Jonathan Majors, 'Creed III'
Photo: Eli Ade /© MGM /Courtesy Everett Collection
Although Jonathan Majors has “always been athletic,” the actor took on one of the most physically demanding roles of his career on "Creed III". In order to get into fighting-fit shape to play a pro boxer, Majors had to pack on 10 pounds of muscle while simultaneously shredding down to a body fat percentage below 10 per cent. He also refused to use fake weights during workout scenes, telling Men's Health that he'd rather lift heavy weights “all day” instead of “putting fake weights on.”
Christian Bale, 'The Machinist'
Photo: Paramount Classics/ Courtesy: Everett Collection.
Christian Bale is basically a master at transformation as his weight has gone up and down numerous times. To portray an anorexic, insomniac factory worker, Trevor Reznik, in 2004's "The Machinist", the actor dropped 60 pounds in just four months, weighing a total 120 pounds. To lose weight, Bale went into starvation mode, maintaining a diet that reportedly consisted of "water, an apple, and one cup of coffee per day." He even wanted to lower his weight to 100 pounds, but movie producers told him it would be too harmful to his health.
Christian Bale, 'American Hustle'
Photo: Francois Duhamel/©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection
Nearly 10 years later, Christian Bale beefed up, gaining over 40 pounds for the role of con artist Irving Rosenfeld in 2013's "American Hustle". The actor told People he "ate lots of doughnuts, a whole lot of cheeseburgers and whatever I could get my hands on. I literally ate anything that came my way. I was about 185 and went up to 228."
Chris Pratt, 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'
Photo: Instagram/ PrattPrattPratt
When Chris Pratt booked the role of Star Lord in the first "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014), he immediately began dropping fat and building lots of muscle. The actor, who weighed around 300 pounds when he auditioned for the Marvel movie, began training six days a week and lost 60 pounds in six months.
When asked how he did it, Pratt told Men's Journal: “Three or four hours a day of just consistent, a**-kicking hard work.”
His workouts consisted of running, swimming, kickboxing and a triathlon, among others. Pratt unveiled his chiseled frame and six-pack abs in a 2013 shirtless Instagram post.
Joaquin Phoenix, 'Joker'
Photos: Niko Tavernise / © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection, Instagram/ Todd Phillips
Joaquin Phoenix, who took on the infamous role of the Joker in the 2019 Todd Phillips picture, lost 52 pounds for the role. At the Venice Film Festival, he explained that losing an excessive amount of weight "affects your psychology."
"You start to go mad when you lose that amount of weight in that amount of time," he said.
While appearing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live", Phoenix further elaborated, explaining that losing that much weight in a short period of time made his "exhausted" in the beginning.
"You look at a flight of stairs and it takes like 30 seconds," he said. "You have to talk yourself into it." Once he reached his target weight, he began to feel “energized and excited" and propelled those feelings into his performance.
Matthew McConaughey, 'Dallas Buyers Club'
Photo: Anne Marie Fox/©Focus Features/courtesy Everett Collection
Matthew McConaughey got skinny for the part of electrician, Ron Woodroof, who is stunned to learn that he has AIDS in 2013's "Dallas Buyers Club". While appearing on "The Graham Norton Show", the actor noted that he "met with a nutritionist" to lose weight "as healthily as possible."
He gave himself four months to drop weight, losing 3.5 pounds a month by eating "five ounces of fish [and] a cup of vegetables twice a day."
"Some pudding in the morning," McConaughey added, joking, "and as much red wine as I liked at night."
Tom Hanks, 'Castaway'
Photo: 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection
Tom Hanks reportedly lost 50 pounds to play a stranded man on a desert island in the 2000 flick "Castaway". However, the actor, who has type 2 diabetes said, during a 2013 interview with BBC News, that he would no longer be booking roles requiring weight transformation.
"I think that's more or less a young man's game," he said.
Charlize Theron, 'Monster'
Photo: CP Images/ Newmarket/courtesy Everett Collection
Charlize Theron underwent a jaw-dropping transformation to play Aileen Wuornos, a real-life prostitute turned serial killer in 2003's "Monster". For the part, the actress not only gained weighed, but also wore fake teeth and contact lenses, shaved her eyebrows and wore face-altering makeup. She won the Best Actress Oscar for her work.
Robert De Niro, 'Raging Bull'
Photos: United Artists/courtesy Everett Collection, Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
In the 1980 biopic, directed by Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro plays Jake LaMotta, a former professional boxer who went on a downward spiral, including falling out of shape. A few years ago, the 79-year-old actor, who won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the part, told The Hollywood Reporter that the role was his toughest to prepare for ”because of [putting on] the weight."
De Niro, who was in his late thirties when he starred as LaMotta, recalled seeing the late pro boxer on the street in New York City, noticing that he was “overweight and this and that," which ultimately inspired him to take on the role.
“I said, ‘Jesus, look what happened to him.’ And I thought the graphic difference of being out of shape and then being a young fighter really was interesting."
De Niro not only trained to pack on muscle for LaMotta’s prime years, he also gained 60 pounds to emulate his decline.
“I thought I’d like to see if I could gain that weight," De Niro added.