Muscular Hollywood Actors Who Lost Muscle

7 Muscular Hollywood Actors Who Lost Muscle Mass For Movie Roles

In Hollywood, it’s common for actors to lose weight to get in shape for a movie or for other reasons. However, the intention usually is to lose excess fat not muscle mass.

Losing muscle is usually not recommended by anyone due to it’s health, fitness and aesthetic value to the human body. But if you are a Hollywood actor who is serious about your craft, you would do whatever it takes to get the required look for a good movie role you are hired to play. Even if that means going to the extreme of losing all your muscles on purpose to look like a sick, starving or drug addicted character.

Muscle can be lost safely when the right procedures are followed. There is no harm in losing a bit of muscle the healthy way to cut down excessive muscle mass to get a physique of average size. For example, The Rock once cut down some muscle size in his wrestling days in order to get lighter and move better in the ring. However, losing a lot of muscle rapidly through starvation dieting, is very costly in terms of the negative effects it would have on your body. The main effects to point out here is you get weaker and your physique actually looks really horrible.

Yes, you can gain the muscle back. But keep in mind that losing muscle is just as hard as losing body fat and it also takes hard work to gain it back. Therefore, I can’t think of any reason why anyone would want to sacrifice all their muscle mass, unless you are in the acting business and getting paid to look like a sick, skinny character in a movie like the following actors.

1. Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth

The ‘Thor’ actor is known for his strong, muscular physique on and off the screen. So you can imagine how shocked his fans were when he posted the picture on the left showing much lost muscle to play his role in the movie ‘In the Heart of the Sea’. Reports say Hemsworth worked really hard to deconstruct his muscular build to the frail-looking figure.

2. Christian Bale

Christian Bale

Christian Bale has cut down his weight a few times in the name of a good movie role. But probably his most infamous transformation was in the 2004 movie “The Machinist” where he became frighteningly thin for the role. He reportedly lost 63 pounds for this transformation. In 2006, Bale dropped 55 pounds for the movie “Rescue Dawn,” and in 2010 he shed weight again to play a drug addict in “The Fighter.”

3. 50 Cent

50 Cent

50 Cent’s weight loss transformation for the movie “All Things Fall Apart” left everyone in disbelief. To play the role of a cancer patient in the 2012 film, 50 dropped over 50 pounds which included a very large percentage of his thick muscle mass he is well known for. It has been reported that the rapper used a liquid diet along with 3 hours per day running on the treadmill to accomplish the transformation in 9 weeks.

4. Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey

McConaughey has always been known for bringing a well shaped muscular physique to the silver screen that would impress both men and women, but his transformation for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club” was jaw dropping for the opposite reason.

Matthew McConaughey got absolutely starved for “Dallas Buyers Club”. For the film, McConaughey reportly dropped a whopping 47 pounds, losing his well-muscled look, to play a man with HIV. Talking about his diet for achieving this extreme transformation, the actor said: “I’d have a Diet Coke, two egg whites in the morning, a piece of chicken, then another Diet Coke. That was rough.”

But going through that extremity paid of well for McConaughey in the end. His role in the movie earned him both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, among other awards and nominations.

5. Michael Fassbender


The actor dropped an alarming amount of weight to play a hunger striker in the 2008 film “Hunger”. To prepare for this role, Fassbender had to restrict himself to 600 calories a day.

6. Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake famously dropped 30 pounds for his role as the deranged freelance crime photographer in the Oscar-nominated thriller “Nightcrawler“.

7. Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg

The “Pain & Gain” star is normally muscular build even when he is not preparing for a movie role. However, in January 2014, Wahlberg told Extra TV he was in the process of losing weight for his role in The Gambler. He said at the time he was trying to get down to 150 pounds. “I’m trying to get as thin as I possibly can. I’m playing a literary professor who also has some serious addiction problems.”

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