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Matthew McConaughey and Others Who Shed The Pounds For Movie Roles

PicturesStars often lose and gain weight for roles, but does this guarantee awards success?

Losing or gaining more than 20 pounds is a huge deal for most people. Not for the celebrities though! Those guys drop and put back on weight for roles in the blink of an eye. Most recently, Matthew McConaughey who is renowned for his hulky physique, lost 3 and a half stone to play Ron Woodruff in six-time Oscar nominated movie, The Dallas Buyers Club. The movie, which is set in the 80’s amid the initial HIV epidemic, sees Matthew’s character diagnosed with AIDS. Matthew has already won a Golden Globe for his performance and is also up for the Best Actor Oscar.

It’s been made light of in the past that when actors go through a serious image transformation for a role then they’re certain to be up for some award nominations. Let’s take a look at some other actors who have lost or gained weight for roles and see if this really is the case! 

Bale--716199953428709023Like Matthew, Christian Bale is well known for his muscular bod, which was honed into serious shape for his role as Batman in The Dark Knight Trilogy. But back in 2004 Christian slimmed down to just 121 pounds for his role in The Machinist, allegedly living on just an apple or tin of tuna and a cup of coffee for four months before filming began. He won the International Catalonian Film Festival award for Best Actor but missed out on his four other nominations. Most recently he packed on around 40 pounds for his role in American Hustle, for which he’s been also been nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. Seems like this year it’s the battle of the bulge between Christian and Matthew!

2nbykhz-1Charlize Theron is one of the most conventionally beautiful actresses in Hollywood, her tall, slim frame is often celebrated and she seductively stripped off to reveal her stunning figure in that Dior ad. But back in 2003, Charlize gained 30 pounds to play the role of serial killer, Aileen Wuornos in Monster. Charlize did win the Oscar for Best Actress; however, by the time she picked up her award, she had slimmed right back down to her pre-film weight!

2808356_f520The usually minuscule Renee Zellweger piled on a few pounds when she played everybody’s sweetheart, Bridget Jones. Bridget just wouldn’t have been Bridget without having a few extra pounds to spare! Renee slimmed down before having to regain the weight all over again to play Bridget in Bridget Jones 2: The Edge of Reason. Women around the world regularly lament that Renee hasn’t won the Oscar for Best Actress for playing Bridget Jones every consecutive year since the film first came out.  Fortunately, two years later she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Cold Mountain, so she probably doesn’t feel too hard done-by.

While the stars seem willing to lose and gain weight for roles (and more importantly, for Oscars), Tom Hanks’ recent diagnosis with diabetes has been a warning sign that stuffing and starving yourself for a part does have its long term consequences.

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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  1. Nd y is anne hathaway missing on dis list or didn’t u see les miserable

  2. I didn’t see Jared Leto on the list. He did a spectacular job in “Dallas Buyers Club”….

  3. Mehn, these guys are soo daring and passionate ’bout their arts. Perfectionists! Its really remarkable and commendable how they just become the characters they assume. Nobody does it better than them, no one.

  4. and Curtis Jackson a.k.a 59 cent un Things fall apart nko

  5. People are busy admiring them, not knowing how dangerous and unglamorous it is. How healthy is it, for a human to live on an apple and a can of tuna a day? The fastest way to lose that kind of weight is through drugs (most of them FDA unapproved) But of course, we don’t get to hear those nasty parts, do we?

    Luckily, they have doctors who come up with nice names for their new resulting illnesses, like the Tom Hanks Condition or Curtis Jackson Syndrome. And they’ll form NGOs and organise awaremess cmpaigns, talk shows, Tom Hanks Syndrome Decathalon Races, print Eat Right-Lose Right stickers etc

    All these in an industry rife with bulimic, anorexic, starved, drug-dependent, surgery scar-riddled actors and actresses.
    Hollywood never learns.

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