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5 actors who went through immense physical transformation

Film actors have often been criticised for having it too easy. The common perception is that they come on to the set, have a good time, perform and leave. But we forget that they have to go through a lengthy process to be able to perform.

Moreover, certain characters have certain needs, such as The Joker’s character in The Dark Knight required Heath Ledger to go through a difficult mental preparation to personify the darkness and come off as a legitimate vessel of chaos for Gotham.

Apart from that, many others have gone through physical transformations as well. Recently, Aamir Khan made headlines for his transformation for the upcoming film Dangal, where he portrays a wrestler. Here is a list of five actors who have gone to extremes to meet the demands of their characters.

1. Christian Bale The Machinist

He is possibly the first actor one thinks of when discussing body transformation. Bale lost a whopping 60 pounds for his role in The Machinist, where he plays an insomniac.

Although he received medical guidance, he still opted to avoid it and go to extremes for his character. According to, he said, “I had been to a nutritionist and when I had got down to what she had told me was a healthy weight, I just went ‘You know what? I can go more than this. I can keep going.’ So I lost another 20 pounds below what she said I should stop at.”

2. Jared Leto Dallas Buyers Club

Leto lost 40 pounds for the role of Rayon, a drug addicted, HIV-positive trans-woman in the film. Well, it’s funny to think that The Thirty Second to Mars front man refused the role several times before giving in, because he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for it.

Regarding his makeover, he told The Wrap, “It changes the way you walk, the way you sit, the way you think.”

In an interview with The Guardian, he said, “I lost around 40lb and then I stopped counting. For me, it was about how it made me feel, how it made other people treat me. I got down to something like 114lb, and that was enough to do what I wanted it to do, which was to change everything about me.”

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3. Chris Hemsworth In the Heart of the Sea

Hemsworth lost all of his Thor bulk for Ron Howard’s 2015 nautical In the Heart of the Sea. In addition to already losing tremendous amount of weight for Michael Mann’s Blackhat, he followed a diet of only 500 calories per day to convincingly portray a starving nineteenth-century seafarer.

He even tweeted last year, “Just tried a new diet/training program called ‘Lost At Sea’. Wouldn’t recommend it.”

4. Jake Gyllenhaal Southpaw

Gyllenhaal’s transformation is extreme because he had previously lost 30 pounds for Nightcrawler, where he portrayed a thief-turned-journalist.

“I knew that Lou was literally and figuratively hungry,” Gyllenhaal told Us Weekly, adding that he got into character by transitioning into a “mode where I was always a bit hungry.”

From losing 30 pounds for Nightcrawler, he had to gain 45 pounds for Southpaw. So after going through starvation and a low-calorie diet, he went into full training mode.

He said in a report on, “I was literally learning the skills of boxing, which is not only for the body, but also for the mind. You can’t play a boxer and just look like a boxer; you have to believe you can exist in that world.”

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5. Farhan Akhtar Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

It’s not only Hollywood actors who are willing to go the extra mile for their characters. Akhtar sweated it out for 13 months to look as fit for his role of a runner in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag as the real Milkha Singh.

Following a strict workout routine and diet plan, he avoided all kinds of junk food and trained for five to six hours daily. The training sessions included lessons in cycling, repetitions, swimming, football, stair running etc.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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