In the expanding glitz and glamour of the film industry, there are a few corners where vanity has still not set foot. In a profession considered to be ruled less by your acting prowess and more by how you look, these following actors have changed the way the audience thinks by losing or gaining weight solely for their role:
1. Aamir Khan for ‘Dangal’ & ‘Ghajini’
He isn’t called Mr Perfectionist for nothing. For his mega blockbuster Ghajini, Aamir dedicated nine months to build up muscles and lose weight to fit the role of a high-powered business tycoon who could find goons. For Dangal, the versatile actor has gone even further; the actor not only gained some 25kgs to play the Olympic coach, Mahavir Singh Phogat but also reduced the same weight in a duration of six months to play the younger version of the same character convincingly. Quite a feat, even for Mr Perfectionist, wouldn’t you say?
2. Randeep Hooda for ‘Sarabjit’
Everybody had their eyes on this one for it promised to be one of the most honest and well-researched films on the controversial subject. Exactness was what was needed, and exactness was what Hooda’s portrayal of the titular character displayed.
To achieve the skeletal look as required to portray Sarabjit’s prisoner look in the film, Hooda had to lose a challenging 18kgs in a ruthless span of 28 days. In spite of being barely able to sleep or walk, Hooda accomplished the challenge, and the results were there for the world to see in the form of accolades showered on him.
3. Vidya Balan for ‘The Dirty Picture’
Her contemporaries have been known to lose weight to achieve size zero figures and diva looks. Always the one to go against the tide, Vidya Balan gained 12kgs for her role as Silk Smitha, in Milan Luthria’s directorial. As bold as the film, Vidya took a step forward in the right direction in the industry.
4. Bhumi Pednekar for “Dum Laga Ke Haisha’
Actresses usually go the extra metaphorical mile for their acting debuts, usually in the form of losing weight. However, the 25-year-old Bhumi did quite the opposite and gained about 30kgs for her role as an overweight, sari-clad housewife in the Haridwar of 1990s (for movie ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha)’.
Breaking stereotypes, both in Bollywood and the real-world, Bhumi gained not only weight but fans with her dedication as an actress.
5. Tom Hanks for ‘Cast Away’
It wouldn’t look right if a castaway looked healthy and plump, especially after four years of being stranded on an uninhabited island, right? That’s what the makers of the film thought too.
To convincingly portray the character of Chuck Noland, Hanks had to lose about 25kgs in 4 months which he successfully did… and he got an Academy Award nomination for that role.
6. Matthew McConaughey for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’
Based on the life of Ron Woodroof, a patient with HIV who did everything, legal and illegal, to prolong his natural death sentence, the movie required McConaughey to lose about 21kgs in about four months to fit the role perfectly. Just like Hanks, McConaughey too was nominated (and won) an Academy Award for his role.
7. Jared Leto for ‘Chapter 27’
He’s done it not once, but twice. Accompanying McConaughey in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ in a supporting role, Leto lost about 19kgs to fit the role of a transgender with HIV. However, his association with intense weight management regimes began way back in 2007 when he had to play Mark David Chapman, John Lennon’s killer in the biographical film, Chapter 27. Consequences? International accolades and gout.
8. Ashton Kutcher for ‘Jobs’
To essay the role of the man behind Apple Inc., Kutcher took his role of the fruitarian genius too seriously. The actor lost about 8kgs due to a fruitarian diet which Steve Jobs followed. The diet resulted in Kutcher having to rush into the emergency room just before the start of the shoot. However, the chronological shooting of the film meant that Kutcher was able to regain weight in a healthy manner.
9. Natalie Portman for ‘Black Swan’
To fit into the svelte figure of a ballerina, the already tiny-framed actress lost about 9kgs for the role. She consulted a nutritionist and went on a diet consisting of foods that metabolised quickly, to lose weight, the healthy way. Again, her dedication got her an Oscar.
These actors take the phrase “fitting the role” too seriously, don’t they?