10 celebrities who gained weight for roles before Brendan Fraser in The Whale, from Christian Bale to Charlize Theron and Matt Damon – but why was Ryan Gosling replaced by Mark Wahlberg?
Brendan Fraser made headlines last week after he posted pictures of his noticeably heavier physique for the upcoming Darren Aronofsky film, The Whale. In it, Fraser stars as a 272kg (600-pound) recluse coping with the loss of a loved one through excessive eating.
It appeared to many that the 53-year-old actor and beloved star of The Mummy trilogy had gained a massive amount of weight – but that’s only partly true. Although the leading man put on some pounds for the role, a combination of prosthetics and make-up was also used to create the illusion of a morbidly obese man.
Still, Fraser did gain weight for the production – and he’s not the only one. Here are 10 other celebs who tipped the scales to play meaty leading roles.
1. Christian Bale
Famous for his extreme body transformations, from painfully thin (The Machinist) to sculpted and shredded (American Psycho), Christian Bale went a very different direction when he gained 18kg for his role as former US Vice-President Dick Cheney in the film Vice.
2. Renée Zellweger
To play the part of British singleton in Bridget Jones, the svelte actress put on 13kg for the franchise’s first and second films.
3. Mark Wahlberg
4. Jared Leto
5. Vincent D’Onofrio
For his breakout role as Gomer Pyle in Full Metal Jacket, Vincent D’Onofrio put on a staggering 31kg in 1987.
6. Charlize Theron
7. Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill’s weight journey has been a topic of conversation before, as his physique has fluctuated substantially over the years. But the actor chose to still gain 18kg for the movie War Dogs in 2016.
8. Matt Damon
To prepare for the 2009 film The Informant!, director Steven Soderbergh asked Matt Damon to gain 18kg so he wouldn’t have “any defined lines” on his body, reported Mediaite.
9. Ryan Gosling
Talk about a bad day at work! In 2009, Ryan Gosling took it upon himself to stack on 27kg for his role in The Lovely Bones – but didn’t clear it with director Peter Jackson first. When Gosling showed up on set, Jackson fired the actor on the spot, leaving him both “fat and unemployed”, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The character of Jack Salmon was then filled by Mark Wahlberg.
10. Gwyneth Paltrow
- Method actor and former Batman Christian Bale is almost unrecognisable in Vice – same with Jared Leto playing John Lennon’s assassin, and Charlize Theron in Tully
- Renée Zellweger packed on 13kg to play Bridget Jones and Jonah Hill gained 18kg for War Dogs, while Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s 9kg weight gain is barely noticeable