Special Report

Actors Who Made Major Body Transformations for Roles

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Matthew McConaughey

McConaughey underwent both a physical and career transformation when he starred in the acclaimed biopic “Dallas Buyers Club,” playing AIDS victim Ron Woodroff.

Source: Courtesy of Focus Features

Matthew McConaughey
> Movie / TV series: Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

To prepare for the role, he maintained a calculated diet plan and lost about 3.5 pounds per week on average. The film went on to win three Academy Awards, including Best Actor.

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Christian Bale

Bale’s legendary weight fluctuation continued with a fact-based crime drama, in which he plays a portly conman.

Source: Courtesy of GEM Entertainment

Christian Bale
> Movie / TV series: American Hustle (2013)

In the actor’s own words, he spent two months eating “doughnuts, a whole lot of cheeseburgers, and whatever I could get my hands on.” He added about 43 pounds to his waistline as a result.

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Russell Crowe

Fairly lean and muscular at the height of his career, Russell Crowe weighed as much as 257 pounds when he starred in a geopolitical thriller.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Russell Crowe
> Movie / TV series: Body of Lies (2008)

To prepare for the role of CIA veteran Ed Hoffman, he stuck primarily to a high fat diet and sedentary lifestyle. “Bring on the burgers, baby!” he said in an interview from that same year.

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Renee Zellweger

Iconic character Bridget Jones takes control of her life — or at least tries to — in the comedy smash, tracking her own attempts at weight loss.

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

Renee Zellweger
> Movie / TV series: Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

For star Renee Zellweger, that meant gaining about 30 pounds before shooting began. Themes of body image and health would similarly play a role in the 2004 sequel, “Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason.”

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50 Cent

The hip hop star and actor combined a liquid diet with intense treadmill workouts in preparation for a sports drama.

Source: Courtesy of Image Entertainment

50 Cent
> Movie / TV series: Things Fall Apart (2011)

He went from 214 pounds down to 160 pounds and appeared almost unrecognizable in early photos. In the film, he plays a promising college football player who struggles with cancer.

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