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    These 13 Famous Male Actors Shared The Unhealthy Dieting And Exercise Habits They Did For A Movie, And It's Ridiculous How Normalized Disordered Eating Is For Men In Hollywood

    Channing Tatum originally turned down Magic Mike 3 because he felt forced to "starve" himself for the other movies and didn't want to go through those unhealthy habits again.

    With a rise in the body positivity movement over the last few years, it’s become more common for people to point out ways the film and television industries contribute to promoting disordered eating. Many actors have spoken up about it, and others have even refused to change their weight for a role. However, since the conversations surrounding eating disorders usually focus solely on women, that means eating disorders for male actors in Hollywood are often ignored or normalized. Male actors regularly follow drastic, unhealthy diets and excessive workout routines just for a role, and this rarely raises any red flags. So, to shine a light on how dangerous and unhealthy Hollywood can be, here are some examples of male actors who opened up about the pressure to go through extreme and harmful lengths to change their bodies for movies:

    Warning: This post mentions disordered eating habits.

    1. Miles Teller, Jay Ellis, and Danny Ramirez have all made comments in interviews about their strict diets and workout regimens for Top Gun: Maverick (2022).

    "For me to gain weight, that was the toughest part, man," Miles said. "For breakfast, it was like six eggs, and then, you know, you work out, and then you have a shake and then it was two lunches. Each lunch would be like a chicken breast, a full potato, and some broccoli, and I would have two of those and then I remember there would be another snack after that. And I remember for dinner specifically, it was 20 ounces of certain fish or steak. And so you're just eating so much. That's really what I didn't enjoy."

    "Everyone ate water. It was a lot of air being eaten," Jay said. "Every single person on this cast was in the gym every single day."

    Danny also added, "Whenever we hear 'cut,' you then see everyone drop down to the floor, start doing pushups, start doing squats, there was arm bands and bicep curls were happening."

    Danny doing squats while carrying weights in a gym

    2. On The Kelly Clarkson Show, Channing Tatum said one of the reasons he didn't want to do a third Magic Mike film was because of how he has to look for those movies.

    When Kelly asked him if he works out regularly outside of his films, Channing answered, "Even if you do work out, to be that kind of in shape is not natural."

    Channing shirtless and lean in Magic Mike

    When she asked, "Do you have to eat so well?" He said, "That's not even healthy. You have to starve yourself. I don't think when you're that lean, it's actually healthy."

    3. Bradley Cooper had to gain weight for his role in American Sniper (2014). Bradley's personal trainer said that to do this, “We had to force-feed him. That was the hardest part.”

    A photo of Bradley presenting an award in 2013

    Bradley said, “It was a real shock to my body. If it’s pizza and cake, that’s one thing. Putting 6,000 calories a day in your body gets old quick.” During this time, Bradley's daily diet included five meals, a pre- and post-workout drink, and energy bars.

    A photo of Bradley in American Sniper in 2014, when he has gained a substantial amount of weight compared to the previous photo

    4. On Hot Ones, Zac Efron said that after filming Baywatch (2017), he never wanted to be in that kind of shape again. “Really, it was so hard. You’re working with almost no wiggle room. You’ve got things like water under your skin you’re worrying about. Making your six-pack into a four-pack. Shit like that. That’s just not… it’s just stupid. It’s just not real.”

    Zac Efron shirtless in Baywatch; his body is toned to an extreme degree

    In his docuseries, Down to Earth with Zac Efron, Zac said, while eating pasta in Italy, "I went, like, years without eating carbs. When I shot Baywatch, I didn’t have a carb for like six months. I almost lost my mind. You need this. Like, it’s so good."

    5. Alexander Skarsgård said he did nothing but eating and training for eight months to prepare for The Legend of Tarzan (2016). For the first three months, he focused on bulking, and his daily diet consisted of 7,000 calories of mostly meat and potatoes.

    A shirtless Alexander in Tarzan

    Alexander shared, "I was still shooting True Blood at the time and they gave me a Tupperware box with cold steak and potatoes and salad. I would walk around on set constantly eating.” Then for the next phase of his diet, he ate six small meals a day that he claimed drove him "crazy" with hunger.

    During that time, he didn't consume any sugar, dairy, or fast carbs. He mostly ate steak, chicken, and smoked fish.

    6. For Terminator Genisys (2015), Jai Courtney focused on getting lean. His trainer, Aaron Williamson said, "Terminator had a grueling film schedule, so we'd train at all hours of the day and night. We'd crank the music way up and set the time for the big circuits we'd do."

    A shirtless Jai holding a gun in Terminator Genesis

    For Suicide Squad (2016), Jai constantly ate a lot of protein to bulk up. He said, "It was one of those things that was exhausting at first. For example, getting up and eating oatmeal, chicken breasts, and six eggs the very first thing in the morning."

    7. Christian Bale lost 63 pounds in the four months of pre-production for The Machinist (2004). His daily diet was an apple, a can of tuna, and coffee.

    In 2019, he stated he was no longer interested in undergoing any more drastic physical transformations for films because "I'm older and I feel like if I keep doing what I've done in the past, I'm going to die."

    8. 50 Cent lost over 50 pounds in 10 weeks to play a cancer patient in All Things Fall Apart (2011). He did this by having a liquid diet and running on the treadmill for three hours a day.

    His manager told him to see a doctor when a lot of the weight came off, but 50 Cent said, "I just didn’t want to go because I had to match the look in my mind. I was so into what I was doing that I wasn’t really concerned with that. I just kept looking at myself in the mirror feeling like I have to be smaller. I had to match.”

    9. Chris Hemsworth lost 33 pounds in four weeks for In the Heart of the Sea (2015), where he played a starving whaler. To lose weight, he ate only 500 calories a day.

    Just tried a new diet/training program called "Lost At Sea". Wouldn't recommend it.. #IntheHeartoftheSea

    Twitter: @chrishemsworth

    “At one point, a day’s rations were a boiled egg, a couple of crackers, and a celery stick,” he said.

    10. Matt Damon lost 50 pounds for a role as a heroin addict that required only two days of filming in Courage Under Fire (1996). His diet consisted of mostly chicken breast.

    A photo of Matt Damon in the movie, when he looks very thin with a sunken face

    His daily intake was around 100 calories and he ran 13 miles a day which caused him to experience hot flashes and dizzy spells. The diet damaged his adrenal gland and he spent a year and a half on medication to try and fix it.

    A photo of Matt Damon before filming the movie, when he looks healthy

    11. Tom Hardy revealed that training and bulking for The Dark Knight Rises (2012) has stuck with his body. He said, "I think you pay the price with any drastic physical changes. It was alright when I was younger...but I think as you get into your 40s, you have to be more mindful of the rapid training, packing on a lot of weight and getting physical, and then not having enough time to keep training because you're busy filming, so your body is swimming in two different directions at the same time."

    He added, "I haven't damaged my body, but I'm certainly a bit achier than I used to be! I certainly have joints that click that probably shouldn't click, you know what I mean? And carrying my children is a little bit harder than it used to be."

    Side by side photos of Tom Hardy in 2010 and 2011, with him looking significantly bigger in the later photo

    12. George Clooney gained 30 pounds in a month for Syriana (2005) and said, "People always think, 'Oh, that'll be fun,' but it's like going to a pie-eating contest every day." He added, "I was miserable, because there I was in Italy, and I wasn't looking forward to eating. Who doesn't look forward to eating in Italy?"

    For The Midnight Sky (2020), he lost 30 pounds to play an astronomer with cancer, and George ended up hospitalized with pancreatitis four days before filming began. “I think I was trying too hard to lose the weight quickly and probably wasn’t taking care of myself,” he said.

    13. And lastly, Jared Leto lost 28 pounds to play a heroin addict in Requiem for a Dream (2000). He lost the weight by nibbling on small bites of raw vegetables. He revealed, "I was in a constant state of hunger. I started fainting when I was on the set."

    He also gained 60 pounds to play Mark David Chapman, John Lennon's murderer, in Chapter 27 (2007). The diet caused him to get gout. "I couldn't walk long distances; I had a wheelchair because it was so painful. My body was in shock from the amount of weight I gained."

    Jared again lost 40 pounds for the film Dallas Buyers Club (2013) by not eating, and he's said the weight loss affected him. “It changes the way you walk, the way you sit, the way you think.”

    If you’re dealing with an eating disorder and need someone to talk to, the National Eating Disorders Association helpline is 1-800-931-2237. For 24/7 crisis support, text “NEDA” to 741741.