Actors who went to insane lengths to transform their image for movie roles (20 Photos)

Tom Hardy packed on 30 pounds to play Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises” There were actually some people who didn’t think Hardy bulked up enough for the role of Bane. In the comics Bane’s muscles are grossly over-grown, allowing him to lift up to 1,500 pounds. Tom maxed out at 198 pounds during the filming, and defended his weight to the fans saying “I’m at 198 [lbs]. Bat-fans want me to be over 220lbs. 400lbs. I’m like dude! Batman is like Superman, Spider-Man — he belongs to so many people. So many people love him. He belongs to them, and when you step into that kind of character, you are going to fail. And be judged. I’m human…”

Bradley Cooper gained 40 pounds for “American Sniper” Bradley bulked up to 225 pounds so he could accurately portray Chris Kyle. His daily regimen included multiple intense workouts and consuming more than 5,000 calories a day. He did this for 10 weeks before he felt comfortable enough to portray Chris.

Natalie Portman dropped 20 pounds to play a ballerina in “Black Swan” Portman was on the carrots and almond diet, and worked five to eight hours a day for a year to slim her already trim figure down for this role. “There were some nights that I thought I literally was going to die,” Portman told EW. “It was the first time I understood how you could get so wrapped up in a role that it could sort of take you down.”

Mila Kunis also lost 20 pounds for her role in “Black Swan” Portman was criticized for shrinking to an alarmingly small size for “Black Swan”, yet Kunis did the same thing for her role. Kunis was more vocal about her struggles with her shapeless body. “I could see why this industry is so f—-d up, because… I would literally look at myself in the mirror and I was like: ‘Oh my God! I had no shape, no boobs, no ass. All you saw was bone. I thought it was gross”

Hillary Swank gained 19 pounds of muscle for “Million Dollar Baby” Hillary Swank consumed 210 grams of protein every day for 90 days while training for “Million Dollar Baby.” “My training was two and a half hours of boxing and approximately an hour and a half to two hours lifting weights every day, six days a week. The producers asked me to gain 10 pounds of muscle. I gained 19 pounds of muscle. I started at 110 and went to 129. 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.”

Ryan Gosling gained 60 pounds for “The Lovely Bones” drinking melted ice cream. The funniest part about this is that Gosling never even appeared in the film. He was fired for walking onto the set 60 pounds heavier than he was supposed to be. “I was 150 pounds when [Jackson] hired me, and I showed up on set 210 pounds,” Gosling said. “We had a different idea of how the character should look. I really believed he should be 210 pounds. I was melting Haagen Dazs and drinking it when I was thirsty.”

Demi Moore put herself through military training to drop her body fat for “G.I. Jane” Demi worked with an ex-seal personal trainer to sustain the toll the film would take on her body. She had a high-protein, high calorie diet including chicken breast, salmon, spinach and broccoli.

George Clooney gained more than 30 pounds for his role in “Syriana” It’s well known that Clooney didn’t enjoy putting on the weight for his role, but he did what was necessary. “There was nothing fun about it,” said Clooney. “There was not a moment that was fun about shooting this film. That’s not a slap on the film or (the director Stephen) Gaghan. It’s just that everybody has that year where you age a decade and this was that one for me.” He was so distraught about not being able to work out, he actually became depressed.

Charlize Theron gained 30 pounds for “Monster” and then dropped it right after Theron ate nothing but junk food in preparation for her role. “I first began stuffing myself with Krispy Kreme doughnuts, but after a while I got sick of them,” Theron said. “I love potato chips, so that was a good thing for me. I’m a salty girl so I had my secret stash with me of potato chips at all times.” She went on to win best actress for her role.

Renee Zellweger gained and lost 20 pounds for subsequent roles in “Bridget Jones’s Diary”, “Chicago”, and “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” Zellweger’s weight has gone back and forth for film roles. After gaining and losing so much weight for “Bridget Jones Diary” and “Chicago”, the actress was more than willing to fluctuate weight again for the “Jones” sequel. She consumed up to 4,000 calories a day to make the weight.

Ben Kingsley shaved his head and lost 20 pounds to play Gandhi Kingsley, whose father is of Indian descent, underwent extensive preparation for the role, reading biographies, studying photographs, shaving his head, and losing 20 pounds on Gandhi’s very own vegetarian diet.

Chris Pratt lost 60 pounds in six months for “Guardians of the Galaxy” Chris worked with a personal trainer and nutritionist from Men’s Fitness to get ready for his role. His daily regimen consisted of boxing, swimming, running, kickboxing, triathlons and eating around 4,000 calories a day. Oh, and he also gave up beer. “I actually lost weight by eating more food, but eating the right food, eating healthy foods, and so when I was done with the movie my body hadn’t been in starvation mode.”

Anne Hathaway lost 16 pounds to play a prostitute in “Les Miserables” Hathaway shaved her head and lost 16 pounds on a detox diet for “Les Mis”. She went on to say “The diet made me break out, so I love that. Nothing like living on hummus and radishes and then be all ‘And I got a pimple. Yeah!”

Jake Gyllenhaal looked gaunt after losing 30 pounds for his role in “Nightcrawler” Gyllenhaal went the extra-mile to get into the mindset of his deranged, career-hungry freelance journalist. Instead of going on some sort of special diet, Jake ran 15 miles from his home to the set and stopped eating altogether. “I would try to eat as few calories as possible. I knew if I was hungry that I was in the right spot. Physically, it showed itself, but chemically and mentally, I think it was even a more fascinating journey. It became a struggle for me.”

Robert De Niro gained 60 pounds for one scene of “Raging Bull” In order to play the iconic boxer Jake LaMotta in “Raging Bull,” Robert De Niro built muscle and trained with the legend himself to get the look of the boxer during his heyday. De Niro even fought in three different boxing matches in an attempt to be as convincing as possible. To portray LaMotta’s later years, De Niro packed on almost 60 pounds of weight, a drastic body change that gave the actor rashes and breathing issues.

Matt Damon put on 30 pounds for his role in “The Informant” Damon packed on the pounds for his role as the vice-president turned CIA informant Mark Whitacre, and had fun doing it. “I definitely got doughy. I started eating like crazy and drinking dark beer. Between meals on set, I’d eat a No. 1 Value Meal at McDonald’s and then Doritos on top of it. It was absolute heaven.”

Ryan Reynolds gained 25 pounds for “Blade Trinity” and then kept it on for “Green Lantern” Reynolds’ trainer, Bobby Storm, said the star worked out 90-minutes every day for six-to-seven months to bulk up to 200 pounds. He gained the 25 pounds by adhering to a 3,500 calorie daily diet, working out 6 days a week and dropping to 8% body fat.

Tom Hanks went from 225 pounds to 170 for “Castaway” Hanks has been known to gain/lose weight for a role, but his 55 pound weight loss for “Castaway” was certainly his most extreme. Hanks was vocal about what he missed most during his diet. ”Oh, those FFs, man. Those fries from France. The only thing I did not give up was coffee…. Nope, wasn’t about to!” 

Christian Bale stopped eating and exercising to drop 63 pounds for “The Machinist” Christian Bale wasn’t even asked by director Brad Anderson to drop to a mere 122 pounds for the film. He told the BBC he wanted to do it all on his own. “I was intrigued by a perverse nature of mine just to see if I can go beyond what I’ve been told is actually safe and OK, and see if I could push the limits,”. Bales diet consisted of vitamins, running and eating only an apple and can of tuna a day. Amazingly, he then gained nearly 100 pounds to play Batman in “Batman Begins”.

Bale THEN gained 44 pounds (not the muscle weight) eating donuts, cheeseburgers and tons of junk food to bulk up for his role in “American Hustle” Bale estimated going from about 185 to 228 pounds for “American Hustle.” The actor also shaved his head, and slouched enough to accidentally herniate a disc in his back. The actor was so unrecognizable that actor Robert De Niro had to ask who Bale was upon meeting him on the set.