There is an old adage in Hollywood amongst actors. If a casting director asks you if you can do something, you always say yes. It doesn’t matter if it is speaking another language or having a specialized skill. Opportunities don’t come around often for actors and many times they will do anything to get a part. It is an extremely competitive business and a difficult one to find success in. This is why when a role calls for an actor to do something extreme, they will often times find a way to follow through and accommodate the part.
Big time actors have it a lot easier than unknowns. They sometimes don’t even have to go through the audition process to get a role. They also have the luxury of gaining access to a support system that allows them to adapt to almost any role necessary. That is why when an actor requires extreme changes to their physical appearance, dialect, and mannerisms, they are able to comply and sometimes come through with an incredibly legendary performance.
Actors have undergone a variety of extremes to add to the authenticity of a particular acting role. Some actors have actually put their health at risk all for the benefit of their craft. To be the best, sometimes that requires an actor to extend further than they ever thought they could. That is why, when an actor loses a great deal of weight for a role, it can be dramatic to the eyes like when a normal, healthy robust actor turns themselves into a frail emaciated individual we can immediately identify and empathize with. These are 10 of the biggest weight losses by actors for film roles.
10 Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
9 Christian Bale – The Machinist, Rescue Dawn, The Fighter
8 Matt Damon – Courage Under Fire
7 50 Cent – All Things Fall Apart
6 Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
5 Natalie Portman – Black Swan
4 Seth Rogen – The Green Hornet
3 Chris Pratt – Zero Dark Thirty
2 Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
1 Tom Hanks – Castaway
You have got to give it to a film and their leading man when you have to stop production for a full year in order to complete principle filming so the leading man can lose massive amounts of weight. The film Castaway (2000) was a massive success in part because of Hanks and his amazing performance. First, he had to gain 50 pounds prior to filming so he looked like a pudgy man. After the first part of production was completed, Hanks had to lose over 60 pounds and grow his hair and beard out. The film crew actually went on and filmed another film and then returned to complete part two of the film making process with a far leaner Hanks. Hanks is the only actor I know of who has ever had to gain 50 pounds and then lose all of it plus more during the film making process. Hanks was nominated for an Academy Award and took home the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama for his efforts. For Hanks’s extraordinary efforts, he earns our top spot.
On a side note, Hanks recently shared he has diabetes. Actors may love their craft, but adding and losing pounds in bulk has a lot of risk involved.
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