12 Actors Who Used Very Bizarre Methods to Gain Weight for Roles

Stuffing themselves with anything that comes their way or undergoing spartan training sessions — an actor’s job behind the scenes can be full of unexpected surprises. Even though many visual effects can be added with computer graphics, nothing replaces real, authentic looks. To create the best experience for us, our favorite actors sometimes have to take on incredibly difficult challenges.

Bright Side is amazed by how these 12 actors transformed their bodies for specific movie roles. Some of them may send chills down your spine while others can charge you with motivation. But we’re sure none of these stories will leave you indifferent!

1. Jared Leto — Chapter 27

To play Mark David Chapman, John Lennon’s assassin, Jared Leto used ice cream. Leto microwaved pints of it, then mixed some olive oil in together with soy sauce. After all the preparations, he drank the mixture in one gulp. Gaining so much weight was way harder for him than starving for other roles. Moreover, this abrupt change took a toll on his body — Leto had to use a wheelchair.

2. Colin Farrell — The Lobster

For his role, the Irish actor gained 45 pounds in 2 months. He stopped exercising and doing any movement at all, asking his sister to drive him around. He also changed his diet and consumed around 4,000 calories per meal. “2 cheeseburgers, fries, and Coca-Colas, and 2 slices of chocolate cake at 10 a.m. is not that fun — and I love cheese­burgers,” recalls Farrell. In addition, just like Jared Leto, he microwaved ice cream and drank it.

3. Sylvester Stallone — Cop Land

Stallone had to gain 40 pounds to play a chubby sheriff. His strict diet regimen consisted of pancakes and fries. Lots of them. For example, his breakfasts would consist of entire blueberry cheesecakes, and stacks of French toast covered with quarts of whipped cream, peanut butter, and oatmeal cookies. On top of that, he chased it all down with half a quart of chocolate milk.

4. The Rock — Hercules

This time, The Rock needed to gain even more muscles than he already had. For 8 months he followed a very strict diet and workout plan, consuming approximately 4,500 calories a day. He ate around 7 meals a day that included combinations of chicken, halibut, egg whites, oatmeal, white rice, baked potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, peppers, and mushrooms.

5. Christian Bale — American Hustle

Christian Bale is known for his unimaginable transformations for different roles: he can go from a very skinny dude to a 200-lb man with ease. When he acted in American Hustle, he went from 185 lb to 228 lb and allowed himself to eat as much fast-food as he wanted. “I ate lots of doughnuts, a whole lot of cheeseburgers, and whatever I could get my hands on. I literally ate anything that came my way,” shared the actor.

6. Charlize Theron — Monster

She gained 30 pounds to play the serial killer, Aileen Wuornos. And the process wasn’t easy for her at all as she made herself consume a lot of processed foods and sugar. She kept macaroni and cheese by her bed and even set herself alarms in the middle of the night to get up and eat it. “I would wake up and I would just eat it — I would just, like, shove it down my throat,” she shared. Such an unhealthy diet affected her mood and the actress felt very depressed.

7. George Clooney — Syriana

The actor had to gain approximately 30 pounds and had only one month to do it. He made himself eat around 9 meals a day. “So my job was just to eat as fast as I could, as much as I could — but mostly you just ate until you wanted to throw up, and made sure you didn’t throw up. So my job for a month was eating,” recalls Clooney.

8. Hilary Swank — Million Dollar Baby

Hilary Swank had no mercy on herself while training for this role. Firstly, she underwent 2.5 hours of boxing and 1.5 to 2 hours of lifting weights every day, 6 days a week. She had meals every 1.5 hours and consumed 210 grams of protein daily. “With a meal, I would drink my egg whites because I could never eat 8 to 12 egg whites in a sitting. It’s just the worst thing ever,” says the actress. To let her body rest after such harsh training, she’d sleep for 9 hours but had to wake up in the night to drink protein shakes. As a result, she gained 19 pounds of muscle in 90 days!

9. Matt Damon — The Informant!

Matt Damon actually enjoyed the process of getting fatter. For his role in The Informant!, he didn’t limit himself at all in terms of food. “I definitely got doughy. I started eating like crazy and drinking dark beer. Between meals on set, I’d eat a #1 value meal at McDonald’s and then Doritos on top of it. It was absolute heaven,” shares the actor.

10. Bradley Cooper — American Sniper

To portray SEAL Chris Kyle, Bradley Cooper had to work out with a personal trainer. He had only 10 weeks to gain more than 40 pounds of muscles for that role. Cooper trained twice a day — his first workout started at 5 a.m. and the second, late in the afternoon. And the hardest part was when his trainer had to force-feed him twice a day with over 5,000 calories. It was a real shock to his body, as Bradley had to eat every 55 minutes.

11. Matthew McConaughey — Gold

Putting on 47 pounds in 6 months was an enjoyable process for Mattew McConaughey. “My favorite food is cheeseburgers, so I was eating cheeseburgers all the time. I was making cheeseburgers. I was trying out all these fast food restaurants that I’ve never had, or I’ve only had one time,” says the actor. “The only thing that gets tiring is the thought of quitting,” he adds.

12. Emma Stone — Battle of the Sexes

The petite Emma Stone had to transform her dancer-like body to look extra fit to play Billie Jean King. To put on around 15 pounds of muscle, Emma did around 3 months of intensive weight training and exercised from 3 to 5 times a week (she sometimes even hit her training sessions twice a day). She was able to do deadlifts with 185 pounds of weight and push-ups with chains on her back.

Have you ever gone through drastic body transformations yourself?

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