zellweger’s weight-gain for her role as Bridget Jones. 🙂

  63. Rebecca Ishizu Gilfillansays:

    You should have put Renee Zellweger because of the weight she gained lost then gained again for Birdget Jones and the sequel

  64. Whotseodnsays:

    What about Rob McElhenney from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia?

  65. ololosays:

    i want to say hello!

  66. tryer25says:

    Best one on that list is Jared Leto. I never knew he was that guy on Chapter 27. Amazing performance by him.

  67. Stormysays:

    I think Christian Bale bottomed out at 140 or 150lbs. Someone with his frame and height would look that skinny at that weight. I don’t believe the 121lbs. story. He would have been dead.

  68. You also missed out the great Toni Collette for her role in “Muriel’s Wedding”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muriel%27s_Wedding

  69. kazsays:

    Shelley Winters packing on a large amount of weight to play the long-ago swimming champion in “The Poseidon Adventure”.

  70. Brenda C.says:

    You forgot Michael Fassbender in “Hunger” 🙂

  71. You forgot about Johnny Depp in the ninth gate! He lost a lot of weight for that movie!

  72. Hayleysays:

    Loved Jared Leto in Chapter 27. Such a sad part of our history. And poor Jared really made the sacrifice—-the weight he gained to play Mark David Chapman temporarily landed him in a wheelchair—-way to suffer for your art!

  73. NoGuffsays:

    Tom Hardy has never been slender? I guess, then, its true that no one saw “Star Trek: Nemesis.”

  74. gatorademebitchsays:

    Kinda bummed Donnie Wahlberg isn’t on this list, and that silly donut 50 Cent is, considering The Sixth Sense was ya know…quite popular. :/ hate about 70% of these ‘lists’ not sure who writes them and then admits he hasn’t even seen half the movies, so most of the movies these actors slimmed down or bulked up for he probably had to use Google to find. -Sincerely, Still Hangin Tough.

    1. Robert Newsomsays:

      If I hated 70% of something on a website, I would quit going there. #dumbass

  75. You missed Vincent D’Onofrio – Pvt. Lawrence in Full Metal Jacket to the detective on L&O, SVU

  76. Saulsays:

    and that`s why they get payed so good

  77. Guys, you have forgotten Eric Bana in “Chopper” …one of the best actors in the world.

  78. stevens1says:

    Let’s be honest, Bale has always been a bit of a nutjob anyway, a bit TOO intense for my liking. But you can never fault his commitment to a role.

  79. adrien brody in the pianist vs new predator movie…

  80. albalovescholosays:

    Vincent D’Onofrio? does he not count, because Bale broke his weight gain record, or because he is now a heavy guy, all the time?

  81. What about Sharon Stone for Alpha Dog?

  82. RagdollRalphsays:

    Where the fuck is Michael Fassbender in the movie Hunger, that movie made me cry he was so thing 🙁

  83. RagdollRalphsays:

    *thin

  84. Jen Tinkersays:

    ya well now they have special effects to make actors look thin instead of risking their health like that-a new kind of “animation” was created in Breaking dawn of twilight because Bella was so thin

  85. TJ Searlsays:

    Oh for cryin’ out loud, commenters, ENOUGH about Christian Bale. The guy gets into his roles; we get it already. But I’d say you missed Ray Liotta, who put on 25 pounds for 2002’s “Narc” and began every shooting day by eating Chinese food so the sodium would keep him looking “puffy”. I would also echo the poster below and recall Linda Hamilton. If the character had appeared in a single film, it may not has been as noticeable, but her transformation from T1 to T2 was pretty staggering.

  86. hank hillsays:

    who would want to gain 60 pounds to play a scumbag jerkoff like chapman?

  87. Dantesays:

    why the hell is 50 cent even listed alongside a legend like Bale, he shouldnt be in f******** film talentless b***ch !!!!!!! stick to music (lol) fool……somebody needs to prove to the goon he aint bulletproof to stop him polluting anymore film/ games too as this is getting pathetic

  88. emily tsays:

    how about gary oldman?? he’s only one of the best actors ever, constantly the chameleon. he lost so much weight for his role as sid vicious in sid and nancy, that he landed himself in the hospital!

  89. Coby147says:

    When Christiand Bale saw Michael Fassbender in “Hunger” he said he would NEVER do that.. that’s how much weight Fassbender lost, he was in hospital for weeks. Surely that’s got to be top of the list!

  90. Docsays:

    Dennis Quaid – when he played Doc Holliday in 1994’s “Wyatt Earp” he shed 40lbs and began a lifelong battle with anorexia as a result.

  91. Matthew Finlaysonsays:

    Sean Penn in Carlito’s Way. I don’t think there was much weight fluctuation, but it was a real visual transformation, which Brian DePalma attributes to Penn himself. I seem to recall that Christian Bale first lost weight for Reign of Fire, but after filming began, realized he had to bulk up to face-off against Matthew McConuaghy. How about John Barrymore for the silent era Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? No make-up, no weight fluctuation, just acting.

  92. pyrosikthsays:

    “Tom Hardy has never been slim”

    You’ve obviously never seen Star Trek Nemesis…

  93. Riksays:

    Actually, method acting at its finest has to go to Daniel Day-Lewis. Not to discredit this great little article, but this is just drastic body transformation at its finest.

    1. Alex Lowesays:

      Very true. Day-Lewis is probably the finest method actor of our time (if not ever) The dedication he puts into every role is phenomenal. I heard he was using his Lincoln accent exclusively for something like 8 months before they began filming. But I’d still say what Bale did to his body for The Machinist is the most incredible.

  94. weightfluxsays:

    Was it Copland that Stallone got real fat for?

  95. musclemansays:

    chris evans captain america

  96. knifesedgesays:

    Disagree about Tom Hardy never being thin. Star Trek Nemesis?

  97. Lunasays:

    Tobey maguire in “brothers” 2009

  98. Kyle4says:

    All of that weight loss can’t be good for Christian Bale, I hope he doesn’t have heart problems later in life. His performances are incredible though and will be remembered for a long time come.

  99. Nnennasays:

    Is this for only d males.wat of Renee zewellger.she added extra pounds for Bridget jonesvdiary

  100. Martin Majestadsays:

    Christian Bale is absolutely epic, I remember when I saw a interview about The machinist, the interviewer ask to him how did he become so thin and he answer something like “I didn’t eat”. Obeisances.
    The example about Bane sucks, because Tom Hardy wasn’t even de 10% of the real Bane.

  101. Lasse Vesasays:

    Michael Fassbender Hunger!!!!

  102. James Woods lost weight for his role in the TV mini series Holocaust. He was so thin I know he was close to starvation. I have remembered this for many years. I think it was filmed in the early 80’s.

  103. James Reavensays:

    you all forget Benicio Del Toro in fear and loathing in las vegas he gained weight and never even lost it over the years

  104. @_samuel_wellssays:

    What about Renee Zellwegger? In 2000, she gained 20lbs for the role of Bridget Jones, and then in 2001 she dropped down to a size 6 (from a size 14) to play Roxie Hart.

  105. Coopersays:

    Missy Peregrym transformed her body for her role, as a gymnast, in the movie Stick It.

  106. sam housonsays:

    Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild…. lost 41 pounds

  107. Tobey Maguire between Seabiscuit and Spider Man. He lost a lot of weight for Seabiscuit then had to put back on weight to do Spiderman 2. I think it was reported that he had a serious back injury because of the hard work in filming and the weight flux.

  108. Torsays:

    Missed renee zellweger

  109. Jessica Szabo Jimenezsays:

    every time i see these list I never see Donnie Wahlberg. He lost a lot of weight for dream catcher and the sixth sense. I didn’t even know it was him in sixth sense until i was looking up his movies.

  110. Marissa Evanssays:

    Aw, you left out Andy Serkis for Sex and Drugs and Rock & Roll. To get the limp, he actually worked out one side of his body more than the other.

  111. Bobsays:

    You said Tom Hardy has “never been slim” so I’m guessing you didn’t see him in the HBO show Band of Brothers, he couldn’t have been more than 140 pound in that. Skinny little SOB

  112. No props for Stallone who put on weight to do Copland? I thought he gave a pretty good dramatic performance in that film

  113. Gina Gregorysays:

    Not even a mention for Chris Lloyd’s weight gain for playing Uncle Fester in the Addams Family movies.

  114. Tyrasays:

    Defo not good for his health, hes an excellent actor still…but why not just find a skinny actor to do the role??

  115. every time i read an article about this subject (and i’ve read a few) one person is always left out…Benicio Del Toro in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. he gained somewhere between 40 and 50 lbs!! always overlooked for a damn good performance that usually gets overshadowed by how good johnny depp is in that film.

  116. Animation Galsays:

    Emile Hirsch lost some 41 lbs for “In to the Wild”, a project that was physically grueling in many ways.

  117. Animation Galsays:

    Oh and what about Gerard Butler for 300 as Leonidas? He put on 200 lbs of pure muscle by following an excruciating workout routine with more than 3 trainers.

  118. Sanahsays:

    Taylor lautner should be up there..

  119. You say “Tom Hardy has never been slim”… however that is incorrect, he was skinny when he was a teenager, and even when he was in Star Trek he was a small lad

  120. Pipsays:

    Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables. Dedication.

  121. livinginstereosays:

    tom hardy looks like the transsexual porn star buck angel in the photo
    for the film warrior. he could play shim if they ever made a biopic.

  122. drewsays:

    This is crazy. Very hard on the body

    Montgomery triangle is awesome!

  123. Kyle S.says:

    What about Hugh Jackman? He had to get EXTREMELY fit to play Jean Valjean. He lifted a pole that weighed over 500 lbs! He deserves some serious credit!

  124. barblibrariansays:

    Just a thought – if the role calls for a fatter person, why don’t they simply cast a heavier person instead of having these people risk their health? Seriously – there are heavier people out there who can act. I find this article very depressing. Why isn’t body type considered in casting? For example – why cast someone like Renee Zellweger for Bridget Jones, when there were dozens of heavier British actresses who could have played the part very well? I actually was not impressed with her in the role, and could not quite understand why two such gorgeous hunks would fight over her.

  125. SandyCheekssays:

    Adrien Brody lost a lot of weight for The Pianist. He was on a strict diet of green tea and egg whites (or maybe hard boiled eggs?). E! did a special a few years ago.

  126. JoAndrasays:

    My immediate thought was, ‘No role is worth risking my health.’ I guess after having been anorexic years ago, I would feel this way.

  127. Adzsays:

    Did anyone ever see Eric Banna in Chopper? Now that is some serious weight gain for a role… Tidy little flick too, i might add!

  128. RyanBritishSteelWhitelawsays:

    You definitely missed Chris Hemsworth for Thor/Avengers.

  129. Docsays:

    What about Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone?

  130. You forgot Val Kilmer for Tombstone and Dennis Quaid for Wyatt Earp. They both lost a great deal of weight to portray a consumptive (tubercular) Doc Holliday… Quaid’s loss was quite impressive… Although Kilmer did a much better Doc Holliday.

  131. akChris20says:

    Michael Fassbender for Hunger

  132. schniebemsays:

    I think Mathew Mcconaughey deservs some credit for reign of fire and Edward Norton for American history X.

    1. Alex Lowesays:

      Check out part 2 to see about Norton!

  133. Taylor Lautner for New Moon

  134. taylor lautner…nine months between pics

  135. LB Eastsays:

    This movie is a masterpiece of psychological terror, and as such, very difficult and unnerving to watch. If you doubt this extraordinary actor’s commitment, see him as a kid in Spielberg’s ‘Empire of the Sun’ — simply extraordinary–and if not for Bale, definitely just another shade of grey, even with Malkovich.

  136. anAmericanByChoicesays:

    My favs: de Niro for Raging Bull and Slater for The Machinist. Not only body changes but superb acting and the movies are beautifully shot and edited!

  137. anAmericanByChoicesays:

    My favs: de Niro for Raging Bull and Slater for The Machinist. Not only body changes but superb acting and the movies are beautifully shot and edited!

  138. Katsays:

    You missed Ryan Gosling’s weight transformation for Lars and the Real Girl and then for The Lovely Bones

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