15 Actors Who Went Through Dramatic Body Transformations For A Role

Jordan Claes
Christian Bale as Batman in 'Batman Begins'.
Warner Bros. | Warner Bros.

The truly great actors know that in order to be successful, you have to commit yourself entirely to a role. Sometimes, that commitment comes at the expense of your own body.

Below is a list of 15 actors who went through dramatic body transformations for a role. No fat suits, no CGI, just straight-up determination and unwavering dedication to their performance.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in 'Thor: Love And Thunder'

Chris Hemsworth and Taika Waititi on the set of 'Thor 4'.
instagram | @chrishemsworth

"This is probably the fittest and strongest I've been before all the Thors," Chris said in an interview with The Telegraph. You'd think that would be impossible, but judging from Chris' massive arms — the proof is in the pudding.

Jake Gyllenhaal as Billy Hope in 'Southpaw'

Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Southpaw'.
The Weinstein Company | The Weinstein Company

When Jake was training for Southpaw, he'd wake up at 4:30 AM, run eight miles a day, and do 2000 sit-ups. By the time the cameras started rolling, he'd packed on nearly 30lbs of lean muscle mass.

Mark Wahlberg as Stuart Long in 'Father Stu'

Mark Wahlberg before/after 'Father Stu' body transformation.
instagram | @markwahlberg

Mark Wahlberg has been the pinnacle of fitness for the better part of three decades. For his role in Father Stu, he traded drinking protein shakes for drinking olive oil, and packed on 30 lbs of fat.

Christian Bale as Trevor Reznik in 'The Machinst'

Christian Bale in 'The Machinist'

Christian Bale is the undisputed master of body transformations. He was a walking skeleton in The Machinist, having lost 62lbs for the role. When all was said and done, Christian weighed in at a mere 120 lbs.

Channing Tatum as Magic Mike in 'Magic Mike's Last Dance'

Channing told Kelly Clarkson that Magic Mike's demanding physique almost prevented him from doing a third film. He's publically stated how in order to look the way he does on film, he had to literally starve himself.

Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos in 'Monster'

Charlize Theron in 'Monster'.
Newmarket Films | Newmarket Films

Before Charlize's Oscar-winning performance in Monster, she was considered by many to be the most beautiful woman on the planet. She wound up packing on 30 lbs after she stopped exercising entirely and ate a diet consisting primarily of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord in 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill in 'The Guardians Of The Galaxy'.

Chris Pratt lost an astonishing 60 lbs in only six months in order to portray Guardians of the Galaxy's Peter Quill on the big screen. Chris was working out three to four hours a day, and completely cut beer from his diet.

Natalie Portman as Evey Hammond in 'V For Vendetta'

Natalie Portman in 'V For Vendetta'
Warner Bros. | Warner Bros.

There aren't many actresses in Hollywood who would willingly shave their heads for a role, but then again — Natalie Portman isn't your prototypical leading lady. While speaking of the ordeal during a press junket, Natalie called her head-shaving scene a "wonderful experience."

Tom Hardy as Bane in 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Bane revealed in 'The Dark Knight Rises'

"If you really study the photographs, I was really overweight, actually," Tom told BBC Radio 1. "I ate a lot and I wasn't much heavier than I am now, but I just ate more pizza."

In actuality, Tom wound up gaining 30 lbs to play the part.

Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodruff in 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Matthhew McConaughey and Jared Leto in 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Focus Features | Focus Features

Matthew lost a staggering 50 lbs for his part in Dallas Buyers Club. His diet consisted solely of fish, egg whites, tapioca pudding, and a generous amount of red and white wine.

Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in 'Vice'

Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in 'Vice'.
Mirror Releasing | Mirror Releasing

I wasn't lying when I said that Christian Bale is a master of body transformation. Only this time, instead of dropping weight, Bale packed on a hefty 40 lbs in order to more accurately portray the former Vice President.

Demi Moore as Jordan O'Neill in 'G.I. Jane'

Demi Moore shaving head in 'G.I. Jane'

The film G.I. Jane has been in the news a lot as of late, so it only seemed appropriate to include it here. Not only did Demi shave her own head for the role, but she also had to undergo vigorous training courtesy of real-life Navy S.E.A.L.S.

Edward Norton as Derek Vinyard in 'American History X'

edward norton
Giphy | hoppip

To play the part of white supremacist Derek Vinyard, Norton ate five meals a day and gained 30 lbs of pure muscle in just three months. His is one of the most intimidating physiques ever seen on the big screen.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Pvt. Leonard 'Gomer Pyle' Lawrence in 'Full Metal Jacket'

Leonard Lawrence in 'Full Metal Jacket'.

Vincent D'Onofrio is one of the most underrated character actors currently working in Hollywood. For his role as Pvt. Pyle, he gained an awe-inspiring 75lbs — a transformation which he called both physically and mentally grueling.

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman in 'Batman Begins'.

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in 'Batman Begins'
Warner Bros. | Warner Bros.

Christian was tapped to play Batman shortly after work on The Machinist had wrapped. Because of this, Bale was forced to gain 100 lbs of muscle in order to look the part of the Dark Knight.

Filed Under: