11 Hollywood Actors Who Piled On The Pounds For Major Movie Roles

Most people hate weight gain but for some folk in Hollywood it’s part of their jobs.

Jared Leto

Actors really do have the best job in the world.

Not only do they get to play make believe for a living but, on occasion, a role will require them to put on a few extra pounds. Or at least, that’s what they say.

Either way, it’s basically an excuse for some of the biggest names from the world of movies to indulge in beer, burgers and all-round good times. 

Here are 11 of the most famous examples of film stars putting on weight for a movie role.


Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow The Oscar winning actress Image Getty Images

Paltrow put on an additional 20 pounds for her role in Country Strong. God knows what new age calorific food she indulged in but a key part of her regime was to stop all exercise. Period.


Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey in The Sea of Trees

McConaughey gained 25 pounds for Gold, with Page Six reporting that the actor managed it by  bingeing on pizza, milkshakes, cheeseburgers and beer while in his trailer.


George Clooney

George Clooney says his wife Amal’s legal career dominates their marriage
A man (sometimes) alone Clooney’s wife Amal isn’t one of his hangers-on during global film promotions. Image Picture Win McNamee/Getty Images

Clooney piled on around 35 pounds for his Oscar-winning role in Syriana. His trick was to exist on a pasta-heavy diet. That’s a lot of carbonaras.


Dennis Quaid

Dennis Quaid Looking fit and healthy

Quaid added a further 35 pounds to his fame to play Bill Clinton in the HBO movie the Special Relationship. Vast quantities of fast food were a crucial part of the transformation.


Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron Loaded interview
Charlize Theron Star of Mad Max: Fury Road Image Picture by Getty Images

Theron put on 30 pounds for the role of Oscar-winning role of Aileen Wuornos in Monster, eating nothing but donuts and crisps in the run-up to filming.


Matt Damon

Matt Damon in The Great Wall
Image Picture Universal

Damon gained around 30 extra pounds for The Informant. He did so by drinking a lot of beer and regularly indulging in McDonald’s meals and Doritos. Lots of Doritos.


Renee Zellweger

Renee Zellweger rolls back the years with a cheerleader high-kick Image NBC

As well as putting on an English accent, Zellweger was also required to add around 30 extra pounds to her bodyweight for the role. She did so via a 4,000 calorie meal diet that included a lot of fry-ups.


Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro
Image Getty Images

De Niro put on 60 pounds to play Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. The movie legend managed this by gorging on a strict diet of pancakes and milkshakes. He put on the equivalent of a small child.


Russell Crowe

The Nice Guys Russell Crowe Margaret Qualley

Crowe piled on a whopping 63 pounds for Body Of Lies. He stopped all exercise and opted for interesting meal choices like cheeseburgers. For breakfast. And lunch. Possibly dinner too.


Jared Leto

Jared Leto as The Joker in Suicide Squad
Clown Prince of Crime Jared Leto as The Joker in Suicide Squad. Image Picture Atlantic/Warner Bros

Leto gained a whopping 67 pounds to play John Lennon assassin Mark Chapman in the painfully average biopic Chapter 27. Eating microwaved pints of ice cream mixed with olive oil and soy sauce did the job. Although he also developed gout as a result.


Vincent D’Onofrio

Vincent D'Onofrio

D’Onofrio putting on an incredible 70 pounds to play the role of Private Pile in Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam drama Full Metal Jacket. A fatty diet did the trick but D’Onofrio ended up injuring his knee while overweight to such an extent he required surgery. It took him nine months to shed the weight gained.

Previous Post
Next Post