Actors Who Completely Transformed Their Bodies For A Role
There is no denying that acting is a craft, and actors at the top of their game are often required to go to extremes to get in to character. Today, Team PROMiXX are taking a look at some of the most impressive body transformations from the World of cinema.
Hilary Swank - Million Dollar Baby
Let’s kick this off with Hilary Swank. Most of us have blocked out the farce that was ‘The Next Karate Kid’ (Daniel-san Forever), but Hillary didn’t hang up her fighting pants there. She went on to play the formidable, Maggie in Clint Eastwood’s Masterpiece, ‘Million Dollar Baby’. People were surprised by Swank’s performance in this film. Not only because the dramatic and tragic scenes were stunningly moving and beautifully played, but also because Swank kicked ass! Hillary’s moves were really convincing! She obviously took her boxing training for this film very seriously and she must have trained HARD! Her body transformed throughout filming as Maggie progressed through her boxing career. Awesome job by Swank!
Christian Bale - Batman Begins and The Machinist
Say what you will about Christian Bale. Some love him, some hate him, and some liked him up until the moment he first used that ridiculous voice in Batman (little did those people know that they would soon be facing ‘Affleck Gate’ and that the Bale issue would pale in comparison), but there is no denying his commitment to his craft. Famously, Batman is a pretty big dude, dresses up like a bat and goes about his vigilante business - Bale looked the part. He filled out that suit very well - Cut to the following year and Bale was merely a shadow of his former self when he shrank right down to play insomniac, anorexic Trevor Reznik in ‘The Machinist”. It is difficult to imagine what he put his body (and mind) through to make two-thirds of himself disappear! You’ve got to respect that.
Charlize Theron - Monster
Beautiful Charlize Theron was unrecognisable in her Oscar-winning role in ‘Monster’. Playing deranged serial killer, Aileen Wuornos. Charlize, who has always maintained an impressively svelte figure, bulked out and added a fair bit of timber to her slender frame to play the troubled lady of the night. As a woman who has always naturally been slim, it would have been no simple task to put on the weight without becoming sick. This would have had to be controlled. To further impress us, Theron slimmed back down to her knockout bod in time for the ‘Monster’ premier and, by the time the Oscars rolled around, when she came to make her iconic acceptance speech, she dazzled.
Will Smith - Ali
Who’d have thought, back in the day, when we were watching The Fresh Prince ‘Jumping on it’, that he would become one of the most famous action movie stars of all time? With arguably one of the most iconic screen runs, Will Smith has always been in great shape but, the honourable mention today goes to his physique in ‘ALI’. Smith stepped into some pretty big shoes to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee as world-famous, Heavyweight Boxer, Mohammed Ali. OK, so Will Smith is a pretty big guy, but, come on, he was no Mohammed Ali... at least not until he took on the role. Will literally became a boxer in order to convincingly portray the sporting legend. Huge respect to him for that.
Hugh Jackman - Wolverine
Hugh Jackman has now hung up his claws and said goodbye to the ‘X-Men’ character he immortalised between 2000 and 2017. When interviewed, Jackman spoke of the toll the training was taking on him and how he felt that, as a man approaching the age of 50, he was finished with Wolverine and didn’t feel he could get into that shape to reprise the role in the future. Here at PROMiXX, we are not so convinced that we have seen the last of those lamb chops but, only time will tell. One thing's for sure, he knows his way around the gym and we reckon he could do it again. Wolverine forever!
Matthew McConaughey - Magic Mike and the Dallas Buyers Club
Matthew McConaughey spent many years where he wasn’t taken all that seriously. This was, in part, down to the plethora of a typical Chick Flicks he made. Then came the ‘McConaughesance’, when McConaughey rolled out gem after gem. Movie gold! We got Interstellar, The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle and of course, the Dallas Buyers Club. In this film, McConaughey played an AIDS patient and, in the beautifully portrayed struggle, we saw him with a very frail and slight frame. The usually, outright hench dude had to seriously shrink down. He was a mere shadow of the muscular, grinding, shirtless wonder he was in Stripper Flick, Magic-Mike. Impressive Matthew, seriously impressive!
Linda Hamilton - Terminator and Terminator 2, Judgement Day
Let us tell you about Linda Hamilton. This chick is seriously underrated and, for that reason, she may not have immediately popped into your head as you pondered the title of this blog, but, let us present the evidence. Hamilton is famed for playing the formidable Sarah Connor alongside Arnie in the Terminator Franchise, and she is soon to be reprising that role in upcoming sequel (the buzz is real). In the first movie, she was frail and vulnerable and very slight. By the second movie, where her character had been forced to toughen up, ya know, in order to save the World from the impending rise of the machines. Sarah Connor’s first appearance in Terminator 2, Judgement Day saw her training hard in the cell at the facility where she is being kept. Those arms! Pull Ups on point! Bravo Linda!
Renee Zellweger - Bridget Jones’ Diary
Everyone’s fave single lady, Bridget Jones, was a little squidgy around the edges, as you would expect from someone who smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish. As gorgeous as her voluptuous shape was, it was a far cry from the shape of the screen Queen that portrayed her. Renee Zellweger maintains an incredible shape and we have to take our hats off to her for the effort that must have gone in to filling her figure out for Bridget and getting back into top Zellweger-form in time for the premieres.
Tom Hardy - Batman, The Dark Knight Rises
We’ve seen Hardy morph into BOTH Kray twins in ‘Legend’, turn into a right horrible gitt in the Revenant (even worse than the bear) and, let’s talk about The Dark Knight Rises. The terrifying criminal mastermind, Bane, was absolutely massive. Hardy piled on some serious timber for this film, enough to stand confidently next to Christian Bale in his ‘Batman’ form. Hardy is a chameleon and, here at PROMiXX, we say, ‘Bravo’!
Jared Leto - Chapter 27 and The Dallas Buyers Club
Heartthrob and general Cool-Guy, Jared Leto is what we like to call an ‘all-rounder’. He can sing and act, and he is smoking- hot, let’s face it. Whether you’re a man, woman, gay, straight or a unicorn, there is no denying the allure of Jared Leto. We have seen Jared Leto change his appearance for roles countless times and it’s always in pretty astounding contrast to how we usually see him as front-man to ‘30 Seconds to Mars’. Leto’s most notorious and shocking transformation was in his Oscar-Winning role in Dallas Buyers Club as a HIV positive transgender. We must also give Jared kudos for his portrayal of John Lennon’s Assassin in the harrowing ‘Chapter 27’.
Tom Hanks - Castaway
Even an actor of Tom Hanks’ calibre would struggle to convincingly play a man who has been stranded on a desert island for 4 years without looking suitably skinny and malnourished, and man did Tom Hanks get skinny for this role?! Hats off Tom, hats off. We saw protruding bones on Tom that nobody ever needs to see. He was scrawnier in that film than he was as the rag doll, Woody, in Toy Story! That boy must have gone HUNGRY!
So, that’s it for the first instalment but stay tuned for part 2, when we will give PROMiXX shout-outs to a couple of ballerinas, an Amazon and maybe a few Superheroes!
Who out of this list do you think underwent the most impressive transformation? Tell us who you think deserves a mention in the next one?