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10 Iconic Roles That Almost Destroyed The Actor

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3. Christian Bale in The Machinist

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Christian Bale has played many great parts, and I have no doubt that he gave his all for each one, but his extreme weight loss for this film was downright scary! This movie is a psychological thriller, but I don’t think anything could be as scary as the amount of weight he lost to play the part.

He’s spent four months eating nothing but one apple, one cup of coffee, and occasional drink of whiskey, and water, per day. He rapidly lost 62 pounds, putting his body weight at just 120 pounds. You could see every rib and his arms resembled twigs. It was not a good sight to see.

4. Jared Leto almost died to play a killer

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Jared Leto is another fantastic actor who has portrayed The Joker. He supposedly sent weird things as gifts to costars in Suicide Squad, including bullets and dead rats. He has also lost weight for several films including Requiem for a Dream, in which he portrayed a heroin addict, and Dallas Buyers Club. One film, though, called for him to gain weight instead, and it is the one that almost ended him. He was hired to play the role of Mark David Chapman, the man who killed John Lennon.

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For the film, Chapter 27, he had to make weigh in 62 pounds heavier than normal. He ate only pizza and pints of Häagen-Dazs ice cream, which might sound fantastic but really did a number on his health. He ended up in a wheelchair with a horrible case of gout and his cholesterol was through the roof. He has been quoted as saying that it was a stupid thing to do. After filming ended, he reportedly starved himself for 10 days to lose most of the weight he had put on for the part.

5. Adrian Brody

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You have probably recognized the trend of actors losing huge amounts of weight for a part by now. Here is another one. Adrien Brody is 6’5” and lost down to a staggering 130 so that he would become emaciated in order to convincingly portray a victim of the holocaust. Roman Polanski’s film,

The Pianist, featured Brody, and his tall frame becoming so thin definitely had shock value that made you think what these poor souls actually went through. It has been said that it took Adrien over a year to get back to normal after playing such an emotional and demanding role. It paid off, though. He was the youngest man to win an academy award for best actor, at just 29 years old.



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