If there is one reason Hollywood is the leading force when it comes to making movies, it’s the dedication of the actors. Seriously, they do an astounding amount of research into their characters. They develop complicated backstories to explain how their character became what (s)he is, and consider carefully their goals and motivations. And this is just one half of their determined efforts to bring to life multilayered, complex characters that the audience can relate to.
The other half is the physical preparation. Some actors change their appearance almost for every movie they shoot. The gym and the strict diets are a regular part of their lives. They gain weight, they lose weight, they gain muscles: whatever it takes to deliver a perfect performance.
Here is a list, courtesy of Diply, of actors who packed on a lot of muscle to portray these iconic characters.
1. Christian Bale, The Dark Knight Trilogy
Christian Bale is one of the actors who’ve gone through several extreme transformations because of their career. The 43-year-ol lost an incredible amount of weight for his role in The Machinist back in 2004. Almost immediately afterwards, the actor had to bulk up to play the lead in Batman Begins. He gained over 100 pounds in less than six months.
Movie Pilot| Warner Bros
2. Emma Stone, Battle Of The Sexes
Emma Stone starred as tennis player Billie Jean King in 2017 biographical movie Battle of the Sexes. But to do so, she needed more muscles. She gained 15 pounds by doing heavy lifting.
Indie Wire| Twentieth Century Fox
3. Chris Hemsworth, Thor
Chris Hemsworth’s perfect body in Thor was the result of a lot of hard work, including training in the gym under ex-Navy Seal Duffy Gaver. Of course, he’s had to maintain it in the same state in the next years, as he reprised the role in The Avengers and the Thor sequels: The Dark World and the upcoming Ragnarok.
4. JK Simmons, Justice League
JK Simmons proved that age is just a number when he got seriously jacked at 61 years of age. At the time he was playing Commissioner Gordon in Justice League, but he claims he didn’t do it because of the role. He said, “I pretty much decided that I was going to stay in decent shape for the rest of my life.”
5. Jake Gyllenhaal, Southpaw
Jack Gyllenhaal completely changed his usually slim figure when he got ripped in 2015 for the sports drama Southpaw. he portrayed the boxer Billy “The Great” Hope, and he had to do some serious training. The actor’s said that he “basically trained how a professional boxer would train.”
Bodybuilding| The Weinstein Company
6. Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot has always been a gorgeous woman with a svelte figure: she represented Israel in Miss Universe 2004. But to play Wonder Woman she acquired lean muscle, and managed to do it without looking bulky.
Guest of a Guest| Warner Bros
7. Jamie Foxx, Any Given Sunday
Back in 1999, Jamie Foxx portrayed the character of Willie Beamen in Any Given Sunday. Playing a football player naturally meant that he had to look the part. So he did some heavy lifting, trained in real football drills and got a six-pack.
Curbed Miami| Warner Bros
8. Tom Hardy, Bronson
Tom Hardy played a violent criminal called Charles Bronson in 2008. To correctly portray the character he gained 42 pounds of muscle. While he obviously had to work hard to do it, the actor didn’t actually do 2,500 push ups everyday for a month, as some people seem to believe.
9. Will Smith, Ali
Will Smith played Muhammad Ali back in 2001 in the biographical drama Ali. In order to honour the boxing superstar, Smith had to get in tip-top shape by training with a boxing coach.
Billboard| Columbia Pictures
10. Gerard Butler, 300
The ‘300-Rep Spartan Workout’ is one of the most intense workout regimes in the world. It is also how Gerard Butler got his abs of steel in Zack Snyder’s epic 300.
Jackie Pinkowitz| Warner Bros
11. Hugh Jackman, The Wolverine
Hugh Jackman has always been in good shape. But there’s good shape, and then there’s Wolverine. His dedication and intense training led to the Australian coming as near to the perfect Wolverine body as is humanely possible.
Syfy| Marvel Studios
12. Chris Pratt, Guardians Of The Galaxy
From chubby Andy in Parks and Rec to seriously ripped Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt’s transformation has been unbelieavable. His trainer for the movie has said that Chris was really determined and did his best to get toned for the role.