When it comes to being a celebrity, there are many elements that must be incredibly difficult to deal with. Sure, you have money, but you also have very little privacy. What that means is that as long as you’re considered to be “famous,” every time you step out of your house there’s a chance the paparazzi are lurking around the corner waiting to snap.
This becomes an even more concerning problem if this celebrity happens to be, you know, a human, and struggle with their weight. Many prominent celebrities have been scrutinized in the past for their weight gains, and many times this was completely uncalled for. In fact, as you’ll learn, many times actors got put on weight specifically for an acting role, not that it stopped critics.
While there’s a wrestler and musician below, many times you’ll find it’s actors that get accosted for their weight gain. Perhaps now instead of thinking Jonah Hill just got fat again, you’ll learn about which upcoming role caused the actor to get larger.
You’ll also learn what actor famously said “I don’t mind I’m fat. You still get the same money.” Fun fact: It’s the same actor that got ham air-lifted to the movie set because he was hungry. Here are 20 examples of the most drastic weight fluctuations that celebrities have experienced.
20. Val Kilmer
Wait, what happened to Batman? Did he realize that with the Batmobile he could get to the nearest McDonald’s in under 3 minutes? Kilmer was cast as the very in-shape and attractive Bruce Wayne for the less than successful Batman film Batman Forever in 1995. This wasn’t the first time that Kilmer has been in shape for. I mean just look at the guy in Top Gun. But looking at the above photo, it becomes clear that there was a time when Val was letting it all go.
Before we rip on Val too hard, we do have to give the actor credit for also being able to reel his weight back in. The above photo was taken when he was perhaps at his heaviest, but in 2015, he tweeted out to haters who thought he could never be Iceman again, saying “Sorry to disappoint but I’m 165 lbs now. And 55 is the new 50!!!”
Kilmer was also required to drop some weight when he played Mark Twain, which he did in 2014 and will again in 2016/2017.
19. Scott Hall
Below you’re going to read about a lot of actors who gained a substantial amount of weight for a movie role. Unfortunately, that logic doesn’t really apply to professional wrestlers. Even if Scott Hall is no longer lacing up his boots, you would’ve hoped that he’d be able to take better care of himself after retirement. I can only imagine how unappealing the extreme amount of chest hair that Hall has looks when the surface area is about 3 times larger than when he used to parade shirtless in the ring. In all seriousness, it must already suck getting old after a career of wrestling (hello body pain), and you’re really not doing yourself any favors by adding that extra stress to your joints.
Hall was signed to Global Force Wrestling on May 13th, 2015, but was released from his contract 5 days later. Hall has also abused drugs and alcohol throughout his career, which does not exactly do wonders for your overall fitness levels. Nothing says “let’s go do some cardio” like making sure you first polish off that 12-pack. Hall was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014.
18. Vince Vaughn
Vince Vaughn is one of the funniest actors in Hollywood. When he first made his big break into the industry, it was alongside Jon Favreau (who also wrote the movie). The film came out in 1996, making Vaughn roughly 26 years old. At the time, he was a young, very in shape dude who had no problem pulling off his role. As Vaughn’s career got longer though, his waistline also seemed to expand. The above photo is definitely not the best angle for Vaughn, and perhaps shows him when he was at his heaviest. Fans of True Detective will know that Vaughn hasn’t struggled to slim himself back down when necessary.
His next film, Brawl in Cell Block 99, tells the story of a boxer-turned-drug runner. There is very little else known about the film, but you can imagine if Vaughn is tapped as the lead he’ll need to pull off one heck of a body transformation from when he was at his biggest.
Elvis Presley was one of the biggest sex icons in the world when he was first making his mark in the music industry. Easy to see why with his charming smile and well-combed hair. But the end of Presley’s life is a sad one, as the star grew troubled at the demands of fame. He secluded himself to his home in Graceland, and while he still toured in the 70s, reports surfaced that by 1976, the musician was bored with the “grinding schedule of repeated routines, the monotony of the road, and a heart heavy from personal disappointments.” Those who saw Presley towards the end of his career talk about how the singer was near impossible to understand on stage and unable to move around for very long.
Presley would abuse prescription drugs, often feeling like he needed them to first perform on stage, and then again to help him fall asleep at night. This, combined with a poor diet, led to Presley gaining a substantial amount of weight as his career went on. While there were also reports that he attempted to use diet pills, there is no telling if they did more harm than good.
Presley died in 1977, and at the time had suffered from liver damage, an enlarged colon, glaucoma and high blood pressure.
16. Kirstie Alley
Kirstie Alley first made her mark in Hollywood in the series Cheers, where she played Rebecca Howe from 1987-1993. Alley has had other successes such as Look Who’s Talking, but the main thought people have when it comes to Alley may be centered around her figure. Alley’s admitted to her battle with weight in 2003 but stated that she had only started noticing a change in her body after starting menopause in 1992.
Alley became a spokesperson for Jenny Craig from 2004 to 2007, at one point dropping down to 145 pounds. Unfortunately, Alley left Jenny Craig, and in 2009 said she had gained up to 83 pounds.
Her battle with weight continued to fluctuate and in 2011 she announced she had lost 100 pounds using a new weight loss product called “Organic Liaison”. The product was eventually bought by Jenny Craig, and Kirstie rejoined Craig in 2014. It was announced in 2015 that since re-starting Jenny Craig, Kirstie has lost an additional 50 pounds.
Alley is definitely a talented actress, but when you consider her long history with Jenny Craig, are you really shocked that people want to talk about her weight?
15. Alec Baldwin
The photo on the left barely looks like Baldwin, but then again, it was taken a few decades ago! Alec has had several fantastic performances in his acting career, both as a skinnier and as a slightly larger man. It was clear that as the filming of 30 Rock went on, Baldwin was putting on some weight, a fact the actor couldn’t deny. It was revealed by USA Today that “Baldwin would go through pints of ice cream every night after shooting 30 Rock while watching Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. His diet, he says, consisted of sugar, sugar, sugar.”
The weight gain didn’t last very long though, as he announced in 2012 that he was prediabetic and was going to be working hard to help keep his weight in check. Baldwin isn’t the skinniest guy around in 2015, but he’s doing a great job of keeping his body together.
14. Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson is an outstanding record producer, but you probably know him best for his time on American Idol. As popular as the show was, Jackson’s weight was often a talking point in the media. It was in 2003 that Jackson underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost around 114 pounds (and roughly 230 pounds overall). But unable to completely conquer his health problems, Jackson has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, a fact he opened up about during a commercial that ran in 2008.
When he was talking about the decision to have surgery, Jackson said “I was like: I really need to do something to nip this in the bud right now. It worked for me, but I hesitate to recommend it for people because it’s like a personal life decision. It’s a life choice because you change and alter your complete life when you do this.”
He made sure to talk about the dangers of the procedure, as at the time, roughly 1 in every 200 people did not survive gastric bypass surgery.
Jackson has been out of the public eye for a while now, we just need to hope that he’s been able to keep himself healthy.
13. Steven Seagal
There is no doubt that back in the 80s and for at least part of the 90s, Steven Seagal was a pretty big badass. And part of being a badass is being in shape, as you can see from the above 1988 film, Above The Law. It was Steven’s first film, so you can understand why he must have put in some time at the gym to make sure he had the muscles to back up the ass-kicking he did on screen. But as time went on, Seagal’s career continued to dip downward. He’s still doing some acting work though, and one of his more recent films is The Perfect Weapon. Definitely sounds fitting for Seagal, at least until you realize he needs to sport that god awful goatee and is definitely pushing up against the waistband of his pants.
Seagal is currently linked to an upcoming film Attrition that is in pre-production, so who knows, maybe Steven is currently going hard at the gym so he can bust back onto the scene in 2017 and blow us all away. I mean, probably not, but he could.
12. John Travolta
There is no doubting that John Travolta used to be absolutely ripped. I mean, you don’t land the role in Saturday Night Fever (and the forgettable sequel, Stayin’ Alive) without being able to strut your stuff on the dance floor, and part of being able to really strut it involves having washboard abs. Travolta was a tremendous actor and sex icon, but as his career went on, he apparently seems to have cared a little bit less about his waistline. That being said, how on earth could anyone be expected to keep the same body they had during their prime?
Travolta definitely doesn’t deserve any of your current flack though, as the actor has dropped anything that could even be resembling fat for his role of Robert Shapiro in the fantastic show, The People V O.J. Simpson. While he’s definitely not as active in the industry as he used to be, there is no doubting that Travolta can still bring his A-game when it matters.
11. Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe is one of the best examples as to why it’s really not fair to rip into these actors for their weight, especially without knowing the entire story. Many people attacked Crowe when he emerged looking incredibly heavy back around August of last year. In an interview, Crowe stated he was around 270 pounds at the time and had a very evident gut. Why did he gain the weight? Crowe was in a recently released (and fantastic) film The Nice Guys, that starred Ryan Gosling and Crowe wanted to try and be the physical opposite of Gosling.
In March, Crowe came out and said he has already lost around 50 pounds. Given how ripped he’s looked in the past for films like Gladiator, we’re sure it’s only a matter of time before Crowe gets his old body back.
Crowe is no stranger to weight gain. In 1999, he put on 50 pounds to play tobacco executive Jeffrey Wigand in the movie The Insider.
10. Marlon Brando
There is no doubt that Marlon Brando has had several acting performances that were outstanding. Whether you loved him in The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, or any of his other classics, there was plenty to love. Though one thing that’s clear is that Brando also loved food. The actor got incredibly large as his career went on, at one point saying that he didn’t care that he got fat because acting paid the same.
His love of food has had several extreme moments, one of which occurred when his wife physically put a lock on the fridge to help dissuade the actor. Not deterred, Brando broke off the lock with a crowbar and ate a block of cheese.
It was also reported that in 1963, during the filming of Mutiny on the Bounty, Brando required ham to be air-lifted to his location. Want to know his true love of food? When he was cast as Jor-El in the 1970s Superman film, he tried to demand that Jor-El be played by a suitcase…or a green bagel.
Might have changed the overall theme of the movie just a bit, eh?
9. Jon Favreau
As you read above, Jon Favreau helped get his big break into the industry alongside Vince Vaughn in the movie Swingers. Jon was in good shape for the film, but even then had nothing on the body that he got for the 1999 film Rocky Marciano in which he played boxer Rocky Marciano.
Favreau has all the talent to continue making it as an actor, but when you consider the amount of success he’s had behind the screen, you wouldn’t blame him for taking a backseat from acting. Favreau directed the first two Iron Man films, and most recently the financial and critical success The Jungle Book. He has also written, produced directed, and yes, he even starred in his own film, Chef, which came out in 2014.
It’s clear the actor has put on some weight as his career has gone on, but he’s also now 49 years old, and that can happen! Let’s just hope he’s able to stay healthy and keep making unbelievable films in the very near future.
8. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey has been in the public eye since her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, started in 1986. The show ran until 2011, but as you can see, Winfrey’s weight has fluctuated throughout her career. While she’s looking great now, the above photo shows Winfrey when she was at her heaviest in 1992.Winfrey said she weighed roughly 237 pounds at the time, and it inspired her to meet with and start working with a personal trainer. Prior to the weight gain, Winfrey had proudly announced on her show in 1988 how she had lost 67 pounds.
In 2008, Winfrey’s struggles with weight continued and her insecurities grew. She opened up in an interview how “all this year, I’ve been hiding my body because I didn’t want you to see it” which is easier said than done when you’re on the cover of your own magazine.
Winfrey stepped out on the town in 2014 looking in shape and healthier than ever as you can see from the photo on the left. A fact she credits to proper exercise and a disciplined diet. While we don’t get to see her every day anymore on her show, let’s hope Winfrey can just love the person she sees in the mirror, regardless of what people think.
7. Brendan Fraser
Let’s be honest, if you’re going to be playing the lead in George of the Jungle, you’re probably going to want to be in shape! Especially if, as you see above, you’re not going to be wearing very much clothing for at least a solid portion of the film. Not to mention if you’re going to be interacting with Mummies, as Fraser did in The Mummy, The Mummy Returns and The Mummy: Tomb of The Dragon, you’re probably going to want to do some cardio! But as Fraser‘s career started to stagnate, his waistline seems to have started to increase. Fraser hasn’t had a great film in several years but was cast as Billy Anderson in the TV Mini-Series Texas Rising which ran for 5 episodes in 2015. While he’s still slightly heavier in the role, you’ll probably be distracted by the fact that he has long hair, which he makes into pigtails. Super badass, right?
Fraser is currently filming the Indian film, The Field.
6. Al Roker
Al Roker started his career as an anchor on the Today Show in 1996 and there was no denying that he was a heavier-set man. Despite only being 5’8, Roker claims that at one point his weight got as significant as 340 pounds. In 2002, he underwent gastric bypass weight loss surgery and dropped down to 190 pounds. After his Mother was hospitalized in 2008, Roker gained 40 pounds, but hated himself for the added weight and vowed to take better control of his body and diet. Al opened up to the Daily News in 2014, saying “my strategy is I don’t deprive myself, I have a spoonful of whatever it is I like and that’s that. I just can’t physically eat as much as I used to, sadly.”
Roker has also found that since losing the weight, physically eating the bigger portions that he used to consume no longer interests him. Instead now when he goes out to eat, Al explains “I tell the waiter, ‘Take whatever it is, cut it in half, put the other half in a doggie bag and put the other half on my plate.”
Al has clearly come a long way.
5. Matt Damon
There are many actors in Hollywood that are tremendously dedicated to their craft. Looking at the above two photos and the transformation that Damon has put his body through for roles, it’s easy to see why he should be considered to be among the best.
The photo on the left comes from his upcoming film Jason Bourne, which comes out in 2016 and will certainly feature plenty of ass-kicking. This isn’t the first time Damon has taken on the role of Bourne, but the 45-year-old actor may never have looked better.
The photo on the right comes from the 2009 film, The Informant! Damon packed on 30 pounds of fat for the role by utilizing a diet of Doritos, beer, McDonald’s, and anything else the actor could think of that would be unhealthy. Damon must love acting, but he’s also human, so you can imagine it was probably significantly more fun getting his body into The Informant! shape.
4. Jessica Simpson
When Jessica Simpson sat down for her Today Show appearance in 2015, she made the joke that she’s been all kinds of sizes throughout her career. Simpson admitted that at her heaviest she weighed 210 pounds, but by the time she had sat down on the show, she was looking better and skinnier than ever.
Simpson is also a mother of two and laughed off the fact that there was a lot of baby weight to lose, but also got to the meat of this entire issue. When asked how she deals with people’s negativity, Simpson stated “I feel if anything it empowered me to rise above and stand up for all the women out there that do have trouble losing the weight. And it just wasn’t really my priority to please the public and make them feel like I’m supposed to be looking like I did when I was 25.”
Amen! There’s no denying that Simpson was an incredibly sexy woman at 25, but that doesn’t mean she deserved to be attacked extra hard because she gained weight as she got older and her responsibilities shifted to being a mom.
3. Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson is an outstanding singer who was only 20 years old when she stepped under the spotlight of America, winning the first season of American Idol. Clarkson is also, you know, a person, so how dare she have her weight change throughout the course of her career? It’s not like the singer has become a mom twice…oh wait.
Clarkson has been attacked by several organizations for her weight gain, including Fox News anchor Chris Wallace stating she should stay off the deep dish pizza. The talented singer took to Ellen to talk about her verbal abuse, saying “I love how people think that’s new. Like, welcome to the past 13 years! [On ‘American Idol’], I wasn’t big, but people would call me big.”
Clarkson would also be far from the only person in the world who states her weight and attitude towards her body shifts over time. “Sometimes [I’m] more fit…I’m such a creative person that I yoyo….[sometimes] I get into kickboxing hardcore. And then sometimes I don’t and I’m like … I’d rather have wine.”
Call me crazy, but I’d rather pick the bottle, especially if people are going to attack you either way!
2. John Goodman
There are a lot of celebrities who made this list because they used to be really skinny but then ballooned up as their career got bigger. But what might be even harder is making a name for yourself as a “big man,” especially a “big funny man,” and then all of a sudden changing that image of yourself.
John Goodman has had a career as a big man for decades, but as you can see from the above photo, Goodman is looking skinnier and better than ever. Now 63 years old, Goodman said he dropped 100 pounds over the course of 18 months. When talking about it with Howard Stern, Goodman opened up about how he did it.
“I decided to stop stuffing food into my mouth every five minutes, turns out I was just eating all the time. Anytime I had my hands open or free, I shoved something in my mouth. It’s all crap.”
Along with changing his diet, Goodman utilized an exercise plan that included stomach crunches and an elliptical.
1. Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill has had an incredibly public battle with his weight, but when you are as talented as Hill is, perhaps you’re not shocked that all eyes seem to be on him. When Hill first emerged on the scene, he was definitely a bit of a heavier guy (just look at him in films like Accepted). As his career continued on, Hill started to establish himself as a tremendous actor and in 2012 the world got to see a skinny Jonah Hill kicking some ass (or trying to) in 21 Jump Street. It probably helped that he was dating a nutritionist at the time!
I hope you’re ready to get shocked by an absolutely huge Jonah Hill. Hard to blame Jonah for the weight gain, as it was for his upcoming film War Dogs which is based on a true story and also stars Miles Teller.
There is no doubt that there is always a huge risk when actors adjust their body for a role, but let’s hope Jonah will be able to have the willpower to slim himself back down to a healthy weight once he’s done with this film.