Anne Hathaway won a Golden Globe, an Academy, a SAG, and a BAFTA for her role as Fantine, in ‘Les Misérables.’ But she lost a tremendous amount getting into the mind of an impoverished, emotionally-wrenched French woman who eventually dies of tuberculosis. True, Hathaway literally wasted away, stripping 25 pounds from a fit frame, but she also sacrificed a long-flowing brunette mane and her mental well-being.
With zero regrets for doing justice to Victor Hugo’s Fantine, Hathaway said, “I had to be obsessive about it—the idea was to look near death.” She survived on two squares of what she calls “dried oatmeal paste” a day. She submitted to consuming about 500 calories per day, a special diet that included a severe cleanse at the start of filming. It took a toll. “I was in such a state of deprivation—physical and emotional.” The actress said it took her weeks to feel like herself again.
Charlize Theron Fills Out Her Frame for ‘Monster’
It wasn’t a part Charlize Theron thought she could pull off, but ultimately, she won the Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of the deranged vigilante serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, in 'Monster' (2003). Getting into character, Theron put on 30 pounds. The commitment required eating a lot of donuts and potato chips, essentially living as unhealthy as Aileen Wuornos would.
Portraying the real-life serial killer revealed another side of Theron’s acting spectrum. She credits the support of 'Monster' director, Patty Jenkins, who told her she must take the part. “You have to,” Jenkins said. “You’re the only person who can.” It meant the world to Theron, who said, “I feel like when you work with people who believe in you fully like that, if you have that kind of faith in me, I will do anything for you.” Indeed. She pinned the part and won the Oscar.
Tom Hanks Transformed into a ‘Castaway’
Tom Hanks had to deliver two vastly different physiques for 'Castaway.' He had to pack on 50 pounds for filming the “before” images and then shed 55 pounds in four months for the “after” images. Hanks said, “The idea of looking at four months of constant vigilance as far as what I ate, as well as two hours a day in the gym doing nothing but a monotonous kind of workout was formidable. You have to power yourself through it almost by some sort of meditation trickery. It’s not glamorous."
To get an idea of what sort of diet he had to subsist on, it was mostly crab, fish, vegetables, a few fruit-based carbs, coconut milk, and water. To satisfy a hunger craving, he chowed down on vegetables. It’s now known as the Castaway Diet.
Chris Pratt Chisels Down for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’
'Parks and Recreation' star Chris Pratt was a little tubby playing Andy Dwyer, the slacker sweetie from Netflix TV. But what happened when all 300 pounds of him had to squeeze into Marvel’s Star-Lord costume? Long story short, Pratt had to swing a serious lifestyle modification to star in 'Guardians of the Galaxy.' Dropping 60 pounds in six months, while bulking up, was “three or four hours a day of just consistent, ass-kicking hard work,” said Pratt.
To accomplish it, Pratt enlisted the same professional trainer as Chris Hemsworth, Navy SEAL Duffy Gaver, and nutritionist Phil Goglia. Pratt consumed 4,000 calories per day and drank a ton of water. He drank water from morning to night. “I was peeing all day long, every day.” Pratt told Men’s Journal. After hitting his goal, Pratt posted on Instagram photo highlights of his newly chiseled physique. After all that hard work, Pratt says he’s staying ripped for life.
Jared Leto Lost 40 Pounds for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Co-starring with Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, Jared Leto played a transgender woman with HIV. Like McConaughey, Leto submitted to a severe weight loss routine. “I stopped eating, it wasn’t an easy thing to do. It was 30 to 40 pounds. After a while, I stopped counting.” Leto’s commitment to delivering a stupendous performance as Rayon in 'Dallas Buyers Club' paid off. He won an Oscar, a Golden Globe Award, and a SAG Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Shrinking down to just 114 pounds, he looked gaunt but feminine. But it took a psychological toll. “It changes the way you walk, the way you sit, the way you think,” he said. Leto’s respected as a method actor, who delves into his characters with research and physically demanding sacrifices like this. He packed on an unhealthy amount of weight for another movie, 'Chapter 27.'