Does Hollywood Only Like Actors that Lose a Ton of Weight?

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With the recent winners Does Hollywood only recognize actors that lose a ton of weight?

Gaining and losing weight is almost a common practice in Hollywood. Robert DeNiro gained a few pounds for his role in “Raging Bull” and Charlize Theron gained weight in the 2003 movie, “Monster”. But, this year, the best actor and best supporting actor awards went to two actors that lost weight for a movie role.

Jared Leto recently revealed to The Wrap that he lost 30 to 40 pounds for his role as a transsexual living with HIV in the 1980s. To get down to 114 pounds, “I stopped eating,” Leto said, adding that such a drastic physical change had an impact beyond the scale.”It changes the way you walk, the way you sit, the way you think,” the 41-year-old actor said.


Seven years ago, Leto gained nearly 70 pounds for 2007’s movie “Chapter 27.” To gain weight Leto microwaved pints of ice cream mixed with soy sauce and olive oil every night. But, despite gaining 70 pounds his work was not received well by critics.

McConaughey lost 38 pounds to play the thin Woodroof, who went against the medical system and set off across international borders to round up HIV treatments. Using his hustler’s spirit, he then sells the treatments to those in need through his “Dallas Buyers Club.” In an interview with CNN he commented on how he lost the weight and what the experience was like,

“I wouldn’t be looking forward to harming myself, and I didn’t harm myself with losing all that weight. I did it under doctor supervision, I understood the nutrition, I listened to my body all the way.

“And it actually turned out to be a wonderful personal adventure for me, which happened to be the reason I did it, ’cause it’s what the character needed. And if I wouldn’t have gotten down to that weight, to play that character as truthfully as I could, I would have been embarrassed, for myself. ‘Cause my job is to go emulate the life of someone else, and that’s what I was doing.”

But, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto are not the only actors that lost weight for the sake of a movie role. In 2004, Christian Bale starred in the thriller, “The Machinist”. Bale lost 65 pounds by eating only water, an apple, and one cup of coffee every day. In order to lose weight, he cut himself off socially. “In the end, I had to stop going out,” he explains. “I realized that wasn’t going to work. I’d do a bit of eating hardly anything and losing 51 pounds and then I’d put on 7 pounds bingeing one night because I’d have a couple of drinks. So I decided no more social life, no more friends, no more dinners, no more drinks.” Currently, Rotten Tomatoes rates ‘The Machinist’ with a 77% critic and 83% audience rating.


However, not all actors that lose weight end up producing great movies. 50 Cent shed 50 pounds for his role in ‘Things Fall Apart’ in which he plays a cancer-ridden football player. According to, he dropped from 214 pounds to 160 over the course of just nine weeks with a liquid diet and working out three hours a day. But, as critics pointed out, despite losing weight, he was still a bad actor.FIFTY-CENT-WEIGHT-LOSS

I love sports movies, but when I saw that this one featured 50 cent, I really should have skipped it. I don’t know what kind of rapper he is, but he is one terrible actor. The story wasn’t anything special, but it was okay. It was the acting and dialogue that really destroyed this film. 50, has absolutely no personality, and every other word out of his mouth is either fuck or man. It was honestly the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in a movie. This isn’t a sports drama, it’s a disaster that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy! (Rotten Tomatoes)
 At the end of the day, since he lost weight in “Things Fall Apart” the number of acting opportunities for the “terrible actor” Curtis Jackson has increased.

As the satirical comedy, Tropic Thunder, pointed out “You never go full retard,”. The Oscars rarely award actors for their over the top impersonations and representations of the deaf, blind, autistic, retarded, or insane. But, the Oscars award actors that gain weight, within limits, for certain roles. For example, Charlize Theron’s role in “Monster” won her the 2003 Academy Award for Best Actress.


When it comes to losing weight, Hollywood tends to agree that the skinnier the better. With that being said, losing weight is not an easy task. An actor that loses weight, demonstrates their self control, devotion, and commitment to the craft of acting and entertaining an audience. Sometimes great acting is not always noticeable to everyone but a large amount of weight loss is; weight loss is something everyone can see, understand, and perhaps appreciate.

What do you think? Leave a comment below and discuss!