10 (Male) Actors Who Lost An Insane Amount Of Weight For A Role

Jake Gyllenhaal on the set of his upcoming movie 'Nightcrawler'

While actresses looking gaunt isn’t really news because their job requires them to be gaunt all the time (they have to go “ugly” as awards season bait), their male counterparts have an easy time making headlines and winning critical praise with method weight loss. Here are 10 dramatic examples of actors who lost weight for a role, the most recent example being…

17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards - Arrivals

Jake Gyllenhal
“I knew that [my character] was literally and figuratively hungry,” says Gyllenhaal of his dramatic weight loss. The actor will play a freelance crime reporter “who discovers a dark underground world” next year in Night Crawler, but until then, all us bloggers can just freak out about how different he looks.

“I think [I've lost] probably a little over 20 pounds, something like that,” he says.


Jared Leto (twice)
…Which brings us to Jared Leto, who not only had to lose “30-40 lbs” to play an HIV-positive transsexual in this year’s Dallas Buyers Club, but had to shave off 28 lbs back in 2000 for Requiem for a Dream. In between, he gained 67 pounds to play Mark David Chapman in Chapter 27. That up there is a photo taken by his pal Terry Richardson, showing the most recent havoc wreaked on his body.

Actor Matthew McConaughey shows off his scary skinny physique as he films for the 'Dallas Buyers Club' in New Orleans.  Photograph: © PacificCoastNews.com **FEE MUST BE AGREED PRIOR TO USAGE** **E-TABLET/IPAD & MOBILE PHONE APP PUBLISHING REQUIRES ADDITIONAL FEES** LOS ANGELES OFFICE: +1 310 822 0419 LONDON OFFICE: +44 20 8090 4079

Matthew McConaughey 
Leto’s co-star in Dallas Buyers Club, the famously well-muscled McConaughey, got down to 133 lbs by subsisting this horrible way: “I’d have a Diet Coke, two egg whites in the morning, a piece of chicken, then another Diet Coke. That was rough.”

Christian Bale The Machinist

Christian Bale
One of the more infamous transformations on the list, Bale ate nothing but a can of tuna and an apple a day to prepare for The Machinist. At his lowest, he was only consuming a latte.

Matt Damon in courage Under Fire

Matt Damon
Damon made himself sick to play a heroin addicted soldier in Courage Under Fire: ”I ran six miles in the morning and six miles at night, and I’d drink four to six pots of coffee to be able to run that distance. When I went into a restaurant, the first thing I would tell the waiters was, ‘I’m your worst nightmare.” I wouldn’t waver from my diet. It got so bad that when my girlfriend kissed me, I’d have to wash my mouth out because I could taste the oils on her lips from the food she’d eaten.”


Hayden Christenson
In order to convincingly play an angsty teen in 2001′s Life as a House (despite being in his early 20s), Christensen lost 25lbs for Life as a House by consuming nothing but salad, water and vitamins.

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    • Julia Sonenshein

      That Jared Leto picture gets me every time.

      • Anonachocolatemousse

        I’m equal parts attracted and grossed out by that photo. Also it’s so much easier for guys to lose weight- not fair.

      • Rita

        We can hardly say it’s easy to live off a can of tuna and an apple a day.

      • Anonachocolatemousse

        Men naturally have more muscle mass than women ensuring that no matter what they eat, they lose weight faster and easier. I am definitely not saying that in a tuna and apple a day case a woman wouldn’t lose weight as well, but that again it’s just a fact that men have an easier go of weight loss no matter what.