15 Actors Who Underwent Dramatic Weight Loss for a Movie Role

So Skinny It’s Scary: 15 Actors Who Underwent Dramatic Weight Loss For A Movie Role

Movies might be entertainment but they’re not all fun and games. When it came to portraying  a character the actors on this list took their job seriously and dropped pounds in the double digits to create a dramatic onscreen transformation, sometimes with shocking and down right scary results.

50 Cent

50Cent skinny

50 Cent looked unrecognizable after losing  over 50 pounds for his role in All Things Fall Apart. The film called for 50 to play a cancer-stricken football player, but upon initial viewing of the photos many people wondered if the rapper-turned-actor was sick for real.  He achieved his transformation in nine weeks with a liquid diet and three hours-a-day workouts.

Christian Bale

Christian Bale

Christian Bale famously takes his job very seriously. On a diet of only 275 calories a-day for four months, Bale dropped 65+ pounds for the 2004 film The Machinist. His portrayal as an emaciated insomniac won him critical acclaim.

Matthew McConaugheyMatthew McConaughey PF WENN

The always hunky and physically fit Matthew McConaughey shocked the public when he turned up 30 pounds lighter and looking very sickly for his role as an HIV-positive man in the upcoming film The Dallas Buyer’s Club (based on a true story)The fit actor told Larry King “I should not look healthy by the time I’m doing that film.”  Mission accomplished, although, he still managed to keep his lean muscle!

Jared Leto

Jared Leto WENN pf

Photo: PNP/ WENN.com

Like his co-star  Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto has been sporting a gaunt frame for The Dallas Buyer’s Club as well, playing a transsexual woman with AIDS. Jared is known for also putting on a ton of weight to play John Lennon’s murderer in Chapter 27. He gained 67 lbs for that role.

 Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway- Les Miserables-photo

Hathaway dropped in weight to appear frail as a prostitute with tuberculosis in the new Les Miserables film.

Mila Kunis

 Black swan Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis wasn’t too happy with her appearance after dropping 20 pounds to play a ballerina in the acclaimed  Black Swan. She told E! News, “I had no shape, no boobs, no A$$. All you saw was bone.” Kunis continued: “In real life, I looked disgusting, but in photographs and on film, it looked amazing.”

Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman Black Swan

Mila Kunis wasn’t the only one who needed to get skinny for Black Swan. Her co-star Natalie Portman also had to slim down about 20 pounds to portray a ballet dancer. She had gotten so thin Director David Fincher made sure her trailer was stocked with food. The hard worked paid off, though, because Portman went on to win the Oscar for best actress in 2011.


Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox Alex Cross

 The former Lost star and Party of Five hearthrob went to a dark place to play the villain in the 2012 film Alex Cross. His preparation for the role included losing between 35-40 pounds to create a character that he says was “stripped down and gaunt and sort of wirey in a slightly disturbing way.”

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson-Winne

After giving birth to her first child in 2009 J-Hud needed to slim down quick to play Winnie Mandela in the film Winnie. She famously used Weight Watchers to transform her physique and lose more than 80 pounds.

Matt Damon

Matt Damon- Courage Under Fire

Damon was 50 pounds lighter for his portrayal of a heroin addict in the 1996 movie Courage Under Fire. It was a huge feat though, as the Bourne Identity actor said he went to far, eating only 100 calories a day, and experiencing dizzy spells, hot flashes, and lasting damage to his adrenal gland.

Steve Zahn

Steve Zahn- Rescue Dawn

The typically comedic actor got serious for the film Rescue Dawn where he played a prisoner of war. Zahn melted away 40 pounds to authenticate the role.

Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell WENN pf

Photo: WENN

Colin Farrell was nothing short of alarming when he was photographed 44 pounds too skinny in 2008. Turns out he lost the weight for the movie Triage where he plays a Photojournalist during the Bosnian war.

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks Cast Away

In order to make his role as a plane crash survivor stranded on an island for several years authentic in Cast Away Hanks lost more than 50 pounds.


Beyonce Cannes 2006

Photo: Getty Images

Beyonce told People Magaizne that she wanted to be able to see the change over the years in her character Deena in Dreamgirls. In order to acheive that she lost 20 pounds on a 2 week master cleanse. For a curvey singer who’s used to being bootylicious it was quite the transformation.

Donnie Wahlberg

Donnie Wahlberg Sixth Sense

Remember when you saw The Sixth Sense for the first time, read the closing credits, and yelled “That’s Donnie Wahlberg?!”  when you found out he was the emaciated ghost that shot Bruce Willis in the stomach! It was almost as shocking as the twist at the end of the film (and if you don’t know the twist slap yourself and then rent the movie). The New Kids on The Block singer shed 43 pounds for the role. Someone give this guy an Oscar!

Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro - Taxi Driver

The legendary actor lost 35 pounds to play Travis Bickle in the 1976 classic  Taxi Driver.

  • Craig

    David Fincher didn’t direct Black Swan. Darren Aronofsky did.

    Do any of you do any research before you write anything?

  • Mark S

    20 pounds is a dramatic weight loss? Really?

    • Destinie Indy Starr

      For her size/body frame, yes.

  • Richard

    How about you people get a handle on your advertising?

    I just got directed to this article and I counted at least SEVENTEEN adverts, each more annoying than the last, which took up over 80% of the screen real estate.

    External served ads galore, including 8 reserved spots for large boxouts, two popups, a banner at the top, an overlay at the bottom, full-height side banners either side, two videos it was impossible to stop looping, an overlay on the page’s main photo, plus extensive plugs for your own facebook , twitter and youtube, not to mention the smaller invitations to like/follow/mention individual articles on social media. And then there’s THREE separate occasions to plug other articles on your site and two more spaces for more links.

    I checked another article and things were even worse. To the extent that it actually froze Firefox and the Flash plugin (both of which are usually incredibly stable). I then tried to open your site on my smartphone and it was essentially illegible.

    HOW ON EARTH DO YOU EXPECT ANYONE TO TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY? Your site looks and behaves like it was coded by a 15 year old in 1998.

    PS the article was badly written and poorly researched. Then again the “articles” are only here to get advertising hits, aren’t they? The whole lot of you should be ashamed.

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