5 Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron isn’t afraid to jump in with the big boys when it comes to weight gain. For her role as a prostitute serial killer in “Monster,” Theron gained 30 pounds. The result made her unrecognizable to fans, just as she probably hoped it would. Before the film premiered, Theron had already dropped the extra pounds, looking like her usual svelte, but curvy self in time to win a Golden Globe for her performance in the film.
4 Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe isn’t afraid to completely reinvent himself for a role and has gained and lost weight several times over the years for his numerous roles. However, not all of the weight gains were of “Gladiator” caliber. The most dramatic change occurred for the film “Body of Lies.” Crow put on 63 pounds of flab for his role in the film, a weight gain that caused his cholesterol levels to spike dangerously high.
3 Robert De Niro
The first celebrity to make headlines for gaining pounds for a film is probably Robert De Niro. In 1980, the legendary actor gained 60 pounds to play Jake La Motta in “Raging Bull.” Pancakes and milkshakes helped him pack on the weight, adding some not-so-glorious man boobs as a bonus. The weight gain transformed De Niro, who was almost unrecognizable.
2 Jared Leto
For the film “Chapter 27,” in which he plays John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman, Jared Leto gained a whopping 66 pounds. Leto claims he had to gorge and force-feed himself to put on the weight. He even microwaved ice cream and mixed in olive oil and soy sauce before drinking it to make himself more bloated. The weight gain caused him to have gout-like pain in his feet, and it took more than a year before he felt like he was back to his old self. No surprise he doesn’t plan to gain weight for a role again.
1 Christian Bale
It’s widely known that Christian Bale will go to great lengths in order to portray a character believably, and he’s not afraid to lose or gain huge amounts of weight. He shocked everyone when he dropped more than 60 pounds for the film “The Machinist,” but even more shocking was that he immediately gained 100 pounds after filming stopped to play Bruce Wayne in “Batman Begins.” The impressive element of Bale’s weight gain is not the number of pounds, but that he didn’t just eat for flab. He built muscle, not fat. When filming began, he was asked to drop 20 pounds because he was too bulky.
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