Matthew McConaughey found getting into the character of Kenny Wells in ‘Gold’ was easier than he thought. The Oscar-winning actor packed on 47 pounds and went from a dashing athletic build to the physique of a middle-aged guy on the Donald Trump eating plan.
The eat-whatever-you-want diet was new to him. He said getting into the shape of a modern-day prospector scouring Indonesian jungles for gold was easy. McConaughey summed it up, “Cheeseburgers and beer will do the trick.” He mused, “I wouldn’t even take the stairs to the second floor, that would be too much exercise.” His wife and kids loved the new chowing-down lifestyle while it lasted. “I was Captain Fun—that was my nickname around the house, because I was saying ‘yes’ to everything.”
Ryan Reynolds Steps Up His Game with ‘Blade: Trinity’
Ryan Reynolds is a fitness geek, but before landing the role in 'Blade: Trinity,' things were different. After bulking up with 25 pounds of rock-solid muscle in just 3 months, the 6’2” comic actor sees things differently. Reynolds said that the intense workout regimen taught him that nothing is impossible. He worked out six days a week on a 3,200-calorie diet while accomplishing feats of the extreme.
He ran the N.Y.C. marathon in 3 hours and 50 minutes and climbed the 8,000-foot Machu Pichu. If that doesn't impress you, he can do standing back flips. Keeping the muscle on, he has scored roles in 'Deadpool,' 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine,' and 'The Green Lantern.'
Will Smith “Floats Like a Butterfly, Stings Like a Bee” to Play ‘Ali’
When Will Smith landed the role of Muhammad Ali, he didn’t look the part. He was 6’2” and 185 pounds, tall and lanky instead of big and brawny. Smith had to get into peak shape and build up 35 pounds of fist-jabbing muscle to his frame. “Beyond looking like a fighter, my goal was to learn to think like a fighter. To do that I had to eat like a fighter, sleep like a fighter, assess situations like a fighter. . . Become a fighter,” Smith said.
Smith’s training consisted heavily of strenuous endurance training. He had to do a lot of running, including running through snow in heavy boots. Weightlifting regimens were also a big commitment. He increased in strength from being able to lift 175 pounds to benching 365 pounds. It took him a year of solid training to reach his goals. Will Smith zeroed in for a knockout performance. It earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in the 2001 film.
Taylor Lautner Bulked Up to Werewolf Proportions in ‘Twilight: New Moon’
In the Twilight sequel, 'New Moon,' Taylor Lautner comes back playing the part of a towering and muscular werewolf monster. To land the role, he had to gain 30 pounds of muscle, or as he says it, he had to “basically kill myself.” Lautner told Access, “I get into the gym every single day, seven days a week, two hours a day, eat as much as I possibly can."
Chiseling out the six-pack and a chest of beastly ripped flesh was a contingent for procuring the role. He met the challenge. “It’s motivation for my passion [for] the character. I knew it was a necessity for the character. I’m stoked to be a part of this,” Lautner said. After the $200 million success of 'Twilight,' he’s all in. “It’s mind-blowing,” he said of the massive teen supernatural sensation.
Chris Hemsworth Dwindles to Nothing ‘In the Heart of the Sea’
From Thor to the skin-and-bones frame of a castaway, Chris Hemsworth swung to the other extreme in Ron Howard’s 'In the Heart of the Sea.' In the movie, Hemsworth plays First Mate Owen Chase, whose ship named Essex is crushed to bits by the notorious literary whale, Moby Dick. The crew is stranded for months.
Hemsworth lost 30 pounds to achieve the starvation look. The weight was stripped from the fit and trim frame we saw him don in 'Black Hat,' so it was particularly difficult to lose. He and his cast mates were consuming just 500 calories per day by the time the open sea shooting commenced. Like real castaways, Hemsworth said extreme weight loss made them kind of lose it. “We kind of went insane, weighing ourselves every day.”