10 Actors Who Were Required to Eat a Lot to Gain Weight for a Role

11 months ago

Actors are oftentimes asked to make certain changes to their appearance in order to play a role. A very common change that can be requested of them is gaining or losing a lot of weight so that their character portrayal is more accurate. In this case, we are looking at talented folks who didn’t hesitate to up their eating game in order to gain the weight they needed to. And while it is hard to lose the extra pounds afterward, it must be not easy to gain them either.

1. Austin Butler

The actor needed to gain some weight for his role as Elvis Presley and followed Ryan Gosling’s tactic in order to do so. He started microwaving ice-cream and drinking it as an easy way to get a lot of calories down. He would also get 2 dozen donuts and eat them all along with the melted ice-cream and that’s when the weight started coming in. “It’s fun for a week or so and then you feel awful about yourself.”

2. Christian Bale

The actor is known for his multiple body transformations through the years and his most recent was for the movie Vice. He gained a total of 40 pounds and as he said, “I had more fun gaining the weight than losing it.” He explained that since it was the holiday season, he would eat a lot of pies to assist with the weight gain.

It’s miserable. It’s horrible. If you’re losing weight, there’s nothing to it except for going to bed hungry and feeling miserable. Gaining weight is the complete opposite. You’re absolutely just losing all discipline and gorging like crazy. I need to stop it, it’s not healthy for your body. I’m in my mid-40s now, it’s going to start catching up with me if I don’t start being a little bit aware of my mortality.”

3. Mark Wahlberg

The always fit actor had to gain 30 pounds for the movie Father Stu, and to do this, he consumed 11,000 calories per day. “Even when you’re full, I would wake up after a meal and have another meal. I was eating every 3 hours. It was not fun. It was a dozen eggs and a dozen pieces of bacon, 2 baked potatoes, a Porterhouse steak, 2 bowls of white rice, and a glass of olive oil.”

He continues by explaining that he used this method of eating so that he would look exactly like he needed to for the role. “The first 2 weeks were high proteins. The second 2 weeks were a lot of carbs. The last 2 weeks starches and then sodium, just to kind of get as bloated as possible.”

4. Jared Leto

When Leto was preparing to play the man who put an end to John Lennon’s life, he had to gain 65 pounds. He did that by eating pizza, burgers, and chugging pints of microwaved chocolate. His mobility suffered a bit, since it was painful for him to walk and his health took a toll.

“Really, it’s a silly thing to do. I got gout, and my cholesterol went up so fast in such a short time that my doctors wanted to put me on Lipitor, which is for much, much older people.”

5. Colin Farrell

For his role in The Lobster, Farrell had to gain 45 pounds in just 2 months, which took a lot of effort. Actually, the actor was trying to refrain from any type of activity while eating crazy amounts of food. He would also microwave ice cream and drink it like a smoothie. Even when his sister would visit him on set and ask him to walk around a bit and get some fresh air, he would say no.

6. Charlize Theron

For the role that won her an Academy Award, Theron had to gain 30 pounds.

“I think I’ve tried most of my career to transform myself into characters. This was just more extreme. I had about 3 months to gain weight. It wasn’t that hard. I just didn’t say ’no’ to Krispy Kreme doughnuts or anything that was full of cream. I also gave up exercising.”

7. Renée Zellweger

When the actress was cast to play Bridget Jones, she was asked to gain some weight. She ended up gaining 30 pounds by eating more regularly during the day and more than she usually would. “Come on, well who doesn’t love the extra plate of spaghetti, by the way?”

She never treated her character as a woman who had extra weight on. “I never thought she had a weight issue, I just thought she was like all of us that, ’Oh I’d love to change this thing about myself,’ when in fact nobody else notices it but you.”

8. Tom Hardy

While playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, the actor was visibly heavier and more muscular. In order to achieve his physique, he gained 30 pounds in about 3 months. He followed a very strict circuit training routine so that he could gain a lot of muscle in his essential body parts. Of course, his food intake increased, and he was allowed to eat as much pizza as he could.

He also had to consume a lot of protein, creatine, supplements, and multivitamins. Rice, vegetables, fruit, chicken, tuna, milk, and oats were foods he had to consume often.

9. Vincent D’Onofrio

For his role in Full Metal Jacket, the actor gained 75 pounds by eating crazy amounts of food. “My usual breakfast consisted of steak, 3 eggs, a half loaf of bread and a quart of milk.” While being heavier, he noticed that people would treat him differently than before. “People treat you differently when you’re fat. In restaurants, waiters were always condescending.”

After the filming was wrapped, it took him 5 months to slim down to his usual 200 pounds.

10. Ryan Gosling

Gosling was set to star in the movie The Lovely Bones although soon after he first appeared on set, he was fired and Mark Wahlberg took his place. He decided to gain 60 pounds and grow a beard, 2 decisions that his director did not like. While explaining how he managed to pack on the weight, Gosling said that he would drink melted ice cream.


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