Over the years we've seen some incredible transformations from actors in preparation for upcoming roles. From Christian Bale for The Machinist to Robert De Niro for Raging Bull to Charlize Theron for Monster, we've seen actors lose weight, gain weight and gain ugly, all to play a part more convincingly. One of the most amazing transformations required of actors, especially with the proliferation of superheroes on film, is when they pack on large amounts of muscle. Over the last 20 years especially, we've seen actors get absolutely jacked in a short period of time and, no matter how many times we see it, we are blown away. What lengths do these men have to go to in order to get the build they desire? How many steroids were involved? How much muscle weight did they actually put on? These are the questions we've asked ourselves and plan to answer.
There are some actors, like Brad Pitt in Troy for example or Gerard Butler in 300, who put on what seemed like a crazy amount of muscle weight, but compared to the guys on this list, they're lightweights, literally. The monsters on this list went crazy. Most of them don’t even look real, like CGI touched them up for the big screen. These men became the envy in their observers and they did it in an insanely short period of time. Here are the 15 actors with the most startling muscle gain for a movie role.
15 Hugh Jackman – The Wolverine in X-Men Franchise
14 Jamie Foxx – Any Given Sunday
13 Jason Statham – The Transporter
12 Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler
11 Jake Gyllenhaal - Southpaw
10 Edward Norton – American History X
9 Christian Bale – Batman Begins
8 Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy
7 Will Smith – Ali/I, Robot
6 Ryan Reynolds – Blade Trinity
5 Tom Hardy – Warrior/The Dark Knight Rises
4 Mark Wahlberg – Pain & Gain
3 Henry Cavill – Man of Steel
2 Chris Evans – Captain America
1 Chris Hemsworth - Thor
Chris Hemsworth has always been a big guy and he's a freak of nature. The 6'3 Australian already had a decent build going, but when he got the role of Thor, he prepared for a big transformation. He started looking at the comics and knew he was never going to reach the real size of the character, but the filmmakers urged him to get as big as he possibly could. So he did. In fact, he got too big for the part. The costume that they made for him wouldn't even fit him when he first showed up. The team was happy with how much muscle he put on, but he was too thick, "too blocky" as Hemsworth put it. In total, he put on about 20 lbs of pure muscle, which is a lot considering his build already. He did that with months of heavy weights and clean proteins. Today, he keeps that build, for the most (though his role in Lost at Sea had him cut a lot of it) part, with a consistent workout. When he's not shooting, he just cuts out a lot of the food, cutting down about 15 lbs for his normal resting weight.
Sources: Vulture; MensFitness; PredatorNutrition
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