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10+ Actors Who Went Through Drastic Transformations For A Role

Sometimes it takes a whole lot to be an actor.

You're constantly under the scrutiny of the public, you're constantly being judged based on your most recent performance and sometimes, you have to lose 50 pounds to play a role.

These are the latter moments we've found.

1. Chris Hemsworth


Movie: Thor.

Listen, Chris Hemsworth was always a pretty fit guy, but after he became Thor he went from fit to freaking ripped.

There were even some rumors that he was on steroids.

But his trainer, Duffy Gaver, begs to differ.

Instagram | @chrishemsworth

He says:

“People see Chris and they think he was on steroids, but he didn’t touch a single substance. It was just red meat, heavy weights and some protein powder. He crushed every single workout. He simply decided to look like Thor.”

2. Tom Hanks

20th Century Fox

Movie: Cast Away.

First, he had to gain 50 pounds to look like a middle-aged man.

Then, once he was on the island, he had to lose all that weight (and more). Not to mention he had to grow out his hair.

3. Charlize Theron

Denver and Delilah Productions

Movie: Monster.

This change was all physical for the actress. She went from one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood to... well, a monster, if I can be frank.

4. Tom Hardy

Vertigo Films

Movie: Bronson

"Initially Charles Bronson was very disappointed when he saw me. He said, "This kid will never be able to play me." I just told him, "Don’t worry Charlie I’ll fix it." When I came back two weeks later he was thoroughly impressed with what he saw."

He got put on weight and got ripped for the role!

5. Jared Leto

Voltage Pictures

Movie: Dallas Buyers Club.

Not only did Jared Leto have to lose a lot of weight for this role, but he also had to put in a lot of time with the trans community to understand how to properly play the character.

6. Natalie Portman

20th Century Fox

Movie: Black Swan.

Not only did the actress lose 20 pounds for the role, but she sustained a lot of injuries as well during.

So do other dancers, according to Portman herself.

"All dancers are always dancing with an extreme injury."

20th Century Fox

"Not just a sore muscle, they're dancing on a sprained ankle or with a twisted neck or something. You'll see them do incredible stuff and then limp off stage, straight to a bucket of ice. Part of the art is hiding all the pain."

7. Matthew McConaughey

Voltage Pictures

Movie: Dallas Buyers Club.

It was the role that gave him the title of "Oscar Award Winner". He had to look like someone with HIV, so he went and lost 40 pounds.

How did he do it?

Voltage Pictures

“I met with a nutritionist. I gave myself four months to lose the weight. I had my programmed meals, lost 3.5lb a week - like clockwork - and got down to my desired weight.’’

8. Jonah Hill


Movie: Maniac.

Hill has been all over the place when it comes to weight. He slimmed down for 22 Jump Street, then had to gain 40 pounds weight for War Dogs, only to lose it all again for Maniac.

9. Jake Gyllenhaal


Movie: Southpaw.

Nothing like a good ol' boxing movie to get you into shape! Jake Gyllenhaal was never in bad shape, but he was never as ripped as he was before Southpaw.

10. Chris Pratt


Movie: Guardians Of The Galaxy

When he was filming Parks and Recreation, he was in the neighborhood of 300 pounds.

But then after he got the part, he got into shape. Obviously.

11. Christian Bale


Movie: The Machinist.

We've all seen this famous photo of Christian Bale completely skinny. Apparently, he lost 63 pounds for the role, weighing only 100 pounds while he was filming.

Now that's dedication!

12. Jared Leto

Peace Arch Entertainment

Movie: Chapter 27

In order to play John Lennon's assassin, Jared Leto felt the need to gain some weight.

67 pounds, to be exact. And when I say he felt the need, I mean it.

"The script didn't say, 'Page 1: You gain 67 pounds, and you're miserable for two months.'

Peace Arch Entertainment

"But as I started to research, I realized that the physical representation of this guy had so much to do with who he was."

Wow, that is quite the commitment.

13. Chris Hemsworth

Warner Bros.

Movie: In The Heart Of The Sea

While he may have "only" lost 15 pounds to play his character, his experience was still worth noting because, above all, it sounds pretty funny.

“We kind of went insane, weighing ourselves every day. We all felt like a bunch of supermodels, trying to get down in weight for a show, or something"

Warner Bros.

"That’s all we spoke about. You’ve got 15 burly blokes on the sea and all we talked about was our diet, and who’d lost more weight, and who’s looking really skinny. It’s ridiculous!”

14. Edward Norton

New Line Cinema

Movie: American History X.

On the side of gaining weight in a healthy way for a role, Edward Norton gained 30 pounds of muscle in order too look the "Neo-Nazi who gets ripped in jail" part.

15. 50 Cent

Image Entertainment

Movie: Things Fall Apart

This one was a big change. Not only did the normally ripped rapper turned actor lose 60 pounds to become the football player who was diagnosed with cancer...

But he also got his arm tattoos removed.

Image Entertainment

"It cuts down on the amount of time I have to spend in makeup covering them up.”

How did he like the experience? Well, he had three words to describe it: "I was starving."

16. Robert De Niro

United Artists

Movie: Raging Bull

This is one of the most legendary performances of all time.

Not just because it was great, but because of the transformation Robert De Niro had to go through to play it.

Or should I say "transformations."

United Artists

At first, he had to be in the "boxing contender" shape for the majority of the movie.

That meant keeping up that great shape, something De Niro worked very hard to do.

But then, near the end of the movie his character, Jake LaMotta, got fat.

United Artists

So, he had to go to Italy and eat as much pasta as possible (this is true).

He gained 60 pounds, and people were so concerned about his health they had to shut down production for a couple of weeks.

17. Vincent D'Onofrio

Warner Bros.

Movie: Full Metal Jacket.

Private Pyle. He just couldn't handle it.

And Vincent D'Onofrio had a hard time handling the weight he had to put on to play Leonard: 70 pounds! But every pound was necessary.

“I gained weight everywhere. My thighs were tremendous, my arms were tremendous, even my nose was fat."

Warner Bros.

"I had a tough time tying my shoelaces, but this was the only way I could play Leonard, because I had to be weak-minded in the same way. Because of the weight and the fact that he was totally out of his element, Leonard`s mind became weak.”

18. Ben Kingsley

Columbia Pictures

Movie: Gandhi

It wasn't all just weight loss for Ben Kingsley when he played Gandhi.

He also completely immersed himself in Gandhi's life. He learned about yoga, began to meditate, learned to spin cotton, and went vegetarian.

It was hard...

But it was all an integral part of the role:

Columbia Pictures

'When I have totally immersed myself in the mechanical, logical preparation of a part, if I and my craft are totally bonded and fully exploited, something else in me is awakened and begins to inform my work".

19. Renee Zellweger

Universal Pictures

Movie: Bridget Jones: Edge Of Reason

She ate anything she wanted in order to become Bridget Jones. She put on a bunch of weight too, some say even up to 30 pounds.

But apparently it wasn't enough.

Universal Pictures

“In one scene they had to pad out her bottom because it wasn’t large enough. I was expecting her to be huge, and she just wasn’t,” said one crew member.

20. Rooney Mara

Sony Pictures

Movie: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Not only did she lose weight for this film, she also got all the same piercings as her character. That includes the one on her nipple.

21. Ryan Gosling


Movie: The Lovely Bones.

Not only did he gain a bunch of weight, apparently director Peter Jackson didn't like the fact he had gained all that weight, so he fired him!

He didn't even get to play the role!